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To grow green bell peppers from seed, plan to start the seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost in your area. Start the seeds in small pots about the size of a yogurt cup and put 3 seeds in each pot. Plant them about ¼ inch (0.6 cm) deep in well-drained seed-starting soil. Keep the soil damp but not sopping wet, and water the seeds any time the soil starts to dry out. Store the seed containers in a room where the temperature stays around 70 °F (21 °C). If possible, place them in a south-facing window so they get plenty of sun during the day. Once the seedlings have been growing for a few weeks, remove the smallest one from each pot. After the last frost date in spring, begin hardening the seedlings off by exposing them to outdoor conditions for a few hours a day. Find a sunny spot with rich, well-drained soil to plant them outside. Dig holes that are about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) deep and 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) across and place the pepper plants in them, then fill the holes loosely with soil. Space your plants about 18-24 inches (46-60 cm) apart. Add a pinch of organic fertilizer to the soil around each plant. Water your plants every 1-2 days and cover them when it gets cold out. Once they get tall enough to start growing peppers, support the plants by gently tying them to stakes. Harvest peppers from the plants when the peppers are dark green and 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) long. For more advice from our Gardening reviewer, including how to protect your pepper plants when the weather turns cold, keep reading.
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