Things are about to get heated in Veggie Bootcamp with hot pepper plants!*
Growing your own fresh produce is the best! We offer jalapeños and banana pepper starters at Rulfs. Jalapeños are rich in vitamins A and C, and also potassium. The spicy element of hot peppers comes from a compound called capsaicin, and it's this that offers a lot of their health benefits too. Banana peppers are high in fiber, and vitamins A and C.
Hot pepper plants love heat, so when planting, choose a place with 6-8 hours of sunlight a day for your starters. The soil should be well-draining, and the bed weeded and nutrient-rich from compost or Garden Mix.
Jalapeno plants will do well if planted 14-16 inches apart, banana peppers prefer 12-24 inches space between plants. Keep the starters well watered until you notice them begin to grow new leaves, then cut back on watering to when the soil feels dry.
Mulch will help keep the soil moist around the plants, but don't put the mulch too close to the growing peppers as it can stifle them (a few inches away from the stem is fine).
Hot peppers can be harvested at any stage of their growth, but bear in mind that their heat and flavor doesn't come in fully until they are mature - so you may have to be patient to get that spiciness! Pick the first two peppers to appear on each plant when they reach a size you are happy with. This allows the plant to continue growing more fruit as the season progresses.
Remember: Be careful when handling hot peppers! Wear gloves and don't touch your eyes.
Both of these peppers will last about a week in the refrigerator. Pop them in a paper bag once you have brought them in from the garden and place the bag in the crisper of your refrigerator. They can also be frozen, pickled or canned.
Check out these recipes to try!
Share your own recipes and tips on our Facebook and spread the homegrown love!
*While stocks last. Our Veggie Starters sell fast, and so we cannot guarantee availability of any one item.
*We ask that all visitors please follow social distancing guidelines of leaving 6 feet between you and others, and wearing masks to reduce the risk to yours and other households. Thank you in advance!