How Many Jalapeño Plants per Square Foot: Vegetable Spacing

Share it!

It is so rewarding to grow hot peppers in the home garden and jalapeños are one of our favorites! Find out how many jalapeño plants per square foot you can grow in your garden space. Whether you have a square foot garden, or an in-ground garden, growing hot peppers is definitely something you should try! Find out how much space you need!

Jalapeño pepper plants, and all hot and sweet peppers need 1 square foot of growing space! Give each plant the right amount of growing space and you will be rewarded with an abundant pepper harvest!

What is square foot gardening?

Square foot gardening is a great way to maximize jalapeño production on every inch of your garden beds. Learn more about square foot gardening here.

You can have an abundant jalapeño harvest even in a small space. Reduce your dependence on the grocery story by growing your own jalapeños!

Mel Bartholomew was the originator of the popular square foot gardening method. He was an American engineer, gardener, and businessman. He adapted techniques to grow a community garden in New York that removed many of the labor intensive aspects of gardening that discouraged many new gardeners. Growing more in less space was his goal.

His methods allowed maximum harvest in small spaces by dividing raised beds into 1-foot squares. These methods maximized the production of the growing area. After developing this new square foot gardening method, he said, “I garden with a salad bowl in mind, not a wheelbarrow.”1 In 1981, he published his first book Square Foot Gardening.

Tips for Growing Jalapeño Plants with Square Foot Gardening Methods

Whether you have a raised garden bed or an in ground traditional row vegetable garden, square foot gardening methods can help you maximize your garden production. If you provide the right growing conditions for your pepper plants, they will reward you with an abundant pepper yield. A little bit of planning will reap great rewards in your pepper patch.

Plant Spacing Needs

All hot and bell peppers need 1 square foot of growing space per plant. If you have 40 square feet, you can plant 40 pepper plants. It’s that easy!

Providing the proper spacing will reduce diseases and pests and will allow each plant the resources it needs to thrive. Proper spacing will also give your easy access for harvesting and weeding.

Weather Requirements

Peppers plants take a long time to produce when compared to some other vegetables, so they usually need to be started indoors. Jalapeño seeds can be started indoors 8 weeks before your last frost date. I always wait until 2 weeks after my last spring frost to transplant my young plants outside. Pepper plants do best after the soil temperature is above 50 degrees. Warm soil = happy pepper plants.

If you buy your plants at a garden center, wait until all danger of frost has passed to plant the small plants outside. Peppers love warmer climates with a long growing season, but they can be grown in more temperate climates if the frost-free season is long enough. They will not tolerate frost!

Sunlight Requirements

Jalapeño peppers need full sun to produce. They will not grow well in shady spots, so make sure you pick a nice sunny location to plant your pepper seedlings! They need plenty of sun and hot weather.

Water Requirements

Jalapeño plants need about 1 inch of water per week. It is best to water them from the bottom and take care not to get the leaves wet.

Best Soil for Jalapeño Plants

Pepper plants prefer fertile, well-draining soil. Peppers can easily be grown in containers as well, just choose a good potting soil and they will thrive. If you are planting in a raised bed, make sure your soil is fertile and well draining.

Once pepper plants are established and growing, an organic fertilizer can help with pepper production.

Mulching Jalapeño Plants

After you plant your jalapeño plants outside, it’s always a good idea to use grass clippings, leaves, or straw to mulch around your plants. Mulch controls weeds and holds in soil moisture. This type of mulch breaks down over the growing season and improves your soil structure as well.

Staking Jalapeño Plants

Jalapeños can benefit from staking. I have found that bamboo stakes work well to support the larger plants. Simply push a bamboo stake into the ground next to the plant and use some plant ties to attach the stem to the stake.

Common Jalapeño Pests, Diseases, and Problems

We rarely have pest or disease problems with our jalapeño peppers, but the list below are pests that can cause problems with jalapeños. Choosing resistant varieties and using good spacing can help reduce these problems. There are natural solutions for most of these pests that don’t involve spraying pesticides on your home garden.

  • Aphids
  • Corn Earworms
  • Cutworms
  • Flea Beetles
  • Leaf-footed Bug
  • Nematodes
  • Potato Beetles
  • Tomato Hornworms
  • Voles

Harvesting Jalapeños

Different pepper varieties have different harvesting windows. Jalapeños are ready for harvest at any point after the pepper forms on the plant. Jalapeño fruit color will change the longer they are left on the plant. When harvesting, grab the pepper and twist gently. Be careful not to break the branches when harvesting.

How to calculate square foot gardening plant density: A simple method

  1. Locate the seed spacing number on the back of your seed packet.
  2. Divide the width of your planting area (most likely 12 inches) by the required seed spacing. For example, if your seed spacing was 3 inches, this means you can plant 4 plants across the width of your section.
  3. Divide the length of your planting area (most likely 12 inches) by the required seed spacing. For example, if your seed spacing was 3 inches, this means you can plant 4 plants across the length of your section.
  4. Multiply your two answers together to get the total number of plants you can place inside the planting area. In this example, you could place 16 plants inside each 1-foot x 1-foot section.

FREE Printable Square Foot Gardening Template

This template includes square-foot gardening spacing requirements for all common vegetables grown in the home garden. Plan out your square foot garden grid using this helpful information!

Jalapeños can be grown in small gardens, raised beds, or in ground gardens using square foot gardening methods. Reduce you dependency on the grocery story by growing your own jalapeño plants! Wishing you a bountiful harvest!

Pin For Later

Pinnable image of growing jalapenos in the home garden
  1. “Bucking Tradition, Gardener Plants High-Yield Squares”. Marjorie Kaufman. March 31, 1996. Retrieved May 22, 2024. ↩︎

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *