Started peppers today (about 12 weeks before planting). The packages all say 8 weeks, but the New Seed Starter’s Handbook suggests that 12 weeks is just fine for peppers. Since I think we’re going to have a slower germination (because we keep the house between 55 and 65 degrees), I’m going to roll with it.
We started 9 each of cayenne, jalapeño, and sweet peppers. That’s about twice as many as will go in the garden, but should give us enough to allow for poor germination, or to give some away.