New Mexico Chile is a warm-season crop that requires a long, frost-free season to produce good-quality, high yields. Almost all NM commercial chile is directly planted by seed into warm fertile soil.
Keep them warm!
Chiles do not thrive when temperatures are between 40° F and 60° F and can die from a light frost. The optimum period for direct seed planting of chile is between March 1 and June 15th.
The early green crop will be ready for harvest about 120 days after planting. The red crop will take about 165 days. A good stand can be achieved during optimum years by planting two lbs. of high-quality seed per acre.
Planting Instructions for Green Chile Seeds:
Carefully allow a loose, 1/4 inch layer of soil to cover the seed. This minimizes seedling damage and encourages rapid seedling emergence. It is best to implement drip irrigation above or below soil level. Drip irrigation below the soil line decreases evaporation and water directly to the roots.
Plant spacing row widths in New Mexico are 30 to 40 inches. Narrower row spacing can result in higher yields. Thin the plants when they are actively growing, about 2 to 4 inches tall, and have two to four true leaves. Delay thinning to ensure a good plant stand.
Gardening at home?
Depending on where you're growing, you may need to start your seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date. Keeping seedlings warm at 80 degrees is essential for germination.
Read more about starting peppers from seed indoors here »
Looking for a quick growing pepper? Try our Early Jalapeno »
When planting the garden, a diamond shape pattern with 3 ft. centers can be ideal.