•American grown seeds
•Easy to grow
•USDA Zones: 5-12
Also called a New Mexico or California chile, this is a green, chile-type, mildly hot pepper that ripens to a pretty deep red. The thick-walled fruit is the classic pepper used for chiles rellenos, soups, and stews. Rich, mellow flavor. Plants are disease resistant. Plants bear continuously through summer where nighttime temperatures aren’t higher than 90 degrees. This is also the variety that has been most widely grown and dried to make ristras, or string of dried Chile peppers, that are a New Mexico tradition. Originating as a practical way for farmers to cure peppers to keep a long time, the pretty strings of dozens of dried red peppers have taken on ornamental value as well.
Peppers are hot-weather crops, so keep that in mind. Peppers love heat and temps below 55° will slow growth and germination. Make sure to take precautions especially in early spring if there are any unexpected frosts. Ideal soil temperature is 80-85°. A plant heating mat can help achieve this range and is an excellent tool for any gardener. In early spring, start seeds indoors 8 weeks prior to warm nightly temperatures. Place the seeds in sterile media and cover 1/4” deep. Provide 85°F bottom heat, bright light and keep moist at all times. Seeds will germinate in 7 - 21 days. Transplant seedlings into pots and grow until there are 6 true leaves on the plant. Plant them directly into rich soil, 30” apart or into large 5 gallon containers. Harvest chiles when they are green. If left on the plant a couple more weeks, the chiles will turn red at full maturity.
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