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If you love hot peppers, then Zapotec Jalapenos are right for you. This pepper has excellent flavor, production, and a higher-than-normal jalapeno heat. As a result, Zapotec jalapeno has become the most sought-after selection for those who love jalapenos. Check out the following article for more details about this particular variety and how to grow and care for Zapotec Jalapenos.
What is Zapotec Jalapeno?
The Zapotec jalapeno is an old heirloom pepper from the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. When picked green, this pepper is incredibly hot and has a rich, smoky flavor. Its peppers are usually round and have a moderate amount of corking. While this pepper is scorching, it’s also one of the most versatile varieties of pepper.
As with most jalapenos, Zapotec jalapeno is a very versatile pepper for cooking and has a deeper flavor that is an heirloom and a hint of warmth.
Peppers grow to a typical size between 2 and 3 inches in length, but they are delicious. When they are picked green, their taste is intense, almost smoky, becoming soft as they mature into a dark red hue. The heat is higher than average for a jalapeno. Many of them also contain significant caps (small cracks that are typical for jalapenos).
It is believed that the Zapotec jalapeno was brought to the United States by the late great Beth Boyd, a chili enthusiast who brought the seeds back from Oaxaca. This variety of pepper has been gaining popularity with farmers recently because it was harvested from several seed sellers.
Regarding the backyard, Zapotec can be found in the same garden as other varieties of jalapenos, with robust plants that can grow to 3 feet in height if given enough space. With suitable soil or a mixture of pots, count on abundant harvests of delicious and delicious Zapotec jalapenos.
How to plant Zapotec Jalapeno Peppers?
Based on the duration of the season, you can plant Zapotec jalapeno seeds up to 10 weeks before the typical day of the last frost. The aim is to have the jalapeno seedlings in place to be transplanted after the temperatures at night remain higher than 10 deg C (50 degrees F).
You can plant Zapotec jalapeno seeds directly into damp (but not soggy) potting soil. Or use the method with a paper towel to sprout the pepper seeds, after which you can carefully move the germinated seeds into the potting soil. The seedlings should be kept under grow lights or in a bright south-facing window until they are ready to transfer.
Maintain the soil’s moisture. However, avoid overwatering since this could lead to damping. It is not necessary to apply fertilizer before the seedlings begin to show their leaves. Alternatively, you could prevent fertilizing entirely when your potting soil already contains certain nutrients.
Transfer your Zapotec jalapeno plant outside once nighttime temperatures don’t fall below 10 degrees C (50 degrees F). Plant them either in the garden or in pots. In flower beds in the ground, you should plant Zapotec jalapenos not less than 12 inches apart and, at minimum, 15 inches apart to prevent overcrowding. Zapotec jalapenos will tolerate containers of different dimensions. However, for the plants to achieve maximum potential, you should plant them in 5 gallons or larger pots.
Peppers can tolerate shade to a certain extent; however, to ensure better health and more efficient plants, plant them in the area that gets full sunlight (at minimum 6 hours of direct sun each day). Also, ensure to water the transplant well to lessen the shock of transplantation.
How to Care for Zapotec Jalapeno Peppers?
After they are established, the peppers will be simple to take care of. Maintain your Zapotec jalapenos well-hydrated, but be careful not to drown the roots.
For an additional boost of nutrients, apply tomato fertilizer or an all-purpose fertilizer for plants – liquid fertilizer with slow release could be effective. In general, peppers do most efficiently with nitrogen during the spring and later the addition of potassium and phosphorus for the remainder of the season.
Note Regarding my Zapotecs growing in containers, I prefer to apply organic bloom fertilizer mixed with blood meal before transplanting. After that, use fertilizer spikes that release slowly until the fall.
See Also: Scotch Bonnet vs Habanero
When to Harvest Zapotec Jalapenos?
Similar to most jalapenos, Zapotec jalapenos should be taken when they reach the maximum amount (about 2 inches in the case of Zapotecs); they have developed a darker, brighter green hue. Unfortunately, there are occasions when you see smaller jalapenos that don’t reach their full size. However, so long as you observe their transition from the pale, light green to a darker shade, they are now ready for harvest.
Zapotec jalapenos are also harvested after they change color to red. They are ripe red Zapotec jalapenos that can be eaten similarly to green ones. However, they have a smoky flavor, a sweeter taste, and are slightly spicier. Note: I love using red jalapenos to make the base for hot sauces!
Because Zapotec jalapenos are open-pollinated, you can save seeds of fully mature (red) peppers and plant them same year after year. To prevent accidental cross-pollination cultivating a variety of peppers, it is possible to separate the buds: carefully cover the entire branch with a mesh bag. Then, watch for the flowers to self-pollinate and for the peppers to grow, after which you can remove the bag and use small lanyards to locate them in a seed saving.
A couple of mature Zapotec jalapenos should yield enough seeds to last for several years of plantation in a small garden for salsa.
Conclusion: Zapotec Jalapenos
Growing Zapotec jalapenos is not tricky and can be done with little care. You must keep the soil moist but not wet and fertilize regularly to keep the plant healthy. You can use an all-purpose vegetable fertilizer or a slow-release pepper fertilizer. The fertilizer should contain a high nitrogen level during the spring and higher phosphorus and potassium levels during the rest of the season.
Zapotec jalapenos are small, 2 to 3 inches in diameter, and have a wonderful, smoky flavor when picked green. As they ripen, they develop a sweet flavor. In addition, they have a higher-than-average heat and corking, which adds to their taste. You can grow Zapotec jalapenos in your garden year-round.
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