When it comes to gardening, perhaps you are extremely passionate about it and would not choose to forgo it for anyway. Especially for crops, you just love the feeling of planting, growing, and harvesting them for your own pleasure, soon to be consumed at the dinner table.
One of them in particular that you like to grow are peppers: from bell peppers to banana peppers, you just enjoy the taste of them all. However, you would like to try your hand at jalapenos and maybe you are not sure when they are ripe enough to be harvested.
That is why we are here to help! Read on in this article to find out when you should pick jalapenos. We will answer some of your frequently-asked questions to get you well on your way to producing some of the ripest, most delicious jalapeno peppers out there. Let’s get started!
What Are Jalapeno Peppers?
Pronounced “ha-la-pen-yo,” jalapenos are a type of pepper that is native to Mexico. It belongs to the capsicum annuum family of peppers and is well-known for its spiciness.
However, compared with other peppers, it might be considered mild to medium on the spiciness level. They come in all sorts of different colors, from green to red to yellow, all of which have varying degrees of spiciness.
When consumed, jalapeno peppers are especially rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, and vitamin K.
How Do You Grow Jalapeno Peppers?
Believe it or not, jalapeno peppers are super easy to grow and cultivate. Here are the steps for getting started:
- Extract two or three of the seeds from the pod, and place it into soil. Water the soil until it is just moist.
- Germinate the seeds by keeping them in a dark, damp place until their sprouts begin to develop.
- Once the sprouts have formed, transfer the seeds with its soil to a sunlit area, and water regularly.
- As soon as leaves begin to develop, you will need to transfer the potted seeds into a larger container. If you live in a relatively warm environment, then you also have the option of planting them in your backyard.
- Give your growing peppers at least six hours of sunlight per day. Also make sure that you plant each sprout at least 12 to 16 inches apart, so that they do not crowd each other while being cultivated.
- Continue to water your jalapeno peppers once a day, giving them a minimum of 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of water per week.
- If weeds start to sprout up, remove them through safe methods (e.g. weed killers). To fortify your peppers, you can also add compost to provide more nutrients to them.
When Should You Pick Jalapeno Peppers?
Now that you have already planted and cultivated your jalapenos, it is finally time to harvest, or otherwise pick them. On average, they are ready to be picked after 72 days, or after three to four months.
How do you pick jalapenos? Start by looking at the color: it should be green, perhaps just starting to turn red or yellow. Next, check out their shoulders, where it curves towards the stem: there should be small cracks, indicating that it is ready to be picked?
Finally, take some shears and slice the stem off; do not pluck them off by hand, for it can hurt the pepper and prevent other ones from growing later on.
What Are Some Jalapeno Recipes You Recommend?
Jalapenos are extremely versatile in the culinary world. Here, we offer you one of our favorite recipes:
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread (taken from FoodNetwork.com)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups milk
- 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
- 8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
- 1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
- 3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers
Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved.
Don't overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Overall, jalapenos are easy to grow and harvest and all the while being a tasty and versatile ingredient to spice up your meals at home. With that said, it is time to get planting!
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any orther questions, please let me know in the comment field, and don't forget to share this article with your friends and family.