As I continue my adventures attempting to start lots of different seedlings, I experimented with adding "smoke" through combustion products to some seeds that require fires or smoke to germinate. This is a prairie and forest adaptation so life bursts forth after a fire. I tried just finding some small woody growth or dried leaves and igniting them using some newspaper as a starter in a pie pan. I then added water to the ashes and dribbled it on the newly planted seeds. I tried this on Aster tongolensis 'Wartburg Star', and got seedlings after 7-8 days. I also started some seeds with just water, and got no germination so after a couple of weeks I tried putting the ash water on these, but still got no germination. It seems rather convincing that it was helpful. Here are the seedlings, transplanted into individual pots, and the pot that had no germination, lower right.
I also tried it on Achillea siberica var. camtschatica 'Love Parade', lower left, with good success, and tiny seedlings are also coming up on my Primula florindae seeds, upper left. Some other seeds require chilling- Berberis fendleri, lower right, required 60 days at 40* F, and Scutellaria resinosa, upper right, required 21 days at 40* F. One pot was actually germinating in the refrigerator since I left it a little longer. I put the pots in sandwich bags and stick them in the back of the fridge.