Days to Germination: 8-18 days
Start Peppers 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date in your area. Sow 3 to 5 seeds per individual pot of starter mix or singly in peat pots. Provide light, even moisture and ventilation. Bottom warmth hastens germination. Seedlings prefer 70° to 85°F during the day with slightly cooler temperatures at night. Individually transplant the strongest seedlings to 4" pots and fertilize weekly. Do not allow seedlings to become root-bound. Amend a well-draining, sunny site with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-rotted manure. When night temperatures are reliably above 55°F, expose the Pepper plants to sun gradually over 1 week, then transplant. Water well and fertilize as needed with manure tea, kelp or fish emulsion. Mulch soil around Peppers if soil dries out too quickly. Harvest carefully, using a sharp blade, leaving 1⁄2" of stem, when Peppers reach desired size and color.
Turn Up the Heat
From start to finish, Peppers are a crop that like it hot. Unless your climate is truly steamy, you must start them ahead in a warm spot, on a heat mat if possible, or on top of the refrigerator or kitchen cabinet. Only after warm weather has settled in should you set them out--in the sunniest part of the garden.
For a greater overall Pepper yield, remove any blossoms that appear on your young transplants up until the time you set them in the ground. You'll miss out on the earliest fruits, but by letting the plant put its energy into its growth rather than early fruits, you'll get more productive plants later on.
The Look for Late Summer
Most of us grow Peppers because they taste so great, but I find them equally useful as an ornamental. If I want to add some edibles to a dooryard plot, I might not pick a sprawling cuke or Tomato vine, but I’d pick a few Pepper plants, with their healthy green foliage, tidy upright habit and colorful fruits. There they are, quietly green but growing steadily, until all of a sudden the plants are as showy as rosebushes. Though red ones are always my favorites, the yellow ones are gorgeous too. And they appear at a time in the season when many flowering plants have passed their prime--especially herbs whose flowering time is usually spring and early summer. Try some in pots on the terrace, too.
Deer Resistant Seed Varieties