Starting peppers and tomatoes from seed is tough, even down here in SW Missouri. We have plans to tackle a variety of peppers for next summer, and figured we'd need a soil-warming-blanket, overhead lights, seed-starting soil and have to begin- at the latest- mid february for transplanting the second week in May.
We're excited to do it, but you gotta have a good, solid plan. In Northern Iowa, you may want to start them at the end of february, for a later transplanting. Not sure you all transplant peppers and tomatoes into the ground in the first week of May...but I may be wrong.
Growing pepper seeds in jiffy pots is iffy, but if you load them with seed eventually one or two come through. Problem is they get too leggy early on to firmly establish themselves on transplant unless you have a way to nurture them well for the 30 days prior to movement.
Two professionals I'd recommend you PM and ask are ALX and FIRE IT UP. Both are avid gardeners who can square you away.