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Jalapenos

Jalapeño peppers are arguably the most popular hot pepper. This versatile pepper can be used in salsas fresh or pickled, roasted, sautéed or fried. Jalapeno pepper seeds should be started indoors in January in a sprouting tray. Peppers like it hot so when starting them from seed using a seedling warmer will greatly increase germination speed. When sprouted, the air around the plant must be kept warm (around 80 degrees F) to keep the plant growing properly. Once two sets of true leaves appear the seedlings can be moved to larger pots to continue growing until they are set outside after the risk of frost has past. As with all plants started indoors the seedlings must be hardened off by placing them outside in ever increasing increments for about a week to ease them into outdoor elements. After they have been placed outside and the soil has warmed be sure to mulch around the base of the plant for moisture retention and keep weeds down. Water evenly especially when temperatures rise because although peppers like it hot they do not like being dry. Care should be taken when handling hot peppers like Jalapenos when cooking because the capsaicin in the pepper can burn eyes and irritate skin. Jalapenos are rated between 2,500 and 8,000 on the Scoville heat index.