I have always had great luck growing jalapeños every year in my garden. One year I had 8 plants and they produced so many jalapeños I ended up giving most of them away. One of my friends in turn gave them to his mother-in-law and she pickled most of them. When I visited him a few months later I was treated to some of the pickled peppers and they were fantastic. I have since learned how to pickle peppers, but that is for another post.
This year I am not having very much luck, in fact I have not gotten one single jalapeño. I only planted one jalapeño plant this year because they are usually very productive. I believe the reason the jalapeño plant is not producing is because the Trinidad scorpion plant I have planted right next to it has gotten huge. I knew the Trinidad scorpion plant was sizable, so I planted it a good two feet away from any of the other plants. It has not so much grown tall as it has grown wide. It is a shame I will not be getting many jalapeños this year, but I am looking forward to seeing how many scorpion peppers I get. The scorpion pepper plant has not started to flower yet, but I am told it is a late season pepper so I am not too concerned… yet.
Some have asked me why I am upset that I will not be having any jalapeños this year and to that I say the jalapeño is one of the most versatile if not the most versatile of all the peppers. When I harvest my jalapeños I can look forward to jalapeño poppers made the real way, fresh salsa, incredible nachos, and I cannot even begin to mention all the dishes that I add the ever humble jalapeño to give it that extra little zip. So not having jalapeños to cook with is a real loss for me. Granted I will have a lot of other peppers to cook with such as the Thai chiles, habaneros, cayenne peppers, nardello peppers and, chili peppers. Those are all great but I can definitely say the jalapeño will be sorely missed this year. I would have to say if anything will take the jalapeños place for the year it will have to be the chili pepper. Though it is not big enough to stuff, it certainly lends the perfect amount of heat for the pepper lover in us all, and it may even convert a few non pepper loving people.
If anyone has any suggestions as to how to use the peppers mentioned in this article, please send me a recipe I’m always looking for new ways to use the peppers I’m growing.