Growing Jalapeno Peppers

Here in Texas jalapeno peppers are used to flavor a lot of our favorite Tex-Mex dishes, like fajitas, tomales, nachos, beans, and salsa. Each little fruit is packed with unique flavor and just the right amount of spice. It's one of the milder hot peppers with a wide range of 2,500 - 10,000 Scoville units. Scoville units are what is used to measure the concentration of capsaicin in peppers. Capsaicin being what gives pepper their heat.

Jalapenos are also easy to grow with a relatively short growing season required and they love the heat. From seed to table is about 75 days. I have had one plant produce 30 peppers in a summer. I pick the first 4-5 peppers a little early to encourage the plant to increase production.

The hotter the summer, the hotter the pepper! You can also leave jalapenos on the plant longer to get a hotter pepper, or leave them on the windowsill for a few days after harvesting to let their heat build up. They're ready to harvest when they're at least 3" long, dark green, and easily fall off the plant. They do turn red if left on the plant, and are much hotter then.

If you live in a climate with summers that don't stay up in the 90's, you probably want to start jalapenos indoors 8 weeks before the last frost. Transplant the jalapeno seedling outdoors once the average soil temperature is 60℉ and the plant has started its second set of true leaves. In the Southwest, you can direct sow jalapeno seeds outdoors when the average soil temperature is 60℉. 

How to Calculate Soil Temperature

Plant jalapeno seeds 1/4" deep. My preferred method of doing this is to thoroughly wet the soil first. Then place a seed on top of the soil and cover with a little damp dirt. This way the seed isn't washed away from where I want it to grow. 

Gently water the seed every other day until the sprout emerges. This usually takes about a week. Move to gently watering every 3 - 4 days. Throughout the life of the pepper it will not need heavy watering. Twice a week is fine. Harvest when the jalapeno is 3" long or longer, deep green, and easily comes off the plant. 

You shouldn't need to tug on the plant. Pepper plants are easy to damage, so don't try yanking peppers off the plant. They're not ready to harvest and you'll damage the plant. 

Get your own Organic NonGMO Jalapeno Seeds & Plant Stake Markers in my Etsy shop



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