jalapenosinva
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Quick question about the chance for mult. pepper harvests

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This is my first jalapeno plant that Ive grown from seed and will be harvesting while in the ground. (Have done seedlings from the ground and seeds from a container). Im really excited about it and am obviously looking forward to tasting the results. One question (Im certainly a novice): will picking the larger ones on the bottom soon increase the chances that the same area of the plant will bear more before the cold weather arrives? Im concerned about how late in the summer it is as well as the fact that the stems haven't become as thick as other plants Ive purchased from a nursery. By the way Im in Northern Virginia.



Maybe this is a ridiculous question but I just wanted to learn about how to maximize the amount of peppers that I can get from this plant this season. If picking now won't help the chances for more this summer I'll likely leave them on a while as I tend to prefer them darker (even red). Thanks!

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stella1751
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I guess I wouldn't pick them. It makes sense that picking fruit off a pepper plant will enable it to expend resources in other areas, so perhaps it would produce more for you. However, I don't think the benefits will be that significant, not on a pepper plant. I could be wrong. I generally harvest my jalapenos when they reach full size and are a rich dark color. Sometimes I let them turn red, if it's early enough in the season.

As for the stems, strong winds often make for strong stems. Many of the nurseries run fans on their plants to help harden them off, and they develop nice sturdy stems. Once your pepper plant endures a few winds, puts on a few peppers, and grows a bit more, it should develop a nice strong stem for you. It's hard to tell from your photo, but the stem on that plant doesn't appear to be spindly, not based on the thickness of the branches.
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rainbowgardener
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I don't grow hot peppers, but I grow bell peppers every year. For bell peppers it is definitely true that leaving them on the plant to turn red, slows down the plant production, reduces the number of peppers you will get from that plant. If you want it to keep setting new peppers, you need to keep picking the developing ones. But at some point when the first frost date is looming, you might as well quit picking, because the new ones being formed won't have time to develop anyway.
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jalapenosinva
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Thanks all for the advice. I think I'll just leave 'em until they max out and get my plants in the ground sooner next year!

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farmerlon
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rainbowgardener wrote:If you want it to keep setting new peppers, you need to keep picking the developing ones. But at some point when the first frost date is looming, you might as well quit picking, because the new ones being formed won't have time to develop anyway.
That's good advice.
I have had Jalapeno pepper plants that are absolutely loaded with fruit this year. But, (as you mentioned) mine have been in the ground for a while... I had all of my Pepper plants in the garden by May 14th, with some having been put in the garden as early as April 23rd.

They definitely produce more if you keep them picked. I've been picking them, and it seems like the plants are loaded full again by the time I turn around. :D

garden5
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Well, if you harvest them sooner, they will set more fruit. If you leave them on the plant, they may get big and turn red, but you will get less of a yield for the year. The more you pick, the more the plant makes.

I've never been able to get red jalapenos, myself. They always get those woody cracks in them while they are still green, so I pick them.
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soil
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i always pick off the first few flowers on my pepper plants, this creates more branches with more blooms later on, if they flower too small they just don't produce as good imo.

for your plant i would just let them mature, you can also overwinter the plants. 2nd year jalapeno harvest are the best flavor and yield for me. come winter before a frost, dig it up and pot it in a pot. keep well watered and warm. it wont grow much over winter and may loose some leaves, plant it in the spring and watch it take off.
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garden5
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soil wrote:i always pick off the first few flowers on my pepper plants, this creates more branches with more blooms later on, if they flower too small they just don't produce as good imo.

for your plant i would just let them mature, you can also overwinter the plants. 2nd year jalapeno harvest are the best flavor and yield for me. come winter before a frost, dig it up and pot it in a pot. keep well watered and warm. it wont grow much over winter and may loose some leaves, plant it in the spring and watch it take off.
I've heard of this theory, but I didn't give it too much credibility, me being of the "if it sets flowers, it's ready to fruit" mind-set.

However, this year I put it to the test when I planted my starts. I picked the flowers off of most of them, leaving a few plant to flower and fruit.

As it turns out, your theory is right-on. The plants with the flowers produced the first fruits, but they stayed smaller than all the other plants and lagged in production all year.

It seems that when you pic the flower off, the plant gets larger and then produces more fruit with every "flush." I'll certainly be picking my flowers next year.
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jalapenosinva
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Soil, I definitely want to bring this plant inside before 1st frost in the hopes of putting it back in the ground next spring. Have never done this before so I have one question: how far around the stem do I need to dig out the plant to ensure that I don't do damage to it's roots? I also keep jalapenos in pots but I have no idea if plants in the ground spread roots further out. I suspect they may.

Thanks.

garden5
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jalapenosinva wrote:Soil, I definitely want to bring this plant inside before 1st frost in the hopes of putting it back in the ground next spring. Have never done this before so I have one question: how far around the stem do I need to dig out the plant to ensure that I don't do damage to it's roots? I also keep jalapenos in pots but I have no idea if plants in the ground spread roots further out. I suspect they may.

Thanks.
Unless you have a huge container, you will invariably damage some roots when you pull the plant. It's for this reason that you will want to prune the plant by about 1/3 before you pot it. This way, the now-shocked/reduced root mass will not have to support so much growth or vegetation.

Anyway, you will want to plant it is a potting soil mix, as dirt in containers can cause drainage issues. So you will end up knocking a lot of the dirt off the root-ball.
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