HonoluluGirl
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How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers? Do they turn red? I've been watching my Jalapeno peppers grow bigger, but they're not changing colors.

Thanks.

JayPoc
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

Easy....pick them whenever you need to make up a batch of salsa, pico, or whatever. Seriously though, you can pick them at any stage of the game. They will turn red when ripe, but you don't have to wait. Heat and sweetness will change a bit as you go along.

HonoluluGirl
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

Thank you JayPoc. Can you tell me do they get sweeter or hotter the longer I keep them on the plant? Do they get sweeter or hotter when they get ripe? At what stages do I pick them if I want them at their sweetest or hottest? Thanks!

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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

As peppers ripen they get more fruity. Realize some peppers like Jalapeno's have been hybridized a lot some are hot some are not.

If you have a hot pepper that is hot and you want it a little hotter, don't over water it. Too much water will dilute the heat. As they get redder, usually they do get a little hotter.

If you want a hot pepper even hotter, after they have turned red, dry the pods with the seeds. Desiccating them concentrates the heat. The peppers can be reconstituted before use. This works especially well with Kung Pao and Cayennes.
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PunkRotten
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

As they ripen (turn red) they get a little sweeter and hotter. They make chipotles out of them by smoking these ripe jalapenos.

outdoorjim
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

I've grown jalapenos the past few summers and a few of them ripen to red but a lot seem to stay green all season.

You can eat em whenever you feel like :)

imafan26
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

Interesting. I have not had any green pepper stay green all season, they all turn color if not red then some other color like yellow, purple, or brown.
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hendi_alex
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

While jalapenos can be eaten at any stage, I consider them ripe when they get the little curved marks all along them. They are likely to be hotter then. I've found no way to predict how the red ones will taste, except that they are always sweeter. As far as hotness is concern, sometimes it seems to intensify, other times seems to go away all together. But then the perception of heat level is probably just varying from pepper to pepper, as it seems logical to me that the heat would increase with maturity. We generally let our jalapenos develop until they get thick walled, then harvest at any point between then and fully red mature. We mostly grow the milder forms such as tam or fooled you, but also grow a few regular hots as well.
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HonoluluGirl
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

Thank you all. I picked a green jalapeno, chopped it up and sprinkled it on my salad. It wasn't hot at all. I'll wait and see how they taste when they turn red.

imafan26
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

If the Jalapeno is not hot at all, you may have a variable ones. Some of the Jalapeno M have been like that. One in five peppers are hot the rest are like bell peppers. The Waialua Jalapeno from UH so far have been fairly even in heat. You can get UH seeds from the CTAHR seed lab or from master gardener booths at open markets. They go once a month. You can find out their schedule by calling Pearl City Urban Garden Center.

http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/seed/Downlo ... 20Form.pdf

Email Desmond first, he will give you instructions on how to send in the payments and the total amount. It has been a while. I don't remember if I had to send a SASE.

Try Serranos they are slightly hotter than Jalapenos but they are used in salsa and pretty much the same way as Jalapenos and they have not been hybridized as much so the heat is more consistent.
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hendi_alex
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

For less spicy jalapeños, grow in morning only sun, water more regularly, pick when less mature. For hotter jalapeños, grow in full sun, hold back water to slightly stress the plant, harvest after little crescent marks appear on the fruit. Of course hotness varies by variety, by plant, and by other growing conditions and other factors therefore is not totally predictable.
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feldon30
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

hendi_alex wrote:For hotter jalapeños, grow in full sun, hold back water to slightly stress the plant, harvest after little crescent marks appear on the fruit. Of course hotness varies by variety, by plant, and by other growing conditions and other factors therefore is not totally predictable.
I've experienced this first hand! Be mean to your peppers and they'll be mean back. ;) I grew some scotch bonnets (habanero) and forgot to water a few times (I was younger then and not quite so responsible) and they were hotter than blazes.
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ElizabethB
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

I love the flavor of jalapenos but I am not a fan of really hot peppers so I pick them while they are green but before "cracks" appear on the skin. Lots of flavor but low heat.
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hendi_alex
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

Try some of the non spicy jalapenos. 'Tam' and 'fooled you' are two good ones.
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HonoluluGirl
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

Since my original post on April 8th, my jalapenos are still green. They're not changing colors at all. They look nice; they are a good size. I've been waiting a month for them to change colors. They're in full sun, and the plants look happy.

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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

I had a thought about this. I realise you're in Hawaii, and I'm not all that familiar with your growing season... but... The jalapenos I'm growing show days-to-maturity as 65-green, 85-red. Since they start out green, they'll be green for a long time. Then, where they're ready as a green, my plants still have roughly 3 weeks to wait until they turn red.

I haven't seen this come full cycle yet on my plants, but the way I will be looking at them, is when they get to a "good size" for being ripe and green, (i don't know what that is... but I hope I'll know it when I see it) I would expect to wait another 3 weeks if I want them red. I want mine green, and hot, so my goal will be pick them when they show the barest hint of red. That's my plan anyway.

What is the advertised DTM for your seed? And how close are you to that mark?

I've seen seed listings where peppers brag about holding a certain colour for a long time on the plant. I figure that helps market growers harvest a larger crop at once, while it is all the same colour.

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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

The peppers should turn red eventually, they do stay green a long time and that is normal. I never really took note of how long the peppers take to turn red. They just all seem to want to turn red about the same time.
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HonoluluGirl
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

Ha, the peppers finally started to turn red. I picked and ate my first red pepper a week ago, and it was both sweet and hot. Yummy!

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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

HonoluluGirl- I've read it can take up to or over 100 days for them to turn red in some case. That's by seed though not sure when you planted it

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Gary350
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

Best way I know if Jalapeno peppers are ripe is, pick one, cut it in half, stick your tongue on it. If it is not hot it is not ripe. If it is a tiny bit hot it is still not ready to harvest.

When they are ripe put them in the kitchen blender and turn then into a green milk shake. They make good paint stripper and work good to clean oil and grease of the lawn mower and garden tiller.

imafan26
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Re: How do you know when to pick Jalapeno peppers?

The cracks on Jalapeno's are genetic. I don't know if they are an indication of heat, but it seems like the hotter ones have it more.
Jalapenos vary in heat from almost none in the TAM's to 1500-8000 shu. It is a milldly hot peppers.

I also discovered that the more recently hybridized a pepper is, the more unstable it can be. So recently developed peppers like Carolina Reaper and Ghost which are among the hottest in the world can produce peppers that are not hot because they are not stable yet. Older varieties that have been isolated and line bred through many gernerations are the most stable.

Peppers do cross polinate so if you grow different varieties next to each other and save seed, the next generation may be a hybrid.

In Hawaii, I prefer to grow the larger and pendulous peppers. Hawaiian chilies are good, but the bulbuls and mejiros will cap them all for you unless you cage the pepper. If you let peppers get red on the bush though the birds can see them easier and they will even go after the pendulous ones too.
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