Pepper Pot-a-peno is a fun new jalapeno pepper with a compact habit perfect for growing in containers and hanging baskets. Plants produce lots of small, green jalapeno fruits that have a spicy zip that is great in any dish where you want a little punch of spice. Leave fruit on the plant a little longer and it will turn bright red. Pot-a-peno is earlier to mature than other jalapenos and grows well in the garden as well as containers. Each plant produces 35 or more 3- to 4-inch fruits. Pepper seed is best started inside about six to eight weeks ahead of outside transplanting.

All three of these new varieties are F-1 hybrids with built-in vigor and uniformity for high yields.

New varieties are sometimes difficult to find their first year of introduction. Online and mail-order seed catalogs are the best source. I found Pot-a-peno at Park Seed also has last year’s winner, Cucumber Green Light, which performed beautifully for me last year both in a container and in the ground, producing dozens of 4- to 5-inch mild, smooth-skinned fruits. Other seed sources are listed at Full-service nurseries and garden stores can sometimes be persuaded to grow or obtain plants if a request is made in January.

Allen Wilson is a Vancouver gardening specialist. [email protected]

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