Pepper, Jalapeno Early

  Early Jalapeno Pepper

Heirloom. Organic. Jalapenos, which are fairly hot in capsaicin (but habaneros are 50 times hotter), are somewhat picky peppers to grow. The jalapeno pepper likes a sandy soil, and hot, dry (no humid) temperatures in the 80s and 90s. They grow best in these conditions, and that’s why so many pepper varieties are grown in the Southwest, particularly southern New Mexico. When planting, be sure to place seeds no more than ¼-inch deep. Keep moist during germination, but then only water every other day when there’s no rain. Some jalapeno pepper-growing experts recommend the plants only be watered when they begin to wilt or show signs of stress. Also, don’t fertilize at all during the first few weeks. Some experts never fertilize their jalapeno peppers. Where to start growing jalapeno pepper seeds – indoors or out – is a subject of debate among pepper aficionados. Some start the seeds indoors in a heated tray under fluorescent lighting. Others wait until the nighttime temperatures are no lower than 70 degrees and daytime temps are consistently between 80 to 85 degrees and near constant sun. It’s okay to plant seeds in 15-inch pots, or with some jalapeno peppers, particularly the early hybrids, sow seed directly into the ground.

Planting Jalapeno Pepper

While starting seeds of the Jalapeno Pepper is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful. Sow Jalapeno Pepper seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed or start in containers several weeks before transplanting into soil. Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position.  Jalapeno Peppers are splendid for growing up stakes or a cage. They will tip from the weight of the peppers, but you can support with stakes and twine. Jalapeno Pepper plants need regular watering and grow well in heat. Height: 24 to 30”    Days to harvest—90 to 120 Days

Spacing: 24-36" inches Depth: 1/4  inch Germination: 10-20 days

Starting from Seed Indoors

Generally, the time to start your seeds is about 4- 6 weeks before the last expected spring frost date in your area, planting the seedlings outdoors about 2 weeks after that date. Another way to figure is to plan on setting out sturdy seedlings in the garden when night temperatures stay in the mid-50 degree range both day and night. Count back and sow seeds 4 to 6 weeks before that date normally arrives. Place a few seeds (5 to 10) into each pot and push them into the soil with your finger. Cover the seeds to a depth of approximately 1/4 inches of the potting mix. Mist each  pot with water until the soil appears moist. Place the pots in an area which will provide both light (which is required for germination) and heat, preferably about 65 to 70 degrees F and at least 8 hours of light each day. Check on the seeds every day and keep the seeds damp but not drenched by misting with your plant mister. You should see sprouting in about 10-20 days. Once your seedlings have reached about 4 to 6 inches in height, choose an area in your garden to transfer them. You can also use containers like barrels or clay pots. Dig holes twice the width and depth of each of your pots. Fill up each hole with water then let it drain off. Place a pot in the hole center and level so that your seedling is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Push dirt in carefully all the way to fill the hole back up. Water each seedling carefully so as not to soak the leaves or stem.

Direct-seeding into the Garden

Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 1/2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the area (or in rows). Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/4 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 3 seeds every 3 to 4 inches in rows approximately 12-18 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/4 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for Jalapeno Pepper plants is approximately 10 to 20 days, depending on the warmth of the soil.   

Germination Problems

Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted.  Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others.  We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors.  Good luck.