A wide variety of pepper (Capsicum) plants exist for the home gardener to enjoy and use in culinary dishes upon harvest. Bell peppers, hot peppers and sweet peppers in a wide array of colors offer the gardener many choices. Pepper plants grow well started indoors. Frost sensitive, they require planting outside once all danger of frost has passed. The plants grow best in full sunlight with moist, well-draining soil that contains high organic content. Self-fertile, only one pepper plant will pollinate itself and produce ample vegetables.
Plant seeds indoors 10 weeks before the estimated last frost of the season. Purchase seeds at a store for immediate planting. Peppers seeds can be harvested from fresh pepper plants but they must be allowed to dry for at least six months prior to planting.
Fill starter a starter seed tray with starter potting soil. Place the seeds on the soil, and lightly cover with only a sprinkling of soil. Never plant pepper seeds deep.
Lightly water the pepper seeds. Do not saturate the soil but simply moisten with lukewarm water.
Place the starter tray in a clear plastic bag. Place the seed tray in a well-lit window.
Place a heat lamp above the seedling tray. The heat lamp should be located at least 2 feet away from the seed tray. The soil temperature must be maintained at or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the plastic bag once germination begins. Fertilize the seedlings lightly using a water soluble 15-15-15 fertilizer.
Keep the seedlings moist and in full sunlight until transplanting outside. Harden the seedlings off prior to planting by placing them outside during the day and moving them back indoors during the night.