Right before the unusually early cold snap, jalapenos were plentiful here in Florida. Jalapenos love temperatures around 80-85 Fahrenheit and should be harvested when they are full size, 5 to 7 inches and are firm and bright green in color. The peppers can be allowed to change colors and picked when they are orange or red but the more peppers picked, the more the plant produces. When harvesting you should cut off the pepper, leaving about 1 inch of the steam attached. This will allow the pepper to keep fresh longer.
Our New Smyrna Beach gardener had a great crop this year and threw together, without measuring, this delicious salsa full of tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, onion and lime juice. Looking for a more detailed recipe? Here is the Top 20 Best Sales Recipes according to Allrecipes (one of our favorite recipe sources).
Jalapenos can easily be grown indoors if you have a sunny window or spot to keep them in during the colder months. They are a great container plant as long as they have good moist soil and sunlight. They don’t like standing water of any kind though, so be sure to check for proper drainage.
Happy Gardening in 2011!