The first week of February in the Tucson area is the perfect time to start seeds indoors for your summer garden. Seedlings of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants along with basil can all benefit from a head start. The idea is to get them going early enough to set fruit, as in the case of vegetables, and decent size, as in the basil, before the heat sets in.
Not any soil mixture for seed starting will do; starting medium should be sterile to avoid damping-off disease. Skip the peat pots, as they take forever to decompose and end up stunting root growth when planted in the ground. Seed starting kits are inexpensive and ensure success.
Not any window will do either, as Low-e glass inhibits the very light we need to grow seedlings. If you don’t have a south facing window with regular glass, you will probably need to invest in either grow lights or fluorescent lights.
Keeping seeds moist until they sprout is the key to good germination, but so is keeping them warm. If your house is not warm enough (at least 72 degrees) then you may need to invest in a heat mat.