Starting from seed wasn’t too bad for me this year—I am not good at it. I just thought things were getting out of hand at the nursery.
The Ferry Morse seed starting light (T5 fluorescent) worked, barely. I’d just get a no-name LED floodlight style grow light for about $15 (or two) instead if I knew. I used those peat pellet things that sort of inflate when they get wet.
The thing that really cut down on the infant mortality for me this year was using hydroponic plant food on the pellets instead of trying to transplant them to a small pot and then to the soil a few weeks later. I mixed it at half strength and started giving it to the plants as soon as the first true leaves appeared. The plants are fine. I used Maxigrow/Maxibloom which is available for reasonable prices at the local doper hydroponic store.