The Jalapeno is possibly the most famous chilli species in the world and is great for the beginner grower as it is easy to grow and produces an abundant crop. They can be used in a variety of dishes and are a staple ingredient in Tex-Mex cuisine. The Hot Pepper Jalapeno can grow up to 1 metre tall if grown under cover. The fruit is usually picked and eaten when green, however they can be used when fully mature red, and if dried and smoked these are known as Chipotles.
The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chilli peppers—such as the jalapeno, the bhut jolokia, and the world's current hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper—or other spicy foods as reported in Scoville heat units (SHU), a function of capsaicin concentration. Capsaicin is one of many related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids. The scale is named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. His method, devised in 1912, is known as the Scoville Organoleptic Test.
|When to Sow||Sow indoors January to April.|
|Where to Sow||Sow seeds 0.5cm (1/4in) deep, in modules or trays filled with moist compost and place in a warm light position such as a south facing windowsill or where temperature is 18–21°C (65 to 70°F).|
|Likes a sunny position.|
|Prefers well drained soil that must be kept moist.|
|What to do Next||When the seedlings are about 15cm (6in) high, transplant to their final growing positions planting 40cm (16in) apart if in a bed or 2 to 3 plants per pot/container.|
|Once they reach roughly 30cm they will need staking for support.|
|Give a nitrogen feed once 2 to 3 chillies have appeared.|
|Harvest||Harvest in 18 to 20 weeks, from July to October.|
|Handy Tips||The average jalapeño peppers have a heat rating of 2,500 to 8000 on the Scoville scale.|
|Wash your hands immediately after handling chillies.|
|All chillies are better grown in a pot or container because the soil can warm up quickly.|
|If you have only one chilli growing and you see no others forming, pick it, this will encourage more to grow.|
|Companion Planting||Hot peppers like to be grouped with cucumbers, aubergine, tomato, okra, Swiss chard and squash.|
|Nutritional Information||Chillies are rich in antioxidant plant compounds that have been linked with various health benefits. Most notable is capsaicin, which is responsible for the pungent (hot) taste of chilli peppers.|
|Serving Suggestion||Fantastic in salsas and hot and fiery sauces.|
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