First up, let's check out what my mom has growing in her garden! Here's a sample of the tomatoes from one of her many plants. Thanks to the southern California weather, her plants produce nearly year round, and I get a ton of her bumper crop!
Here is a snippet of her plant life. Of course, I was a little dumb and took these pictures after she harvested the ripe tomatoes, etc. so it looks a little bare.
- Macho Nacho pepper
- Unknown pepper plant
- Mini red tomatoes
- Rosemary & Thyme
- Serrano peppers & Yellow pear tomatoes
- Large tomato plant (1 of 3!)
She also is starting to grow radishes and there is a picture of her bell pepper plant below.
Now, back to the pepper tasting and my questions for you. As you know, I like my taste tests, and I was totally game for the challenge! It was a bit surprising for a couple of reasons. For years, I was under the impression that thin peppers with lots of seeds were spicier than large peppers. This was totally proven wrong, and I was definitely surprised when I tried these out.
Here are my spicy rankings from least to most spicy:
- Not spicy: Unknown pepper (bottom right)
- Mild: Green jalapeño (bottom left)
- Moderate: Tie for Serrano (top left) & Macho Nacho (top right)
- Crazy spicy: Red jalapeño (bottom left)
Like I said, I can totally handle my spice, but that red one came out of nowhere! Since there were no seeds, I wasn't expecting such a kick. Also, the green version was so easy to handle, even with all of the seeds.
Here is the second odd thing about this pepper plant. Last year, my mom only had green jalapeños on the plant, but this year the red ones started to pop out of the same plant!
This is where my questions to you come in. How is it possible to have completely different peppers on the same plant? Is there a reason that these peppers are so super spicy? Why don't they have seeds?
Our initial theory was that they were a hybrid because they were planted in the same pot as her bell peppers. The bell peppers are towards to bottom, while the jalapeños are in the back.
Here is a close-up view showing that the red jalapeño pepper grows from the exact same branch as the green jalapeño.
Anyways, if anyone knows the answers to any of these questions, please tell! My mom is totally confused by these peppers, and I'd like to find out as well.
P.S. - If anyone knows something effective and natural to spray on our basil & other vegetable plants to protect against hungry caterpillars, please let us know!