Never wondered about the lack of jalapeños in my recipes? Let me tell you why: we can’t buy them here. It’s okay, no really, I’ll wait for the shock to wear off.
But seriously, they managed to build this entire country below sea level but somehow growing a few jalapeño plants is an insurmountable problem. Pity us.
The one time I did find a farmer selling Jalapeños, I had to buy a whopping 5 pounds because of a minimum order amount. No problem: I had visions of jalapeño poppers, tables filled with copious amounts of Mexican food, and boatloads of spicy tortilla dips, so ending up with 5 pounds of crunchy, fiery jalapeños could hardly be considered punishment.
They arrived and, happy as a dog with seven tails, I trotted over to my kitchen sure that today would be the day I’d bite down into a fresh crunchy and spicy jalapeño instead of those nasty, mushy canned ones they sell here. Within mere seconds my bubble had bursted… these were little more than glorified bell peppers. There was no heat whatsoever.
It was a black day.
So, I decided it’s time I try my hand at growing my own peppers…
Also picked up a few 4″ pots… I like to get ahead of myself.
See where it says “Exotic Groente“? Groente means vegetables in Dutch. Since when are Jalapeños considered vegetables?! A Jalapeño is a fruit as far as I know!
I meticulously went through the seeds, poking, prodding and checking them, tossing the losers: the smaller, misshapen and colored ones. I sprinkled them in a bowl and poured 1/2 a cup warm (not hot) weak chamomile tea on top of them.
The opinions on soaking the seeds are inconclusive: some say you have to soak them for 2 to 3 days while others say 6 hours max or you’ll suffocate them. I stuck to 6 hours. You don’t want to plant the ones that are still afloat after this time, they’re not likely to germinate, or so I’ve been told.
Gently level it but be very careful not to press it down or replace the seeds.
Now we wait…
For the record: I don’t have green fingers. I’ve killed practically every plant I’ve owned, so I figured this needed to be documented. If I can actually get a jalapeño plant out of this, anyone can.