Great news! Last night I noticed that the marigold seeds I planted a week ago have germinated. My new trick is to place the newly planted seeds in a potting soil/sand mix on top of my fireplace hearth. The extra heat seems to cause earlier seed germination. This reminds me of an experiment I did when I took Ornamental Horticulture at Foothill College. The class was called "Nursery Practices" (or something very close) and I experimented with using different temperatures of water to water my seedlings. What do you think was the optimum temperature for rapid growth? I'll answer this next posting.
This is a picture of my grandson, Blake, getting ready to help his Nona and Popo sweep the deck