Starting perennials indoors from seed is quite a different process than starting annuals. Perennials will be slow to germinate and grow and many need a period of "cold stratification" or "scarification", terms used to describe seeds that need to be moistened, soaked, chilled, broken or nicked a bit, in order to germinate once planted. This is often true of our native perennials. Our winters accomplish this task just fine, but a refrigerator can substitute (cold stratification can take 1-3 months in the refrigerator, depending on species). You may be out of time for this lengthy process this year. The seed packet will tell you if this is necessary.
Most annual seeds don't need special treatment to germinate, just follow packet directions. Annuals have relatively little root structure so you could amend the growing bed with compost to lighten the soil. Here's good, general information on starting plants from seed:
Perennial Plants of the year are probably patent protected, at least for a period of years. This means that the only way to legally obtain the plant is to buy it. Seeds produced from these plants often do not grow true to the original plant due to hybridization. You could consult the Perennial Plant Association, the group that chooses the Perennial Plant of the year, to see if seed is available for the chosen plants. Here is their website with contact information: https://perennialplant.org/?
Here are a few suggestions for perennials to try to start from seed indoors. Be sure to allow for any seed preparation needs listed on the packet:
Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan)
Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
Echinacea (Cone Flower)
Asclepsia (Butterfly Weed)
Liatris (Blazing Star)
Thank you for contacting Extension.