Why should you grow Jalapenos from seed? That's a legitimate question.
I mean you can just go to the store and buy some plants there. Right?
Yes, but here's why I recommend starting your own jalapeno pepper seeds.
- For one, you never know how well those hot pepper plants in the store were started. They could have very shallow root systems, been given chemical fertilizers, etc..
- For another, the plant's soil mix could be crawling with insects. Yes, I've personally experienced this...
I once brought home some pepper plants, left them in a sunny windowsill in my kitchen and found a bunch of aphids and gnats in my house the next day.
That wasn't fun.
But more importantly, we all need to have choices. When you grow jalapenos from seed you can choose the variety based on your personal tastes.
Now, that's a lot of fun!
Here are some quick Jalapeno facts (in case you're interested):
- Jalapeño peppers are medium hot chillies (depending on variety)
- They are commonly used in main dishes and salads, salsas, guacamole and even bloody marys.
- Containing vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, potassium and folic acid, jalapenos are an ideal pepper to plant from seed.
- They typically produce 25 to 35 peppers a season if given the right start.
Planting Jalapeno Pepper Seeds Indoors
Grow your plants indoors so that the seedlings get the nutrients they need without threat from the outdoor elements or pests.
Sow jalapeno pepper seeds between January to March, depending on how long of a growing season you have and the type of jalapenos you are planting.
For example, the Early Jalapeno typically produces peppers a week or two earlier than other jalapeno varieties so adjust your planting schedule accordingly.
Place your growing medium, such as sterile soil and perlite, inside containers that have holes at the bottom and place a tray underneath to catch the water.
Water the soil thoroughly until moist and then place two to three organic vegetable seeds on top.
Cover these seeds with a very shallow layer of dirt that is no more than ¼ inch deep and lightly water the top of the soil again.
Warm Your Jalapeno Seedlings
As part of the ideal growth cycle, jalapenos thrive if given the right temperature to germinate.
Keep your soil temperature around 80 degrees F and use a heating mat and cover for your container to make things easier.
If you do not have these items, place your seedling tray in a warm area, such as above your refrigerator, and use plastic wrap to seal the top.
When the plants are 4-6 inches tall, move them outside.
Plant outdoor jalapenos in the ground at least 1½ or 2 feet apart, with each row around 14 -18 inches apart.
If using containers, a 5 gallon container works well.
Continue to water the jalapeno plants so that the soil is moist to the touch, but not drenched.
Use a fertilizer that has a balanced NPK rating, such as 15-15-15, once the first peppers appear to give them help during the jalapeno growth cycle.
I hope this helps you grow lots of delicious jalapenos!
And for those of you looking for complete, how-to steps on all indoor growing phases, from germinating your seeds to getting your seedlings to the point where they can safely go outside… Make sure to check out the updated and expanded Pepper Seed Starting Guide. I personally use this resource to start my abundant pepper garden each season, and I’m always here to answer questions!