Growing Peppers from Victory Seeds®
It really is not difficult to grow peppers from seed but does take a little bit of planning. Start the seeds indoors 8 weeks prior to the last frost date in your area (refer to the Frost Pages).
Plant about 1/4 inch deep, in flats or small pots using sterile seed starting material. This will help to prevent soil born disease problems.
Water lightly and keep consistently moist until germination occurs. If the seeds dry out, they will die. You can cover the pots with a plastic bag to help maintain the soil moisture but be sure to remove once plants appear. Peppers are tropical plants, and they love warmth and hate the cold. The pepper seeds germinate best if the soil is between 75 to 90°F. Click here for seed starting ideas. If you have a heat mat for seed starting, definitely use it for your peppers.
While they grow, full light will help to prevent the seedlings from becoming too leggy. After the seeds have germinated, place them in a location that receives a lot of light and good air flow. I keep a gentle fan blowing in their area at all times. A south-facing window should work to provide light, but if this is not an option, a lamp fixture rigged so that it is a couple of inches above the plants will work. If they do not receive adequate light, they will become spindly. The ideal situation for starting seeds indoors is an actual grow lights setup. Modern LED grow lights have become an excellent and affordable option.
After the plants have their second or third set of true leaves, and before they become root bound, transplant into 4-inch pots. This transplanting step will allow the plant to develop properly and promote root growth.
Don't be in a rush to get these planted outside. Peppers like warm or hot days and they will resent you for putting them outside too early in the season. Wait until consistent T-shirt weather before bring them out.
Harden off plants before transplanting outside. Be careful while transplanting so that you do not disturb or damage the roots too much. Young plants are very tender and susceptible to frost damage, as well as sunburn. I protect my young plants by placing a one gallon milk jug, with the bottom removed, to form a miniature greenhouse. A couple of days of special attention like this will help to ensure a high rate of success.
You should avoid giving pepper plants too much nitrogen, especially before the fruit sets. It is far better to plant them into a location that has healthy soil with high levels of organic matter worked in.