Bell pepper transplants can be planted as soon as the threat of frost has passed and the soil reaches at least 55°F.
Optimal Planting Conditions
Though they can be started sooner, as a warm season crop peppers thrive in warm weather and warm soil conditions. They will thrive when the soil temperature reaches 70°F. If you choose to plant them earlier, use black plastic or mulch around the plants to help the soil warm more quickly.
Pepper Germination Requirements
In warm locations with long growing seasons, peppers can be direct seeded in the garden.
Soil temperature is an important factor when sowing seeds. Seeds germinate best at certain temperatures but can usually be planted at much lower temperatures. The closer you get to the optimal temperature, the faster they will germinate, and vice versa for lower temperatures. If seeds are planted at temperatures below the lowest recommended temperature, the germination success rate drops dramatically.
In the case of bell peppers, they will germinate in a range between 55°F to 95°F. They will not germinate at temperatures below 55°F.
They will germinate in 7-14 days depending on the soil temperature and the variety. The colder the temperature the longer they will take to germinate.
Peppers Are a Warm Season Crop
Peppers thrive best at 70-80°F. They will drop blooms if exposed to cool conditions for any length of time. They will also drop blooms if conditions exceed 90°F for any length of time..
“Explore Cornell – Home Gardening – Vegetable Growing Guides – Growing Guide.” Explore Cornell – Home Gardening – Vegetable Growing Guides – Growing Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. <http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scene9c8a.html>.
“Pepper | Archives | Aggie Horticulture.” Pepper | Archives | Aggie Horticulture. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. <http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/vegetables/pepper.html>.
“Soil Germination Range for Select Vegetables.” Oregon State University Extension. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. <http://extension.oregonstate.edu/sorec/sites/default/files/documents/continuousharvest.pdf>.