When to harvest jalapenos?

penserosa(z6 NJ)August 16, 2005

Did I pick my jalapenos too soon? The plant set fruit pretty early, it seemed, but the peppers have just been sitting there for a good six weeks without seeming to grow any longer. The longest pepper is 2 inches. I picked it b/c it was turning red, as was another (not as visible in pic). I also read that the lines (cracks) on the peppers mean that they're hotter or tastier (?). Haven't cut into them yet, but they're quite firm to the touch.

Thanks!

Pat

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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

They're OK to eat at any stage that you want them.

The little woody veins that develop are called "corking" and are a sign of approaching maturity and usually also one of increasing heat levels.

Most of the years that I've grown them I picked them green when they had well developed corking, but now I pretty well only pick them full red but generally still firm. The flavor is much better when they are red ripe, sweeter and more complex.

.....Alan.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 1:51PM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

I'm the same as Alan. I used to always pick them green but when they "corked" but now I usually wait until they are completely red but still firm. But like he said, you can practically pick and eat them at any stage.

-Todd

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 2:44PM
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penserosa(z6 NJ)

Thanks for the replies! I wonder why mine are so short?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 9:15PM
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reeldoc(7 NC)

I don't like mine hot so I pick them just as the first cracks appear. Girlfriend likes to pick just before they turn red.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 9:49PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

There can be a real variety in overall lengths, widths, and colorations of jalapenos from the various pictures I've seen over the years and from the plants I've grown.

Two of the pictures in this thread show jalapeno pods that appear to be fully purple yet in all the years I've grown them I've never had any that were more than splotchy purple.

I've had some pods that were near to four inches long while some others on the same plant barely exceeded an inch at maturity. I really like them wide myself as they are easier to clean.

.....Alan.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 1:07PM
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keith57(z5IL)

I pick all of my chiles when ripe. You can get generic green in the store. No matter what chile, I wait for red,
yellow, orange or purple. That is one of the reasons why I like to grow them myself. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 1:47PM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

Alan
You say that you like your peppers wide so they're easier to clean. What kind of things do you fill them with? What do you do with them then? I stuff mine with a spicy breakfast sausage like Jimmy Dean's Hot Sausage then smoke them for about 8 hours with pecan wood in my offset firebox horizontal smoker.

-Todd

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 2:08PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

Cheese mostly. Cut the stem end off, scoop out the seeds and membrane (got to remember to try that potato peeler), stuff them with cheese, then stand them upright in a muffin tin and bake until the cheese bubbles.

I like the sausage ones too, but usually it's cheese. More flavor than a popper and not quite so much fat.

Lately I've been thinking it might be interesting to try a fruit stuffing like maybe a tangerine (mandarin) section. Have to try one and see how it comes out once it's cooked.

.....Alan.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 9:54AM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

Mmm... The cheese ones sound great. I'll have to try that soon. Sometimes the sausage ones can get overwhelming. They're quite rich and you can get tired of them after a couple.

For the sausage ones I cut them in half then then scoop out the inside stuff. Funny story... the first time I did that I didn't wear any latex gloves or anything. I'd cup the halved jalapeno in one hand and scoop the insides out with a spoon with the other. Well, about 20 peppers later my left palm started burning and when I looked at it it was bright red with the some of the skin turning white. Ugh... I learned to use a glove on that hand next time.

-Todd

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 11:59AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

I put up four and a half quarts (or was it five?) of pickled ripe jalapeno rings the other day. Remembered my gloves and everything.

Unfortunately, as I was slicing the peppers into rings I did not realize I'd also sliced the tips of the glove on my left index and middle fingers. Got everything cut up, into the jars, and was pouring the pickling solution over them when I realized that two fingers of my left hand were burning.

And burn they did too, all night.

No pain, no gain (laughing).

.....Alan.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 2:16PM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

Nice to hear I'm not the only one Alan.
-Todd

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 5:29PM
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jenterra(z5 CO)

This is my first time growing outside....First place with garden space. I have peppers....lots and lots of peppers. So the black splotches on the jalapenos is good? Is that them changing to red? I thought I messed up. We only see them green at the store. I figure I sound stupid, but this is all new to me. I am so excited to have a bunch of different types of peppers growing a short walk away for cooking use. I sure was missing out at our old place, no room for a garden.

Jen

    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 10:18AM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

Jen
When the peppers turn from green to red they may appear to have those "black splotches" you're refering to. You can kinda see the darkening areas on these two jalapenos from my garden.

Later they'll turn this bright red:

-Todd

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 10:05AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

huh.... heres mine...

now the story...

SO i'm cutting up some 'peno's and i forget to wash my hands good. Take out contacts go to bed. Next morning before work. Washin hands, put contact on finger, insert. INSTANT burnification...horrible. Rip it out, try other eye, same thing. Washed contacts atleast 10 times...Still burned every time. Had to throw contacts away and go get eye test.

Why are my bananas (peppers) that are growing right in the same 18gallon container with Jalapenos hot??? I've got 4 in that same container and they've done wonderful, but god damn. I'm not big on the heat!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 11:09PM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

Frank
Ha... Ah yes, the contacts. When I lived in an apartment I had jalapenos growing on my porch in pots. I'd cut one up to eat with my breakfast burrito, then wash my hands well. My eyes were burn for a good 15 min or so after I would put them in and this went on for a coupld days before I realized it was the residual oils on my fingers. Ouch.

Ok... insert comical Texas/Wisconsin jokes here. ;-)

Todd
/Former Wisconsinite

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 11:26AM
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KCLee(5 NY)

I started my jalapenos from seed for the first time (I usually buy plants). The plants grew fantastic (about 2-1/2 feet plus tall) with a lot of peppers. However, as of today, I only have been able to harvest one or two. The package says 72 days to harvest, well, it's been about 90 days since I planted the seedlings in the raised bed. No corking on most of them, a little sign of them turning dark, but not much at all. Does anyone have any ideas on what might be causing the delay? Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 10:10AM
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laidbackdood(Australia.WA.)

Hi,From my experience,those lines happen on mature jalepenos.
Its good to prune back some leaves,so the plant puts its efforts into the fruits.A soluble fert high in potassium will
encourage flowers and fruits.Feed lightly everytime,remove
laterals like you would a tomatoe to form a Y shaped plant
with no leaves below The v bit(once established).My jalepenos
when green never have those lines.They are a very nice chilli when red on the tree,sweet and a bit hot towards the top.
when they get those lines,they are a short step away from
shrivelling up. Cheers

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 3:36AM
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profstuart

I planted my first-ever jalapeno 6 or 7 weeks ago (a home depot or Loews plant that had a small fruit on it). Within a week, the fruit was fairly large (an inch or so) and green, so I picked it an tasted it. WOW! It was a scorcher! So I thought, "Cool...what a great plant!" Here it is weeks later, there are 8 or so fruits on the plant, about 2 inches, dark green, first signs of corking. I picked and tasted one last night and not even a hint of sting. Very mild. Is this a soil problem? How could a more mature fruit be less powerful than a young-un?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 12:24PM
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mitch32803

I have a young plant, maybe 3-4 months old, 1 to 1.5 feet, it has yielded maybe 4-5 fruit. all have turned red, very nice peppers.

It receives alot of water, it has rained alot here in FL lately, but my concern is the leaves are always are yellowish and just doesn't seem healthy, is it normal. Does a jalapeno plant prefer sunlight over shade. I have learned dryer atmospheres and sandy soil are good also, right? thanks

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 11:27PM
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shelbyguy(z5 IL)

leaves yellowing from the bottom of the plant upwards are a sign of a root problem; in your context i'd say the plant has wet feet.

i chop the top off my jalapeños, and core them with a vegetable peeler. I then fill them with a mixture of grated onion, minced garlic, and creme cheese. top with a piece of bacon, and grill in an apparatus from iron desert

Here is a link that might be useful: a really spiffy grilling device for jalapenos

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 7:13AM
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wyndell

One of my favorite recipes is to cut the jalapeno in half, fill with with cream cheese, then wrap in bacon (use toothpick to hold bacon). I usually cook these on the grill. Have also hollowed out the jalapeno and done the same thing but takes longer for bacon to cook since you have to stand it upright. Hadn't thought about baking in a muffin pan but would work in the winter.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 12:06PM
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bthompson_critical-data_com

I purchased a jalapeno plant on a lark; don't know the name or variety. It's grown wonderfully; lots of nice long green peppers. What's strange is that all of them, up until now (Late August) were green. Now there are three small ones on the lower branches that started out red and round. They never were green. What up? The green ones are very large, and show no sign of turning red yet. How do I get red ones and green ones on the same plant?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 10:03PM
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elmosdaddy(6)

From my own experience you can pick jalapenos ANYTIME. Here's the hah-hah explanation. I got one of those generic green jalapenos from the store as my first adventure into the land of Scoville. I planted the seeds and the plants started growing. And grow they did. And grow, and Grow, and GROW!!! The thing set fruit like a cross between rabbits and dandelions. So, in my deluded ignorance, I figured, "Hey, I wonder what they taste like when they're only a 1/2 inch long? They couldn't be hot 'yet', 'could they?' Now, mind you, I can eat the tail off a jet engine in flight, but I NEVER expected the heat that came out of that tiny little sucker. It was SO HOT that the tears just kept rolling down my face. I could barely make out the kitchen door to get inside and grab a bottle of Irish Whiskey to quench the flames. There were two reasons for grabbing the Irish Whiskey: 1) It was the first liquid I could lay my hands on, let alone my tongue 2) I love Irish Whiskey (Bushmills, natch) and (okay there were THREE reasons) 3) I read on some pepper comapany's web site that the only things that inhibit the burn of capsaicin are fat and alcohol. Seeing how I didn't have a bottle of corn oil handy and seeing how I would have passed on that if I did have one, I went for the logical, tasty, recommended choice: a few good gulps of the water of life. And it did work, and it did taste good. In fact, I had another few sips after the burn subsided, just for good measure.

The moral of the story is: it's not the size that matters - with jalapenos anyway.

Viva el fiero!!!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 3:04PM
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barkamama

Hey! When your skin burns from jalepenos, etc. it can be resolved by soaking your hands in coke! My friend had the same thing happen and it burned for days. She said it was excruciating. She asked friends and neighbors what to do and she put them in sour cream, milk, ketchup, mustard, and just about everything in the house. Then out of the blue she tried coke. She said it bubbled like crazy when she stuck her hands in it. She soaked them 3 times in coke and they were good as new!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 5:56PM
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loswan(7)

I never knew to leave the cracks or go red with jalapenos, most recipe books show them green, they did tell me that with the length of time to go red, you jeopardize the growth of the other peppers growing together, takes longer to ripen and regrowth will take longer, so my question is how much longer? They say in stores red of any pepper is more expensive is this why?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 5:21PM
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