Jalapenos are spicy chili peppers from hot pepper family and good supply of vitamin C, folate and vitamin A. They are even saturated fat-free, cholesterol free, sodium free and low fat and considered as staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world.
This wonderful ingredient add perfect amount of spiciness to most of Mexican dishes and they are integral part of what makes up the flavorful spiciness in most salsas and chili recipes.
Originally, this wonderful spice is from Mexico and now cultivated worldwide due to their high demand. Even though, you’re not an expert gardener, jalapeno peppers may end up being your favorite crop. Peppers are perennial plants that many people treat as annual. If you have a green house or backyard garden or can move them indoors in cold weather as they produce year after year.
Growing jalapeno peppers is time consuming and you can fail if things aren’t done properly, but once you have mastered the art of growing peppers you’ll be surprised with the harvest they produce.
Preparing Jalapeno For Indoor Or Outdoor Cultivation:
Peppers are self germinating plants that grow indoors as well as outdoors. Similarly, you could sow seedlings in a pot and transplant them in your garden. All you need to do is nurture them with right amount of warmth for soil and light for them to sprout.
How To Plant Jalapenos?
Start your seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last expected frost date in your area. Fill your seed cells with seed starting mix and then press the seed down about ¼ inch. Always water your seedlings from the bottom, it helps to prevent cause of diseases. To water them from the bottom, put your seed cells in tray and add water in the tray which will pull up the amount of water needed.
Keep the seeds dark until you see the first sprout, then place them under grow light for up to 16 hours. Germination may take up to 14-16 days.
Transplanting Jalapeno Seeds:
Once the last frost has passed and the soil has warmed up, it means your seedlings are ready to transplant them outdoors. Harden off keeps them from being or becoming sun burn when transplanting them outdoors. Make sure they’re away from much wind for 30 minutes to an hour on first day, increasing the time and exposure to wind and sun slowly about 7 day period. On the last day leave them alone overnight.
They like soil with PH of 6.5 and well drained. To transplant them, dig a hole couple inches deep and when you take the pepper plant out of plant cell. Plant this transplant as deep as the first small leaves on the pepper plant. Water them well, once planted.
How To Care For Jalapenos:
Pepper plants need lot of attention and care when they’re growing. Below are some tips that help you to grow healthy jalapenos in your backyard garden.
Peppers love 90 degrees and full sun, so make sure to choose a location that will provide them these needs. Fertilize them with water soluble for every two weeks to provide them needed nutrients.
Check out for the weeds around your pepper plants as they easily draw water away from the roots causing the plant to be in distress. Just like other pepper plants, these are more prone to pest infestations at every stage of their growth. The most common pests are weevil, caterpillars, aphids, worms and beetles. Spraying Neem oil on your jalapeno plants will help you to get rid of them easily.
Each plant of jalapeno produce more than 25-30 fruits per season and ripe jalapenos are ready to harvest when they are bright sheen, they are firm, fat and between 4 to 6 inches long.
However, leaving jalapeno on the plant longer gives it them to turn red and allow it to be hotter, yet sweeter than green jalapeno.
If you want red jalapeno, then you should wait for 120-150 days. Don’t pull or twist them to harvest your jalapenos as it can damage the branches. Use a knife or scissors or hold the branch and pull pepper upward, just pop off with no issues that way.
Jalapenos are always a must to grow in our garden each year and it can be very rewarding. If you are already growing it in your garden, then share some easy tips with us.