Growing NM Chile Peppers

elkwc(6b)June 13, 2011

I have mentioned before in posts about some info I read from the NMSU Chile Institute that stated that chile peppers did better in a hot,dry and a low humidity climate and that bells and some others did better in a humid climate. I have looked for that article several times and have never found it. But did read some info very similar I will post. Thought this might be of interest to some who grow peppers especially those who grow the NM chile types like I do. Bells will do decent here. But not like they do for Carol or Dawn. But the NM chile types do great here. So a bit of a trade off. Jay

"There is an overwhelming amount of chile pepper varieties available to the gardener. Many seed

companies claim that all varieties grow well everywhere, this is not true. New Mexican varieties grow

better in the southwest while bells and habaneros do not grow as well and grow better in other, more

humid regions." Publication from the Chile Pepper Institute, New Mexico State University

�Copyright 2006, all rights reserved

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Jay, That is interesting. I planted my hot peppers on the side of my garden that drains faster, and the sweet peppers on the low side that tends to stay moist longer so maybe I got it right. Well, that's almost true except for the pablano and they are over with the sweets because I didn't have space on the other side for a pepper plant that gets so big. I hope I get big peppers this year instead of big pablano plants with hundreds of small peppers.

I'm sure we will be plenty hot, but the humidity is another story. LOL

I thought I had done really well to freeze enough peppers to last all winter. This week we had to clean out the freezer to make room for half a beef, and I found a gallon freezer bag of peppers that hadn't been opened. We used some of them today, and yesterday I used the first pepper from the garden so I came out pretty close. The one I picked from the garden was a Jimmy Nardello plant that is only about a foot tall and had three peppers on it. I felt sorry for the poor little plant and pulled one pepper to put in salad last night.

The peppers that seem to be early are Jimmy Nardello and Yellow Monster. Of course, they are still green but it seems like they are early. This is my first year for both peppers.

I had poor germination on my NM type peppers this year and never did replant. I think I still put 61 pepper plants in my garden. I was a little embarassed about the number until I learn how many SOME forum members had planted. I didn't come close.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 11:17PM
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owiebrain(5 MO)

Guess I messed that one up. My sweets went on the faster-draining side of the garden and the chiles went on the soggier side. Ah, well. It's so stinking chilly and wet here so far, I'd run far, far away if I were a chile. I went really heavy on the NuMex ones this year, too.

Ahem. Carol, dear. I only planted 47 sweets and 88 chiles. Oh, and the 5 additional chiles I planted in the front yard yesterday. And then there's the other dozen or two extras that hubby and FIL couldn't get rid of that I'll find a spot for tomorrow... somewhere.

How many did the rest of you pepper nuts plant? I know I can't be the worst one in this bunch.

Thanks for the info, Jay!


    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 1:52AM
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Diane, You may be the big winner. I think several people beat my record but I don't know anyone that beat yours. The pepper-head strikes again! LOL

I planted 18 NM types and got zero germination but even then I wouldn't have been in the running.

Everytime I look at your blog I am amazed at the things you are getting done. You have done so much in so short a time. It is really looking good.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 2:02AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Thanks for posting that. I find it holds true for my area. I can grow any pepper here, but it is the bells, jalapenos and habaneros that produce the best here at our house. Other hot peppers like Anaheims and poblanos and such just take forever to flower and set fruit, although eventually they get around to it.

All my peppers are in raised beds and I don't water them excessively either because they do best when the soil is kept slightly dry. The main difference I see between dry years and wet years is that in the wet years, there's a lot more disease, and in the hot, dry years the hot peppers become almost unspeakably hot. Folks here in our neighborhood are already "enquiring" about whether I have any ripe habaneros yet (of course not!) or if I have any leftover jars of Habanero Gold just sitting around (nope!).

We do have jalapenos that are sizing up nicely though and will be harvesting them before the end of this month.

Carol, I think I only put about 70 pepper plants in the ground, and composted the last 20 or 30 plants. I just didn't want to plant the entire 100 I'd originally planned on because the drought means lots of watering and I'm trying to avoid having a water bill the size of the national debt. Seventy pepper plants sounds like a lot (and to non-gardeners it sounds unreal), but it isn't if you're freezing, dehydrating, canning and jellying the peppers. I'm worried I won't have "enough".

I love finding a "surprise" package of something in the freezer after I thought we'd already used up all of that item that was in there!


I think you are the "worst" one, but don't you see--you'll have the last laugh when you have peppers coming out of your ears in August. That is, of course, assuming the rain stops falling long enough for them to grow and go wild and produce like mad.

Like Carol, I'm astonished at how much y'all have done there in such a short time. You must be spending a lot more time outside than I am! It already is too hot here and that's sucking the fun right out of gardening for me. We hit 100 yesterday and I did what I always do when it gets hot....packed up the car and went shopping for the day down in the D-FW metroplex (but only after I'd harvested all the early corn....I do have my priorities, ya know).

We were in Central Market (of course) and the prices being charged for NON-organic produce was shocking. NON-organic heirloom tomatoes were $4.99 per lb. and they didn't even have any organic ones, for example. The great thing about going to Central Market is that when Tim sees the prices they are getting for their fresh produce, he appreciates our garden so much more!


    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 8:47AM
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I think I have near 20 pepper plants and about 28 tomatoes and feel I have more than I need, but I will learn more about using them.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 8:57AM
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owiebrain(5 MO)

Thanks. We're working ourselves into the ground trying to do everything. Between the garden, bees, and chickens -- and the mowing (!!), it keeps us running in circles. It'll get a bit easier each year, though.

It sure is much easier getting out there and getting stuff done now that I don't have to worry about 117* weather. We've had several days in the 90s and people here act like it's the surface of the sun. Personally, I love working outside in the 90s. 80s are okay but 90s is when I feel most alive and tend to get the most done. Yesterday, it briefly hit 70 but, otherwise, stayed in the 60s. Brrr! I broke out my winter coat to go out and weed for a bit.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:22PM
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Larry, You can't have too many until you can't eat any more and the freezer is full of peppers, all the salsa is made, and there are no empty jars for tomatoes. LOL

I don't have a lot of freezer space and don't have room for another freezer, so I have to 'make do'. I do have a second refrigerator with a freezer which helps a little. The big freezer has to hold half a beef, lots of pecans, the garden produce, and usually plenty of catfish. The catfish usually gets reduced when my daughter visits because we send some back with them.

Al usually goes out with the neighbors and one of them loves to fish but his wife hates fish so he just helps Al get ours. I don't ever go, but last year I told them I would fish if we had our own boat. Al started shopping THAT day and found us a used fishing boat. We did the maintenance that it required and have never put it in the water. We just stay too busy, but last week I said, "Let's finish what we can this week and fish next week". He agreed. I am sitting here listening to the thunder, so I don't know when it will be safe to get out on the lake. We aren't getting rain, but I think we are supposed to tonight and maybe again later in the week. Oh well, maybe I will get some more inside work caught up and will feel better about a goof-off day.

Last night we chopped onions and packaged them in small 1/2 cup size packages then stuffed them down into gallon size. I think we did 25 small bags of whites last night and I have about that many more reds to finish today. I had planed to use the remainder as fresh onions, but now some of them are going to seed. It was not a great onion year for us. We will probably have enough, but the onions are smaller than I had hoped for.

It doesn't seem like I use a lot of my canned food until I look at the jars I have emptied this year. I have a corner cabinet that is very large but isn't very useful for everyday usage because it is too high. I can reach it to push a clean jar into though. I have now filled the entire shelf with empty jars. It's time to empty that batch out and find a new home for them. It would be nice to start filling them up but I am probably about a month away from that. I didn't can tomatoes last year except for a few jars of tomato and squash combination, but I sure made a lot of salsa. Al loves okra and tomatoes, but my okra usually comes so late that the majority of the tomatoes have slowed down. I would like to do that combination this year, but with the luck I am having starting okra this year, we may not have any. I think I should freeze a few bags of tomatoes when they are heavily producing and not can them until the okra is heavily producing. I may have to buy the okra at the rate I'm going.

I think we need to grow everything we can grow this year again. We all said that last year because we had concerns about the economy, and it has continued to decline so it is even more urgent now.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:39PM
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My okra is just starting to blossom. Can't wait for fried and pickled okra!
I have two habaneros, one Big Jim Anaheim and one jalape�o. Only the jalape�o, which was overwintered, is producing so far. My habaneros were frozen in February so had to start new. They do really well for me so don't know about needing humid.
I haven't tried sweets but have some new ones I just started for the fall.
My most exciting peppers are my aji dolces, sweet habaneros. It took me three months and so many attempts to germinate thes. I now have nine tiny babies. I will have to overwinter a couple as they grow very slowly and were so difficult to start.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 2:28PM
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I have only 98 peppers this year. If I'd ever get my carcass to P-mac's place she's holding more for me in cups. Somehow, someway, I'm sure I can pin this on the Cub Scouts.

I've never had pepper produce so early. I've been picking for about 10 days. It will be at least that long until my first non-cherry tomato is ready. I'm just happy to have something to pick.

My youngest spent the day with me on Sunday "picking weeds". He spent as much time walking his bucket to the compost bin to dump it as he did "picking". I dread the day when he finds out picking weeds isn't so much fun.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 9:14PM
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Isn't it odd that the peppers are so early. I have blooms on just about every plant and 6-7 inch fruit on several. Some even look like they are about to change to their mature color. The tomato plants, on the other hand, are very slow this year. Although I have blooms everywhere, not many vines have set fruit, maybe 8 or 9.

You guys are way ahead of me on tomatoes since I don't even have cherries yet. I have a few small-fruited plants that have several quarter size fruit but I usually get my first ripe fruit (not cherry) about the last week of June.
I do see a big change in my vines just this week tho. They are getting fuller and spreading wider.

If tonights storms don't produce rainfall then I will have to beginning to deep water my peppers and tomatoes tomorrow. Even if I don't get rain, I just pray I don't get hail. We have only had one hail storm of any significance this year and only one plant suffered a serious hit. It broke the top, but it just forked and kept growing. I watered about a fourth of the garden a couple of days ago but mostly where I had new seeds planted. I put down soaker hoses today but didn't turn them on because it looked like it could rain at any time.

My computer has a problem and I just really haven't had time to take it in so I am running without add-ons. That means I can't see my normal weather places so I feel handicapped. Since I can still get on the web, I may just wait until the next time my son comes and can fix it for me. It is nice that my boys are computer geeks. LOL Either of them could probably talk me through a fix but as long as I can still get online, I will probably wait for a visit.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 12:00AM
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