You can start off seedlings, but make sure you've got the space to look after them until it's time to plant them out. Tender plants need temperatures of 5degC or above. But as well as warmth, they need plenty of light; too little and they become 'leggy' and weak, and vulnerable to nasty fungal diseases.
(A peck, by the way, is an old measurement of volume, like a bushel. Allotments are still measured, you may notice, in 'rods'. If I remember from the back of my old exercise books, seven pecks are one rod, thirteen rods are one gill, four-and-a-half gills are a fathom. Or not, as the case may be.)