I also asked this in the Seed Germination forum, but I'd like to ask it here, too. You guys are a wealth of information!
I have a couple of trays of APS Seed Starter System from Gerdener's Supply. (the kind with the reservoir at the bottom, water wicking mat, and tray for seedlings on it, with cover.
Can I put the seeds in and immediately put them outside in cool weather? The reason I'm trying this is I want to avoid the hardening off period, since I'm away from home 5 days a week, 12-13 hours a day.
The seeds are lettuce and spinach, and right now its 59 degrees outside.
I am in zone 8b in the desert. My experience with this is somewhat limited but I had bad luck with the giffy system's lid blowing off and cracking in an unsheltered area.
I have good luck WS plants in water bottles and the like in a sunny South and West facing spot, with protection of a wall in the wind. Not as much luck unless It is in a protected area or inside of a larger container with side walls to protect it from wind and wind chill issues. I can start mine every year in February. I did it here this year in a less than good location outside and so far see some good things going but we will see if they make it all the way till Spring.