There are many ways to germinate seeds, but my favorite and the one that has been the most successful for us comes from Matthew DeBacco - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF-5lKWiNvE
Here is another tutorial by Jordan Rivington that is similar and shows some good details - http://gvgo.ca/articles/rivington_germ_tut01.html
If you are new to this, it is essential that you practice during the winter with some throw away seeds to get your technique down pat. Not a bad idea to do a trial run each year even when you think you have it mastered. Once the time comes to start your seeds you don't have a huge window for starting over.
We start the germination process on April 1st. Since we live in a very hot region we want to be able to pollinate in early June when we have a shot at temperatures in the low ninties.
Here are the specifics of our procedure:
Seeds are labeled with a Sharpie fine tip pen
Seeds are filed (except the point)
Seeds are soaked for six (6) hours at room temperature in a solution of:
200 ml Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
800 ml Water
1 teaspoon of Kelp powder
1/2 teaspoon Humax (12% Humic Acid)
Per the above procedure, the seeds are individually placed in a large paper towel (made moist with the soaking solution) and then placed in individual baggies. these are them placed in the germination chamber set to 88 degrees Fahrenheit.
The seeds are examined at 24 hours and every 12 hours thereafter. If the towel has become too dry it is re-moistened (remember it must be moist, but not wet - I dip in the solution then hand squeeze it as dry as possible).
Once seeds germinate they are planted to peat pots.