Bell peppers are sweet pepper plants that come in several different hybrid varieties, including Bell Boy, Purple Bell and Lady Bell. Bell peppers are the most popular pepper type grown in the United States. Bell peppers require long, frost-free growing seasons to reach maturity and enjoy hot summer temperatures. Due to their long growing season, bell peppers are often started from seeds indoors in colder climates with shorter growing seasons. Bell pepper seeds germinate readily, but require warmth and moderate moisture to sprout.
Start the bell pepper seeds indoors about 8 to 10 weeks before the last expected frost date for your region. Fill planter pots or a seed tray with a soilless potting mix.
Plant the bell pepper seeds ¼-inch deep into the potting mix. Dust a fine layer of milled sphagnum peat moss on top of the potting mix.
Moisten the top 1 inch of potting mix and peat moss with warm water using a spray bottle. Set the planter pots or seed tray on top of your refrigerator or in another warm spot.
Keep the bell pepper seeds moist by spraying the top of the potting mix with warm water daily or every other day. Move the bell peppers into a spot with bright sunlight, such as a south-facing window, when the seeds germinate and sprout.
Water the bell pepper seedlings once every two to four days to keep the potting mix evenly moistened but not waterlogged. Gently pour water into the pots or seed tray and ensure that it drains quickly through the bottom drainage holes.
Harden off your bell pepper seedlings before planting them outdoors by setting the plants outside in a partially sunny spot with some protection from strong winds. Increase the amount of time that the bell pepper plants are outdoors and their sunlight exposure over the course of one to two weeks, bringing the plants inside at night when temperatures near freezing.