When to sow outside: MILD CLIMATES: 2 to 4 weeks after any danger of frost, when the soil temperature is at least 70°F.
When to start inside: 8 to 10 weeks before average last spring frost, and transplant them out when daytime temperatures are at least 70°F, and nighttime temperatures are at least 55°F.
Sowing Temperature: Temperature is crucial for starting peppers. Pepper seeds germinate much faster if the soil/media is kept at 70°-90°F. At cooler temperatures, they can either fail to sprout, or sprouting may take a month. The longer seeds take to emerge, the more susceptible they are to rotting in the wet conditions or being attacked by fungus in the media. Seedling heat mats are especially helpful in maintaining warm soil for peppers. Once germinated, peppers can be grown at air temperatures of 60°F at night and 70°F during the day.
Optimal Growing Conditions
Use shallow, sterile containers with drainage (4- or 6-pack at a garden center). A deeper container can hold too much moisture.
Use a lightweight seed starting mix/media, and sow seeds at a shallow, 1/4″ depth. Seed starting mix is sterile (unlike garden soil) and lighter than potting mix, allowing for the ideal air-to-moisture ratio.
Established peppers do best when watered deeply but infrequently, allowing soil to dry out (not to the point of wilting) between waterings.
Choose an area with full sun (6 or more hours per day).