Capsicum plants include both sweet and hot peppers, as well as ornamental pepper plants that are sometimes grown indoors. Capsicum are warm weather vegetables that tolerate no freezing, so you must purchase them as transplants or start from seed inside in early spring. They are later transplanted out to the vegetable garden once all frost danger has passed. Grow a variety of capsicum types so you have both hot and sweet peppers to use fresh or preserve for later use in winter.
Fill seed pots with a moist potting mix, then sow two pepper seeds per pot. Sow the seeds approximately 1/4-inch deep, then mist the soil surface with water to moisten it.
Cover the seed pots with plastic bags to help retain moisture during the germination process. Place the pots in a warm, 70- to 80-degree F room to germinate. Germination takes seven to 14 days for most capsicum varieties.
Remove the plastic once sprouts appear and move the pots to a warm, sunny window. Provide at least eight hours of sun a day for the plants or place them under a grow light for 14 hours a day.
Water the seedlings as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Begin watering them once a week with a half-strength liquid plant food once they are two weeks old.
Prepare a full-sun garden bed once soil temperatures are above 60 degrees F and once all spring frost danger has passed. Place a 2-inch layer of compost over the bed, then apply a general-purpose fertilizer on top of the compost, following the label application rate. Till the compost and fertilizer into the top 10 inches of the bed.
Plant the capsicum seedlings into the bed at the same depth they are at in their seed pots. Space plants so that they are 18 inches to 24 inches apart in all directions. Water thoroughly after transplanting.
Water the bed once a week, providing 1 to 2 inches of water at each irrigation. Place a 2-inch layer of mulch over the bed to help preserve soil moisture between waterings.