Growing and Harvesting the Anaheim Pepper
The Anaheim pepper is a terrific little pepper that hails from Chili. Contrary to the spiciness that its origin would suggest, the Anaheim pepper is considered a mild pepper in comparison to many other varieties of chili pepper. The spiciness of this type of pepper largely depends on where the pepper is actually grown and how mature it is—as is the case with many types of pepper. Although the Anaheim was originally grown in chili, it was brought to Anaheim, California in the early twentieth century where it received a very warm welcome—hence the name!
Peppers are such a versatile food that also happens to be very figure-friendly. Their popularity and simplicity makes them the perfect candidate for a spot in one’s backyard garden. Growing the Anaheim pepper isn’t very difficult as long as one is able to provide the right type of environment. Let’s look at what it takes to grow this particular chili pepper.
Temperature and Location
For starters, this pepper needs a nice warm place to grow. The best temperature range would be between 75 to 80 degrees. The chili plant will also need a great deal of sun, so a nice sunny spot in the garden would also be necessary. The best time to plant the seeds is during the spring when there is no longer any threat of frost; again, ideally when the temperature is at least 75 degrees. When planting the seeds for the Anaheim pepper, one should ensure that they have enough planting area to space each plant at least eighteen inches apart and that each row is spaced at least two feet apart. Pepper plants are quite bushy in spread and should be given enough room to spread fully, as this will provide the optimum room for the “fruit”. If one does not live in the right environment to grow peppers, an alternative would be to grow the plant in a 12 inch pot in a greenhouse.
The type of soil used to plant the seeds doesn’t have to be particularly rich, bearing in mind the soil conditions of New Mexico, California, Chile, and other common areas where the Anaheim pepper is grown. As Anaheim pepper plants grow to be around three feet in height, it is often necessary to provide a post or other form of support to keep the plant from bowing over from the weight of the peppers. A plant that has bowed over is less likely to produce a full harvest and has an increased chance of acquiring disease or attracting pets.
Anaheim peppers take about 70 days to fully mature, with or without steady rainfall. This particular pepper may be picked—and even eaten—while it is green and young, however a fully matured pepper will be dark red and soft (but not mushy). Peppers that appear dull and have a wrinkly appearance and texture of the skin have been left to ripen too long and are often the least pleasing. One should keep a close eye on the peppers once they reach about two inches in length, as these peppers often range between two to seven and a half inches in length.
Peppers should be picked as they ripen to the desired maturity. The plant will keep producing peppers until the harvest period is over, so one should be prepared to harvest the peppers regularly. The shelf life of the peppers largely depends on when the peppers were picked and how they are being stored. Pickling, drying/roasting, and freezing the peppers will have a huge effect on how long the peppers will last.
As long as one can provide the right temperature, plenty of summer sunshine, and lots of room for growth, Anaheim peppers can be easy to grow and a pleasure to eat!