If you love the taste of Jalapenos but can’t take the heat, the Tam Jalapeño is the one for you. With a heat level of only 1,000-1,500 SHUs, this is milder than the typical Jalapeno which averages around 3,000-5,000 SHUs.
The Tam Jalapeno was developed by Texas A&M where it’s designed to have the Jalapeno flavour without the heat, so you can enjoy all the flavour and not worry about it burning your tongue. The Tam Jalapeno pepper plant will grow to 60 to 90cm (2 to 3ft) tall and will produce 8in (3in) long green peppers with shiny and smooth skin. It will ripen when it turns to a dark green colour but will turn red if left on the plant for too long.
Jalapeno peppers are among the most popular and commonly available hot pepper seeds in the world. The 5 to 7cm (2 to 3in) smooth, dark green fruits which ripen to red have thick walls with a rounded tip. Jalapenos are found in a broad range of Latin dishes. Green Jalapenos have a green-vegetable flavour while red have a sweeter flavour and are often pickled or smoked. A chipotle, (pronounced: chi poat lay), is a jalapeño that has been smoked.
Jalapeno are very versatile: hot enough for a good kick, but still mild enough to use as a vegetable and well adapted for short-season growing, they take 75 days to harvest. The heat is concentrated in the seeds and the veins, so if you want it on the milder end of its scale, remove those parts.
They can be easily seeded and added to soups, stews and dips or enjoyed whole when roasted with meats or stuffed. Try them raw, lightly sautéed, or pickled and notice how the heat level and flavour subtly changes with different preparations.
If you are not already a keen fruit and vegetable grower, you will have to try it to believe it…but be warned, shop bought will never be good enough for you again.
Storage of Seeds:
Store seeds away from children, sealed in their packaging in a cool, dry, dark place, or in a fridge. Never store them in a freezer as the sudden temperature drop is likely to kill them. Don't leave the seeds in direct sunlight as the heat generated may kill them.
Sowing: Sow from Mid February to Mid July
Fill small cells or trays with a good sterile seed compost and sow the seeds on the surface. Just cover with a fine sprinkling (3mm) of soil or vermiculite.
Keep the compost moist - don't let the top of the compost dry out (a common cause of germination failure) If you wish, spray the surface with a dilute copper-based fungicide.
Cover the pot or tray with plastic film or place in a heated propagator, south facing window or a warm greenhouse. The ideal temperature is around 18 to 20°C (65 to 72°F)
When the seedlings have produced their first pair of true leaves they can be potted on into individual 7-10cm (3-4in) pots. Use good quality potting compost and mix in some organic slow release fertiliser. Pot the chilli on again before it becomes root-bound.
Water the seedlings regularly, but don't let them become waterlogged as this encourages rot. Don't let them dry out as they rarely recover at this stage. Water the soil, not the foliage. Once the plants have established, it is better to water heavy and infrequently, allow the top inch or so to dry out in between watering.
Seedlings should be grown in good light, but should not be exposed to direct sunlight from late spring to early autumn. Weaker sunlight from autumn to spring is unlikely to do them harm. Once seedlings have put on some growth they need lots of light. Growing them under a grow-light produces excellent stocky plants, as will a warm sunny windowsill. Adult chilli plants need lots of light. However, more than 4 hours or so in hot direct sunlight will dry them out quickly.
Acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 2 to 3 weeks before they are moved permanently outside. Plant them into rich moist soil. Flower do not form and fruit will not set if the temperature is much below 17°C (62°F) for most of the day, so wait until June/July for best results with outdoor planting.
After the first flowers appear, feed every one or two weeks with a half-strength liquid tomato feed. You could also add some Seaweed extract to the water once a week.
Pollinating Flowers: (optional)
Chilli plants are self fertile and will generally pollinate themselves. However, if you want to give them a helping hand to ensure that lots of fruit are set indoors, use a cotton wool bud to gently sweep the inside of the flowers, spreading the pollen as you go. The flower's petals will drop off as the green middle part of the flower starts to swell slightly. This is the chilli pepper beginning to grow.
Chillies will take a few weeks to develop and a further couple weeks to turn from green to red. You may pick them off the plant any time after they are fully developed but the longer you leave them on the hotter they will become. Do not leave them on for too long, as delaying after the chili is ready for harvest will result in a decline of further yields.
A little note: to control the heat, remove the seeds and the membrane on the inside of the pepper before adding to your favourite recipes; chopping it very, very fine will more evenly distribute the heat throughout the dish.
After picking, if you aren't going to eat them fresh, dry the peppers by putting them into a mesh bag, hang the bag up in a dry, airy, but not sunny spot. When they are completely dry, you can make paprika by grinding the peppers. Don't grind the stalks. You can regulate the spiciness of the result by including more or less of the seeds and veins.
Be careful handling these chilli seeds as they can cause a painful burning sensation. We recommend you wear nitrile or latex gloves to protect your hands and avoid touching your face while sowing, harvesting or handling these peppers.
When finished, dispose of the gloves then wash your hands thoroughly. Do not touch sensitive areas, rub your eyes, or visit the bathroom (ouch!) before washing thoroughly. Handle hot peppers with extreme caution, keep out of reach of children and immature adults.
Jalapeño pronounced hah-lah-pain-yo is one of the most well-known spicy chiles (or peppers if you prefer) around the world and originated around the city of Xalapa in the state of Veracruz, Mexico - due East from Mexico City and almost on the Gulf of Mexico.
Its name literally means “from Xalapa” and was changed to Jalapa – and thus jalapeño. The name Xalapa is itself of Nahuatl origin, formed from xālli meaning "sand" and āpan meaning "water place". It is thought that the ubiquitous jalapeño pepper is several thousands of years old.
Chilli terminology is confusing; pepper, chili, chile, chilli, Aji, paprika and Capsicum are used interchangeably for chilli pepper plants in the genus Capsicum.
The word Capsicum comes from the Greek kapto, meaning 'to bite' (a reference to pungency or heat). In Mexico a Capsicum is called a Chile pepper - Chile enthusiasts around the World often use the spelling Chile.
Many people are unaware of the fact that pepper plants are perennials. We typically plant the seeds, reap the benefits of our labour and then let the plants die off when the cold weather hits. However, with a little effort, you can over-winter your pepper plants and have a more fruitful harvest the following year. Over-wintering your plants will bring you a number of benefits. While everyone else is planting seeds in the spring, your plants will have a head start with well-established root systems and stems. The harvest will come much sooner and last much longer, producing much more that a first year plant would.
At the end of the growing season, when the temperature begins to drop, pepper plants will become dormant. They are finished producing flowers and pods for the year and require much less sunlight and water. This is the time to begin the over-wintering process.
The first step for over-wintering your pepper plants is to cut them back drastically, leaving only a short stem. This may seem a bit harsh, but it will make your plant concentrate its energy on re-growth, rather than trying to sustain older, un-productive vegetation. Re-potting your plants in a smaller container will also help your plant reserve its energy for hibernation.
The most important step is to place your plants in a warm area that will give them the best chance of surviving the winter. Most of us don’t have a greenhouse, so a sunny windowsill will work well. If the temperature inside is comfortable to you, chances are your plants will enjoy it as well. Continue to water your plant, but do so much less often. The soil should be moist, but not damp as this will promote the growth of mould.
If you are successful in over-wintering your pepper plants, you can be sure to have an incredibly fruitful harvest the following year. While everyone else is still watering seedlings, you will be enjoying fresh, delicious peppers.
- Additional Information
Average Seed Count 20 Seeds Common Name Mild, 1,000 to 1,500 SHU. Other Common Names Peppers, Capsicum, Chilli, Chile or Chilli Family Solanaceae Genus Capsicum Species annuum Cultivar Jalapeño Tam Synonym Very Mild Jalapeño Hardiness Tender Perennial often used as an Annual Fruit Smooth, dark green fruits which ripen to red Height Grows to around 1m (36in) tall Aspect Grow in good light, but should not be exposed to direct sunlight Soil Rich moist soil. Time to Sow Sow from mid February to mid June Harvest Pick them off the plant any time after they are fully developed Time to Harvest 75 days to harvest