If you like hot and spicy food, I’m sure you’ve had your eyes water from jalapeño peppers a time or two. Have you thought about growing them yourself? I’m grown them a few times and there are many reasons for doing so. Jalapeño peppers have more benefits than just clearing out your sinuses while ingesting them. There are some health benefits. Hot peppers have shown to reduce blood pressure, may protect against some forms of cancer, may boost metabolism and, believe it or not, improve digestion. They contain vitamin A and C as well as beta-carotene and are low in fat and calories.
They are very easy to grow; just make sure they get plenty of sun. The growing period for a jalapeño plant is 70–80 days. When mature, the plant stands two and a half to three feet tall. Typically, a single plant will produce twenty five to thirty five pods. You will probably only need one plant. Jalapeño plants have shown to be a good repellant against some insects and critters. Many gardeners plant jalapeño pepper plants near their other crops to take advantage of this natural repellant and protect them.
Some say that jalapeño are really hot. Well, yes and no. They can be pretty hot, but if you compare them to other peppers they are child’s play. From jalapenomadness.com below are the hotness rankings of peppers from ‘very mild’ to ‘are you kidding me?’:
- El Paso (Very mild)
- Red Chile
- Habanero (One of the hottest grown – 30 to 50 times hotter than a jalapeño)
- Bhut Jolokia!
It is an interesting list. Frankly, I like spicy food, but I’m scared of anything hotter than Tabasco. I’ll stay with my jalapeño peppers, thank you very much. As the above photo shows, my jalapeño peppers are close to pickin’ time. Soon I’ll be enjoying sliced jalapeño peppers with cheese on tortilla chips. Yummy.
Do you have any recipes involving jalapeño peppers?