Jalapeno Companion Plants – What Can I Plant With Jalapeno Peppers?

There are many types of peppers available for growing. There are varieties such as red, green, yellow and even purple peppers. Some of these have been bred to produce hotter or sweeter fruits than others. The most popular type of pepper grown in the United States is the jalapeño (Capsicum annuum). These peppers come in all sizes from tiny seedlings to huge mature specimens. They range in color from bright orange to deep red. The spicy flavor of the jalapeño is well known around the world and they are used in many cuisines including Mexican, Caribbean, South American and Chinese cuisine.

The jalapeno’s long history goes back thousands of years when it was first domesticated by Aztecs and Mayans. Today there are over 400 different species of jalapenos. They vary greatly in size, shape and taste. The largest variety is the Carolina Reaper which grows up to 2 feet tall and weighs up to 5 pounds! Other common varieties include: New Mexico Red, California Orange, Chile Pepper, Sweet Chili and Habanero.

In addition to their culinary uses, jalapenos make excellent houseplants because they grow quickly and require little care. They also have a lot of health benefits. Recent studies suggest that they can help prevent wrinkles, lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. They are a good source of vitamins A and C.

The popularity of jalapenos has given rise to many interesting recipes from the familiar salsa and chili to the more adventurous dishes like goats in a blanket and poppers. The heat level of these peppers can vary greatly, so it is important to choose ones that fit your taste preferences.

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Jalapeno Companion Plants – What Can I Plant With Jalapeno Peppers?

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Hot Pepper Seeds

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Capsicum Annuum Growing Tips

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Capsicum Annuum is the Genus of all the chili peppers including bell peppers. The annuum species are annuals, biennials, or perennials with a large variety of fruit types and forms as well as colors. They are generally cultivated for their fruit and their seeds which are used as spices, food, medicine, and as a nonlethal weapon. Other kinds of “chilies” include chinense species which are usually described as “spicy” rather than “hot”. They contain a high concentration of capsaicin, which is the active ingredient that produces a sensation of burning in the mouth, and also increases the amount of oxygen to the brain.

All parts of the Capsicum plants are irritating to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes; therefore, they require careful handling. Avoid breathing in the dust, wear protective gloves, and do not touch your eyes or face while harvesting the fruits. Be sure to wash your hands before touching any sensitive areas of your body or handling food.

First you have to choose which type of chili pepper you want to grow. There are three ways to grow chilies: from seed, as plants, or buying them as live plants. You can buy hot pepper seeds from any nursery or garden center however most of the seeds you find at the local garden center have been there for a long time and their success rate is low. Buying hot pepper plants will significantly increase your chances of growing hot peppers but it will cost you more money. If you want to save money and have some fun, then buying hot pepper seeds is the way to go.

The first step is to acquire some fresh hot pepper seeds. To do this, simply go to your local grocery store or farmers market and buy some hot peppers. Most hot peppers are between $1 and $5 a pound. The more expensive the hot pepper, the higher quality the seeds will be.

After buying a pound of hot peppers of your choice, take them home and remove the stems, wash them thoroughly, and cut them up into small pieces. Put the small pieces into a bowl of hot water. Soak until all seeds are loosened from the skin.

Scoop out the loosened seeds and place them in a colander. Rinse all the skin away from the seeds. Spread the seeds out to dry in a thin layer. Do not place them together in a pile or they will all stick together. After 24 hours, the seeds should be dry on the outside but still moist on the inside.

You can now plant them.

Plant the seeds in individual cups or pots filled with potting soil. Plant the seeds 1 inch deep and water them well. Place the cups or pots in a sunny spot. Keep the soil moist but not wet. The seeds should begin to germinate in 2 to 3 weeks during spring or 5 to 7 weeks during summer.

When the seedlings are 3 inches tall, it is time to transplant them again. Using your hands, gently lift each seedling and tease away the soil around it without breaking off the roots. If the seedling has more than one root, gently tease them away from each other.

Place the seedlings in their new pots or cups (they can share a pot if they are small). Fill each pot or cup with potting soil and gently tap the soil to settle it around and on top of the roots. Don’t pack it down! Water the soil and place the seedlings in a sunny location. Water the seedlings when the top 1/2 inch of soil is dry.

As your chili plants grow, continue to water them and keep the soil moist. The plants will need more water than most other plants due to their seeds containing a high concentration of capsaicin.

Harvest the fruits when they turn yellowish-red. Don’t pick all the fruits yet, leave some on the plants to ripen and replenish the next crop of chili seeds. When you do harvest the fruits, cut them from the plants and place them in a ziplock bag to store in your refrigerator.

These fruits can be used in a wide range of dishes and pastes. They can be eaten or cooked into a paste and eaten as is or mixed with another food. Use your imagination! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Jalapeno Companion Plants – What Can I Plant With Jalapeno Peppers - Picture

Chili oil

Chili oil is great to use when you want a hint of spice in your meal. It’s also great as a dipping sauce or a salad dressing.

Ingredients:

3 lbs very ripe hot chili peppers (such as Piri Piri)

2 cups Olive Oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions:

Wash the chilies and cut off the stems. Slice them open and carefully remove all the seeds. (They should be very ripe and have lots of dark flesh near the seeds).

Put the chilies into a blender or food processor and blend until they are finely chopped but not yet a paste.

Put the blended chili peppers into a pot over medium-high heat. Stir constantly to avoid burning. When you begin to see wisps of smoke, turn the heat down to low and add the olive oil. Keep stirring until all the oil is mixed in. Add the apple cider vinegar and crushed red pepper.

Stir well and remove from heat.

Let the mix sit for about an hour then carefully stir again and put it back on a low heat to get it warm, but not so much that it is simmering or boiling.

You can use a funnel to fill a bottle or jars with a tight sealing lid (such as Mason Jars). Leave about 1 inch of head space at the top of the jar (to allow for expansion when it heats up). Put the lid on and store in a cool, dark place. It should last for months, if not years.

Jalapeno Companion Plants – What Can I Plant With Jalapeno Peppers - Image

Use chili oil as a dip for veggies or as a salad dressing. It can be used as a marinade for meats and even used to make chili oil popcorn!

Chili powder is a great way to add heat to any dish or meal. It’s easy to make and even easier to use!

Ingredients:

Your favorite hot chili (such as Piri Piri)

Non-Stick Frying Pan

4 tsp Paprika

2 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (more or less to taste), optional

Directions:

Cut the stems off of your chilies and wash them. Cut them in half and place them in a non-stick frying pan. Place the pan on a medium-high heat and let the chilies roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.

Put the roasted chilies into a bowl and cover it with saran wrap ( connected to the edges of the bowl). Let it sit for about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the saran wrap and pour the chili into a coffee filter or a mesh strainer and press it with a spoon to remove all the juice from the pulp. (You can also use a jelly bag to do this step – which will give you a cleaner powder to work with).

Combine all the dry spices in a small bowl and mix them well.

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Sprinkle the spices over the chili powder and stir it well with a spoon.

Let the chili powder sit for about an hour then spoon it into a jar or air tight container for storage.

Use your chili powder to add flavor and spice to all your dishes! Try adding chili powder to pancake batter, meatloaf, or even scrambled eggs. You can also use is as a dry rub on any kind of meat (even tofu!

A delicious and sweet snack, the best way to enjoy honey is to put it on fresh bread or biscuits. It’s also perfect as a glaze on any sort of meat, especially chicken. However you like it, honey is just one more reason to keep bees!

To extract the honey from the honeycomb, set up your hive as usual. Before you use the bees, remove an uncapped brood comb and set it aside (uncapped) for the moment.

Cover all the frames in your super with a fine mesh cover. The smaller the better, because you want to make sure that none of the honey gets trapped in the frames when you are done.

Fill a tub or pool (anything at least 2 feet by 2 feet and at least 6 inches deep)with cool water. The cooler the better.

Place a bucket or similar container under the frames you are about to process and quickly but carefully, place the frames in the water.

The bees will immediately start trying to escape the submersion, but they will find themselves unable to escape through the mesh cover. They will quickly give up trying to escape and you can safely remove the frames from the water and dump out any bees that have escaped.

The remaining bees will be clustered in the middle of the comb. Use a knife to carefully scrape away the bees from the comb and place them (and the honey) in a bucket or container.

Jalapeno Companion Plants – What Can I Plant With Jalapeno Peppers - Image

After you have finished scraping out all the bees, take your mesh-covered frames and place them back into your super. The bees have undoubtedly made a mess of the honey that remained in the frames, but that’s OK – we’ll just fill it back in again later.

Take your bees that you scraped out of the honeycomb and place them in a feeder (a “feeder” is a container with an inch or two of sugar water in the bottom. You can also use a frame from an existing hive – these make great feeders because the bees draw out more honey to fill the gaps where the bees were removed).

Scrap all the honey from the frames and place it in your extractor. (

You do have an extractor, right?

)

Work quickly, as the rest of the bees will be wondering what’s happened to their queen and will start to become agitated. It’s best to do this on a sunny day when you don’t need to worry about whether the bees will calm down or not – that’s your call.

Sources & references used in this article:

Effect of different sanitizers on microbial, sensory and nutritional quality of fresh-cut jalapeno peppers. by …, JDJ Ornelas-Paz, AM Mendoza-Wilson… – American Journal of …, 2010 – cabdirect.org

Optimization of planting dates of Jalapeno pepper (Capsicum annuum ‘Jalapeño’ L.) and cantaloupe (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis Ser.) relay cropped with … by RK Sandhu, NS Boyd, Q Qiu, Z Guan – Plos one, 2020 – journals.plos.org

FERMENTATION OF JALAPENO PEPPER MASH by PW Wilson, GB McClure, JCM Hall – HortScience, 2005 – journals.ashs.org

Evaluation of Jalapeño peppers under different shade cloths. by WF Araujo, KW Migliaccio, DR Seal… – Proceedings of the …, 2015 – cabdirect.org

Vermicompost on the production and nutraceutical quality of jalapeño pepper fruits (Capsicum annuum L.) by B Espinosa-Palomeque… – REVISTA TERRA …, 2020 – terralatinoamericana.org.mx

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