Our new deck in the back of the building is proving to be a wonderfully multifunctional space! Besides giving wheelchair accessibility to the building and providing a shaded outdoor "meeting" space it also has great cool shade underneath where seedlings have nearly ideal place for germinating! I sowed lettuce, spinach and chard seeds 2 days ago, and lettuces have already sprouted!!! In the spring it took at least a week, if I remember correctly. It may also have helped, that I kept the seeds in the freezer, and took them out just the night before.
Today I planted many different types of Brassicas - cabbages, broccoli, asian greens etc. Can't wait to eat 'em!