Jalapeño Peppers Not Hot Enough

Question:

I finally planted several Jalapeño Peppers and I’ve been pleasantly surprised on how well they have grown but disappointed that the flavor has been quite mild instead of hot. My wife thinks I picked them too soon. What do I need to do to increase the heat?

Answer:

Your wife is correct. You’re harvesting the peppers too early.
  • When mature, Jalapeño Peppers should be three-inches long and two-inches wide. The color will cycle from a green to a darker almost blackish green color. Some varieties of hot peppers do turn a blackish red. If left on the plant long enough, all the varieties will turn a red color. Red Jalapeños have a wonderfully sweet/hot taste.
    • Once you think maturity has been reached, harvest a few and check their flavor. If the taste is suitable, then you'll know you can pick the rest when they reach that stage. If they’re not quite spicy enough for you, wait a few more days and try again. You'll need to keep trying the peppers at different stages until the taste suits you.
  • The Scoville Heat Unit Scale measures the spicy heat or pungency of each pepper variety. This scale runs from twenty-five hundred to over a five million. Jalapeño Pepper is around ten thousand while the Ghost Pepper is over a million. In addition, geography plays a role, as mature chili peppers are more intense the closer they’re grown to the equator. Hence, a mature  Jalapeño Pepper growing in Orange County will be hotter than those in San Jose or Portland Oregon.
  • Jalapeño Peppers sold locally are not being grown in the Bay Areas. They’re probably from Southern California or Mexico.
  • If they continue to be too mild then you should plant another more intense variety next year.

Note:

When harvesting hot or chili peppers, you should carefully snap each pepper from the plant. Better yet, use a pair of sharp garden shears or scissors to cut the stem an inch or so above each pepper. It’s highly recommended to wear a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands especially those with nicks and cut from any of the plant juices. Also, don’t touch your eyes for whatever reason as you will encounter severe and intense discomfort.

Question:

Our new puppy is getting these little welt marks on his stomach after lying on the grass. He does have a flea collar. Is there a safe pesticide that can be sprayed on the lawn that would kill the little bugs that are attacking him?

  • Before I’d spray anything, I’d check with your veterinarian. The problem may not be bugs; instead, your puppy may have skin allergies.
  • Funny as it may sound, dogs can have as many allergies as humans.
    • The Jack Russell in our family is one allergic dog. He is allergic to grass but also has food allergies. We are very careful about his diet and the meditation allows him to enjoy the outside.