Anyone who has let a seed packet get damp has learned that seeds often need only the barest encouragement to grow. The smallest hints of moisture, nutrients and warmth are often enough to start the growing cycle before a gardener is ready to plant. Potatoes left in the bin too long, for example, send out sprouts. Knowing a bit about how seeds develop will enable you to plant growing seeds successfully.
Separate seeds with tweezers, taking particular care not to damage any shoots or sprouts emerging from the covering of the seed. Usually the first sprout sent out by a seed is related to root development and can be placed below the seed when you plant. If there are several sprouts, they will find their own directions and purposes once in the soil.
Dampen seed-start soil mix or potting soil and make a hole for each seed with your finger, to the planting depth recommended by the package or a gardening book. Place the seed gently in the hole and use your fingertips to crumble soil lightly over the seed. Do not tamp soil down; any pressure at this stage may break off or damage developing sprouts.
Place seed pots in a warm, sunny indoor location and keep soil moist, not soaking wet. If weather is already warm enough for outdoor planting, place your pots in the ground. The peat pot will protect the sprouting seed, which will eventually grow right through it. If weather is still too cold for direct seeding, treat your sprouted seeds like any other seedlings, maintaining them indoors until they can go into the ground.