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An Anaheim pepper is a mild variety of chile pepper. The name "Anaheim" derives from a farmer named Emilio Ortega who brought the seeds to the Anaheim, California area in the early 1900s. They are also called California chile or Magdalena, and dried as chile seco del norte.
The chile "heat" of Anaheims typically ranges from 500 to 2,500 on the Scoville scale however, many varieties grown inside of New Mexico can reach 4,500 to 5,000 Scoville units.
New Mexican cultivars were developed in the state by Dr. Fabian Garcia about 100 years ago. These cultivars are "hotter" than others in order to suit the tastes of New Mexicans in their traditional foods.
This chile is used in many Mexican and New Mexican dishes.
Anaheim peppers (Capsicum annuum) are in the family Solanaceae and are called Anaheim Chili, Chili Verde and New Mexico Chili. Anaheim peppers are an important ingredient in Southwestern recipes. Anaheim, as well as all peppers, will grow best in warm weather conditions. The plants are bushy, grow over two feet tall and produce peppers anywhere from 6 to 10 inches in length. This hardy, medium-hot pepper will be ready for harvest in 70 to 90 days
Wait until outside temperatures are warm before planting Anaheim peppers into the garden. The soil temperature needs to be 65 to 70 degrees for the optimum germination of seeds, and the plants require a warm environment.
Select an area in your garden that receives full sunlight for most of the day to grow Anaheim peppers. Situate the plants where they will receive at least five hours of direct sun each day.
Grow the peppers in a well-draining soil amended with organic material such as compost. Do not plant Anaheim peppers in heavy soils prone to flooding. Amend clay soils with sand.
Plant seeds ¼ inch deep into the soil and cover with a light layer of soil. Plant Anaheim plants in a hole dug a little bigger than their root ball but no deeper, and cover with soil. Space the pepper plants 18 to 24 inches apart.
Clean the area so that it is weed-free at all times. Remove any grass or vegetation competing with the pepper's growth. Lay mulch around the plants to help cut down on further weed growth and keep the soil moist.
Water the plants regularly to keep the planting site moist, but do not keep the area soggy. Gauge their watering needs on your area's weather. Hot and dry temperatures will require more water for the plants.
Fertilize the pepper plants once per week with a water-soluble, 20-20-20 fertilizer. Cover the entire plant's foliage with the fertilizer mixture.
Harvest the Anaheim peppers once they have reached full size. Pick peppers that are 6 to 10 inches long and still green for a milder pepper. Allow peppers to fully ripen and turn red for a hotter flavor.