Jalapeno Harvest

I have been growing Jalapeno Chilli Peppers for about 5 years now. They are very easy to grow and largely pest-free but do require regular feeding and watering. Starting from seed in March/April, the small plants are transplanted into a standard veg/salad planter filled with coir compost and located in my polytunnel (Photo 1). I found growing chillies in the Quadgrow/Chilligrow Planters was less successful than growing them close together in the Salad/Veg Planter - maybe they appreciate having close neighbours. [Note: aubergines and sweet peppers also seem to grow better and produce higher yields in the Salad/Veg Planters]. A disadvantage of the Salad/Veg Planters is the smallish reservoir that can run dry in just 2-3 days during very hot weather so will need topping up more often.

Photo 1: Standard Salad/Veg Planter with Mini-Greenhouse Sections

 I bought my Salad/Veg Planter (or Veg/Salad Planter!?!) from the original Greenhouse Sensation company that, unfortunately, went bust towards the end of 2022. The company has been resurrected; however, the Salad/Veg Planters are no longer available on the website. They may be added at a later date.

The standard Salad/Veg Planter takes four Jalapeno plants ...

Photo 2: Jalapenos Ready for Picking (31/10/23)

... and are usually ready for harvesting from August onwards.

It is now November and the Jalapeno chillies are the only crop left in the polytunnel. Time to bring them in before the frosts arrive.

My four plants yielded 123 individual chillies weighing 1.96 kg; i.e. averaging 30 chillies (0.5 kg) per plant. Enough to supply us until next year's crop is ready - preserved by slicing and open-tray freezing.

Photo 3: Most of 2023's Jalapeno Crop

Jalapenos change colour with maturity: light green to dark green to dark brown/black and finally red. The peppers can be eaten at any stage; green for less heat and more crunchiness, red for extra heat and sweetness. The white lines/marks on the surface (Photo 4) are known as 'corking' and are an indication the plant has undergone some stress due to a lack of water at some point during the growing season. Note that the presence of 'corking' indicates those peppers will be extra hot.

Photo 4: Corking on Jalapeno Chillies

There is plenty of advice out there on growing and caring for your chilli plants as well as recipes in which you can use them.. Although I grow them as annuals, they are perennials and can be overwintered if you have the space.


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