Vegetable Gardening Made easier is using the Early Jalapeno pepper as its model.
The Early Jalapeno is a traditional early strain of hot pepper. It is 2-2 1/2 inches long by 1 inch wide, sausage-shaped, with blunt fruits that mature early.
They are ready to eat when they are dark green but will turn to its ripe color of red if left on the vine to keep maturing. It can be grown in many types of soils and environments. The pepper seeds we planted for this variety were organically grown.
The Early Jalapeno is ready to eat in 60 days for green and 80 days for red ripe. It is somewhat frost hardy, great for growing in containers and is very hot.
When growing jalapeno peppers, seeds can be sown directly into the ground in early spring. The soil should be well dug, and have a pH balance around 6.5. You can check your soil balance using a Soil Test Kit.
Plant one to two seeds 24 inches apart, about 1/4 inch deep in an area that receives six to eight hours of sunlight. Water frequently, keeping the soil moist.
Plant two seeds and then thin the weaker plant or transplant it to another area. Maintain soil temps above 80 degrees during daylight times. If the soil is not kept at 75-80 degrees constantly, then the seeds will take about two weeks to germinate.
The Early Jalapeno likes a well-drained and fertile soil with abundant phosphorus and calcium.
Growing jalapeno peppers will put out a white flower when they are ready to start producing. A few at first and then many more after that. The bush will grow to about three feet high and two feet in diameter.
To get an early start on the season sow seeds inside about eight weeks before Transplanting out. Sow seeds in Seed Flats at the rate of 1 to 2 seeds per cell, at a depth of 1/4 inch.
Pepper seeds will not germinate very well in soil temps below 70 degrees. Using a Heat Pad and an Indoor Growing Light can help germinate the seeds as well as get them off to a good strong start. This will also help maintain the soil temperatures around 80 to 90 degrees. Generally the seeds will germinate in about 5-7 days.
If you want larger plants with better-developed root systems, try starting your seeds in organic Dot Pots.
These pots can be dropped into your transplant hole without disturbing the root system. The pots will disintegrate and are good for the environment since they are organic and made from recycled materials.
Once the growing jalapeno peppers seeds germinate, the heat pad can be turned off. Try to keep the growing jalapeno peppers temperature around 70 degrees for the daytime and 60 degrees for nighttime.
The following cold treatment is suggested for growing jalapeno peppers but not necessary:
\”Exposing the seedlings to controlled cold treatments can increase the number of flowers and fruits. When the third true leaf appears, grow the plants at a minimum night temperature of 53 to 55 degrees for 4 weeks.
After 4 weeks adjust the temperature to 70 degrees day and night. If this technique is used, peppers should be seeded 1-2 weeks earlier than usual.\”
Transplant growing jalapeno peppers out after the danger of frost has passed, the soil is warm and weather settled. Ideal seedlings should have buds but no open flowers.
Set plants twelve to eighteen inches apart, in rows 24 to 36 inches apart.
If using Solar Mulch you can plant two rows together with the plants 18 inches apart.
When you are ready to transplant out, dig a hole about 4 inches deep and four inches round. Fill it with an organic transplant solution like Neptune\’s Fish Fertilizer which is also a good organic fertilizer to start the plants with.
In the event there is a chance for a late freeze or you just want to get an early start use a Row Cover.
Use sandbags, dirt or Hand Pegs To hold the row cover down. You will want to make sure wind cannot get up under the cover. If it does, it will rip the cover.
I use landscape timbers to create a raised garden bed and then use 3/4 PVC pipe to build a frame of some sort. (I hope to have a page on this soon) I will then use 3/4 Inch Snap Clamps to mount the fabric to my raised beds\’ PVC pipe. These make it easy to install and uninstall for the summer. I find that using one clamp every two to three feet works well. You may need more or less depending on the amount of wind your area receives.
In the summer time I can also attach Shade Cloth to my PVC frame to help protect my plants from the sun, birds and animals as well as some large insects.
It is very easy and convenient to use. I used to use screws to mount my plastic and shade cloth, which was hard and time consuming, and lessened the life of the cover. But since I have found the snap clamps the job goes much faster and last longer.
Here in Texas we have a lot of insects, very large insects, so I will also use an Insect Barrier.
But this will come off once it starts getting hot.
To fight insects organically I recommend Safer Soap. I have found that for my garden, this product does the job on my plants and yard. It has a pleasant smell (like saddle soap) and does not bother my dogs or beneficial insects like bees.
I have never had a problem with any diseases on my pepper plants.
I buy good quality seeds so I get good quality products. Of course, I will pay more for the good seeds than I would at a discount store, but the extra cost is worth it.
I only sale good quality seeds in my Garden Store.
However, if you have been subject to diseases in the past, try using Activonate on a regular basis.
You may want to use it even before fungi start showing.
Crop rotation, earthworms, water irrigation can also help prevent diseases.
Bat Guano is also the best organic fertilizer you can use. It has the highest percentage of organic nitrogen at 10 percent and helps control some diseases and insects.
Pick the first peppers promptly when they reach full size and color to encourage further fruit set. Wash and hold at 45 degrees and 95% humidity.
The pepper plants will produce and produce. If you are growing on a patio or in a small space, one plant will produce more than enough for you and even a few for friends.
As long as the plant does not freeze, it will keep producing.Pepper plants are self-pollinating. They do not need bees to produce peppers.
Good luck on your peppers.

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