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I don't know if this will work for everything but it's something I tried and it worked.
I've had trouble sowing fine seed like nicotiana because I can't see where it goes on the mix. I had a Bounty paper towel disintegrate from being in water and I also have put them in the bottom of pots just to keep the soil fromsifting out. I thought I'd try something.
I had lots of Nicotiana "Red Bedder" seed and a small flat. I cut a piece of paper towel that fit the flat and seperated the two layers; then I wet the potting medium and the toweling and pressed it down lightly. I sprinkled my seed on the white toweling and covered it with plastic wrap. Maybe I could refine this a bit (try making grooves or something) but the seeds have germinated and look healthy. I guess they were strong enough to go through the toweling. I got the "Red Bedder" from Select Seeds and you sure get a lot of them. I never grew that variety before.
I would have tried it with coleus if I'd had enough and had though of it in time. This would work with seeds that aren't supposed to be covered.