Heirloom. Organic. This heirloom is said to have first been planted in Anaheim California in the early 1900's by a farmer named Emilio Ortega. Since then, its popularity has continued to grow throughout the United States. It is very popular throughout the United States for is mild, yet spicy flavor. Perfect in salsas and sauces, it is often one of the main ingredients in Mexican cuisine. But, these peppers are also great stuffed, roasted, or added to soups and casseroles. They can be used fresh, frozen, or canned. Plants are good producers of large, meaty fruits that average 6-8 inches long and 2 inches wide at the shoulder. The plants produce regularly until frost and late season harvests are easy to dry and use in cooking later. Fruits can be eaten green but also taste good after they turn a brilliant red at maturity. The 1913 Fairview Seed Co. catalog calls it a "recent introduction". Anaheim Chilies are prolific bearers, of long thin fruits about 6" long. Mildly hot, people use them in roasting, stuffing, stews, sauces or raw. Organic plants grow 20-30" and bear late in the season. The Anaheim Chile Pepper is a classic, open pollinated pepper variety that matures in 70-90 days. Vigorous bushy upright plants grow 24" to 30" tall and provide good cover.
Planting Anaheim Pepper
While starting seeds of the Anaheim Pepper is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful. Sow Anaheim Pepper seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed or start in containers several weeks before transplanting into soil. Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position. Anaheim Peppers are splendid for growing up stakes or a cage. They will tip from the weight of the peppers, but you can support with stakes and twine. Anaheim Pepper plants need regular watering and grow well in heat. Height: 24 to 30” Days to harvest—70 to 90 Days
Spacing: 24-36" inches Depth: 1/4 inch Germination: 10-20 days
Starting from Seed Indoors
Generally, the time to start your seeds is about 4- 6 weeks before the last expected spring frost date in your area, planting the seedlings outdoors about 2 weeks after that date. Another way to figure is to plan on setting out sturdy seedlings in the garden when night temperatures stay in the mid-50 degree range both day and night. Count back and sow seeds 4 to 6 weeks before that date normally arrives. Place a few seeds (5 to 10) into each pot and push them into the soil with your finger. Cover the seeds to a depth of approximately 1/4 inches of the potting mix. Mist each pot with water until the soil appears moist. Place the pots in an area which will provide both light (which is required for germination) and heat, preferably about 65 to 70 degrees F and at least 8 hours of light each day. Check on the seeds every day and keep the seeds damp but not drenched by misting with your plant mister. You should see sprouting in about 10-20 days. Once your seedlings have reached about 4 to 6 inches in height, choose an area in your garden to transfer them. You can also use containers like barrels or clay pots. Dig holes twice the width and depth of each of your pots. Fill up each hole with water then let it drain off. Place a pot in the hole center and level so that your seedling is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Push dirt in carefully all the way to fill the hole back up. Water each seedling carefully so as not to soak the leaves or stem.
Direct-seeding into the Garden
Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 1/2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the area (or in rows). Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/4 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 3 seeds every 3 to 4 inches in rows approximately 12-18 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/4 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for Anaheim Pepper plants is approximately 10 to 20 days, depending on the warmth of the soil.
Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted. Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others. We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors. Good luck.