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How to grow Hatch Chile

How to Grow Hatch Chile

Did you know that you can grow Hatch chile all over the world?

While it's true that to officially call it a "Hatch chile" it needs to be grown in the Hatch region in New Mexico, you can grow the same varieties in other areas or states, and they still taste amazing!  However, like Champagne, if not grown in the Hatch area, then it isn't a true Hatch chile. People say that the special Hatch flavor comes from chile plants grown in the the unique soil and climate of this part of New Mexico. 

How to grow big Hatch Chile
View all of our varieties of Hatch Chile Seeds »

But we have to say, green chile grown anywhere in the world is still delicious!! And, if you're not lucky enough to be able to get New Mexican grown Hatch chile, then the next best thing is to grow it yourself! Plus, we think that roasting and eating your own fresh chile straight from your garden is the BEST!

It's EASY to grow Hatch chile from seed!
View all of our best tips below... 

How to Grow Hatch Chile


Top Tips on How to Grow Hatch Chile:

  1. Hatch Chile plants prefer a long, warm growing season. Hatch Chile can be grown outdoors in zones 5-11.  Most people start their Hatch chile seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last frost to get them growing strong before transplanting outdoors. 

  2. Germinating Hatch Chile Seeds: Make sure to keep your seeds moist and warm as they germinate! Keeping them at a cozy 80˚ - 90˚ F is ideal and will result in a much faster and higher germination rate. We often use seedling heat mats to help keep them warm.

  3. Once the Hatch Chile Seeds sprout, make sure to give them a breeze. Setting up a fan on low to circulate air will help your Hatch Chile plants grow stronger and prepare them for planting outside. You can also brush the seedlings with your fingers for the same effect. Air circulation also helps prevent dampening off, a common ailment of young seedlings that causes them to wither and die. 

  4. Don't overwater your Hatch chile seedlings! Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes we see gardeners make. Chile peppers DO NOT like soggy feet, so make sure to keep them watered but let the soil dry out slightly between watering. 

  5. Once outdoor temperatures have warmed up to 60˚ at night, it's a good time to transplant your Hatch chile outside. Remember, chile plants do not tolerate cold weather or frost, so make sure all chance of any frost is past. Make sure to harden the Hatch chile plants off first – to do this, place the seedling pots outdoors during the day, for a couple hours the first day adding an hour or two each subsequent day. Do this for 10 days. On the 10th day, leave them outside in their pots overnight and then they'll be ready to plant in the morning or evening (don't plant in the heat of the day!)

  6. Fertilize Hatch Chile Plants with Compost: 
    We love using homemade compost to fertilize our Hatch chile garden beds. We like to dig in finished compost into the soil before planting (even burying some compost deep down so that the roots can grow into it). Make sure to keep fresh compost away from the stems of chile peppers as it can burn plants. Compost is the most natural form of fertilizer and encourages worms and other beneficial soil organisms to thrive, which, in turn, helps your Hatch chiles thrive. Compost = bigger chiles! 

  7. Harvesting Hatch Chile:
    Hatch Green Chile is often usually harvested at an immature stage when they are still green. But Hatch Red Chile is harvested when they mature to their beautiful red color. 

  8. Roasting Hatch Chile: Once you've harvested, you can roast your green chiles, or let your Hatch chile dry out to make chile powder or chile flakes. You can also freeze roasted chile to peel and add to recipes during the winter months. You can never have too much! 


What is special about Hatch chile?

What is so special about Hatch chile?

If you have ever lived in New Mexico or tasted Hatch green chile then you know you can’t live without it! Well maybe you’ll live, but wouldn’t it be great to have them growing in your garden? Indeed, you can experience that wonderful flavor of green chile wherever you live. Be prepared because green chile is addictive, just ask any New Mexican.
Technically, if you don't grow these varieties in the Hatch region, then you can't call them Hatch chiles. However, we think they still taste great no matter where you live in the world, and, for a lot of people who are not in New Mexico, it's hard to even get Hatch chile! So why not spread the Chile love and grow Hatch chile varieties where ever you live? Looking for Big Jim seeds, Poblano seeds or other New Mexican green chiles? Check out our Green Chile Seeds collection for all your favorites. Read more about Hatch Chile »

How to Grow Hatch Chile from Seeds!

Hatch Green Chile Seeds - The Big Jim
This variety has authentic green chile flavor and medium heat. An heirloom variety, the Big Jim has been grown in the Hatch Valley of southwest New Mexico for over a century.


Looking for a hotter or milder Hatch chile?
Check out our list:

Green Chile List by Heat - Mild to Hot



Good luck growing your Hatch chiles! We are happy to share that even if you don't live in New Mexico, you can still grow and eat green chile no matter where you are in the world. Enjoy! 


Learn more about How to grow Peppers from Seed »

How to Grow Hatch Chile Seeds 

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