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Posted by earthworm73 WA z8 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 12, 09 at 13:20

Has anyone successfully grown jalapenos in our area? I have grown bell peppers with good results up here. BTW I am west of the mountains.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Jalapenos

I've grown them for years outside. There is a variety from Nichols called "Early" which grows great here on San Juan Island. The nights are cold enough here, that they never do turn red, grown outside. But they get as hot I like, which is hot. This year, I have a rather large cold frame which I am using exclusively as an experiment for 3 varieties of paprikas, mulatto peppers, and jalapenos. It's more important to me that thew paprikas turn red than the other two.

RE: Jalapenos

Now here's a question right up my alley! Yes jalapenos can be grown on the wet side of Washington's mountains. They are quite prolific as a matter of fact. As beluga01 says though, they are difficult to ripen to red. Most people don't care about that though. I strongly recommend a hybrid variety of Jalapeno. I have grown many hybrid and open-pollinated types of all sorts of peppers and in our climate the hybrids have both the increased vigor (meaning more leaves, flowers and fruit) and disease resistance to produce a crop when the open-pollinated ones struggle.

Early Jalapeno is an open-pollinated (OP) variety. It does grow and produce here but I have had far more impressive results with some hybrid Jalapenos like Jalapa, Chichimeca, Ixtapa and others. The peppers of these hybrids are much larger, in addition to the other characteristics I already mentioned.

One interesting thing with Jalapenos is figuring out when they're hot enough to pick, assuming that heat is what you want. When they are young and green they are often without heat. As they mature they often get a black color to the skin and even more telling they get "corkiness" which is small, brown raised spots and lines on the fruit which have a corky texture. This is usually a sign of maturity and heat. Apparently it's considered an undesirable trait for marketing here in the US so most farmers grow varieties that don't show this and/or avoid it by cultural practices. Bottom line is that it is hard to predict a pepper's heat merely by looking at it. That's part of the fun you just have to embrace. Stressing the plants *mildly*, by being modest with the water and fertilizer, is a good way to bring the heat up. Don't do this until a good number of the fruit are set and sized up though - probably mid August.

FYI, you will probably want a small stake to support the plant at some plant. Otherwise just keep them watered and fertilized in a fully sunny spot and they should do fine.

In all, I have about 43 types of peppers this year. I especially love the Italian frying types. I have about 4 types of Anch/Poblanos, several paprika types, a hybrid Pimiento, red, yellow, orange and lilac bell peppers and others. I'm also experimenting with 4-5 types of Thai peppers this year, although their heat is really beyond me. Somehow I can't help myself though... ;-)

RE: Jalapenos

pepperdude, thanks for the response. If I can't find any hybrid starts in a week or two I will look for some next season. I too am growing one Italian Frying type and it already has one pepper on it. BTW...I am in the Bellingham area. Got any pics of your peppers?

RE: Jalapenos

Hey EW73 - I will have to get some decent pics soon. I took some the other day but the darn sun was out and they are a bit contrasty. Then I'll have to see if I can figure out how to put them on this forum...

Sounds like you are a bit ahead of me. I started most of them in a greenhouse in Puyallup where I work and then set them out about two weeks ago. They are doing well so far, but only 2-3 have an open flower.

The Italian fryers I have are Marconi Rosso (OP), Giant Marconi, Atris, Palladio (yellow), Corno Di Toro (OP) (aka Bull's Horn) and Jimmy Nardello's (OP), which is a totally different looking pepper than the other's but tastes fantastic. I just discovered that one last year. I noted the ones that are OP (open-pollinated) so people don't think I'm just a pusher of hybrids only....

RE: Jalapenos

pepperdude, just get an account at photobucket dot com and upload you pics. Then from there right click on HTML code copy and paste to the body of your message. Pretty easy. Can't wait to see your peppers.


RE: Jalapenos

We grow 50-100+ pepper plants,including Jalepeno, in Pots every year. We put 3 per pot and they do very well. Does take a lot of staking.

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