Chili Peppers come in all sizes and shapes. They range from extremely hot to just a bit of heat. Some are so hot that they are barely edible. Indeed these peppers are often made into sauces instead of eaten fresh. The chili peppers most often used are more versatile and can be used as a main part of the meal or as seasoning.

Wearing rubber gloves when working with hot peppers keeps unintended discomfort to a minimum. Removing seeds and inner white ribs can cool a pepper down a bit. As in all cooking it is best to taste the pepper before you decide how much to use.

Chili peppers can be dried and later rehydrated. Dried chilies have a different flavor than fresh chilies. Often it takes fewer dried chilies for a recipe than fresh. Waiting until the chili has turned red or is mature is best for drying. To dry chilies it is best to either string them together and hang in a warm dry spot or lay them flat on a screen in a warm dry spot. Leaving air space between each chili on the screen will facilitate drying. Make sure they are completely dry before storing them in an airtight container.

Red and Green Jalapeno Peppers

Tubes of Water and Red Mulch help to get an early start.

Since both Sweet and Hot Peppers originate in Central and South America it is no surprise that they prefer warm weather and warm soil to grow in. Pepper transplants should go into the garden in spring as soon as the night time temperatures are around 55 and there is no more danger of frost. A cold soggy soil will slow growth and possibly kill a pepper plant.

Soil should be well drained with plenty of organic matter. In cold spring areas, mulches can help warm up the ground to help give the peppers a boost. Our Red Mulch has been shown to be very effective in increasing the yield of peppers, not only in the north, but throughout the United States. Plastic cones filled with water (Season Starters) also boost the temperature and with peppers every little bit counts.

Fertilize with an all purpose fertilizer at planting and, as the plant sets more flowers, add a bloom formula fertilizer. Watering should be consistent and plentiful but soil should not become so wet that roots cannot get air. Space plants about every 18 to 24 inches in full sun. If flowers form on very small plants, they should be removed so the plants can make more leaves before setting fruit. The abundance of leaves helps the plant to make food and provides shade for the fruit when the sun is scorching hot.

For ways to use your homegrown, organic peppers, check out these recipes.

We offer four versatile Chili Peppers and three pretty darn hot peppers. Order below.

ANAHEIM CHILI PEPPERS---500-2,500 Scoville Units

Anaheim chilies are sometimes also called California chilies. These mild peppers are often sold as canned green chilies. But they are so much better fresh and even better when they are just picked from the garden. They mature to a bright red and can be eaten green or red. They are often dried and turn a deep burgundy. Dried Anaheim chilies are used as the base of most chili powder. Grind your own from your dried organic Anaheim chilies, and a little garlic powder, cumin, and  Mexican Oregano. For heat add some ground dried red Jalapenos.

Stuff it! Roast it! Lay it on a grill! Whatever you do will just enhance the already wonderful flavor of this popular chili pepper.

POBLANO CHILI PEPPERS---1,000-2,000 Scovill Units

Slightly spicier than a bell pepper and nearly black when mature, Poblanos have a rich chocolaty flavor that makes them invaluable in cooking when they are usually roasted and peeled. Called Ancho when dried, these peppers are often used to flavor chili powders. 

JALAPENO PEPPERS---2,500-8,000 Scoville Units

Maybe the most famous pepper of all time, Jalapenos (pictured above) have a moderate amount of heat and lots of flavor. Take the seeds and the white interior out (with gloves, please) for a bit milder flavor. Jalapenos will turn red if left on the plant. These have a bit more sweetness. Drying them is also a good idea for winter use or to add to homemade chili powder for a bit of a kick.

When Jalapenos are smoked they are called Chipotles. You can smoke your own, if you have a smoker. But, an easier way to get a bit of smoky taste in the pepper is to fire roast them. Any pepper can be fire roasted. These soft peppers make great veggie sandwiches or topping for your favorite burger.

FRESNO CHILI PEPPERS---5,000-10,000 Scoville Units

This pepper is the next level of heat up from a Jalapeno. It rates between 5,000 and 10,000 on the Scoville chart. It is the same size as a Jalapeno and can be used green or red. Fresno peppers grow upward from the stem instead of downward like most peppers. Green Fresno's are milder than red but the flavor is outstanding.

SERRANO CHILI PEPPERS---10,000-25,000 Scoville Units

Serrano Peppers are a must have for a spicy salsa! They can be used at any stage of growth from green to red.

THAI CHILI PEPPERS---50,000-100,000 Scoville Units

Thai Peppers are grown around the world and used in mainly to flavor vinegar sauces.  Thai Peppers are normally found in stores as a red pepper which is the mature pepper, but green chilis can also be used.

CHOCOLATE HABANERO PEPPERS---400,00-450,000 Scoville Units

This black habanero pepper is so hot it takes only a sliver to change the flavor of the dish it is used in. They dry well and keep for a long time. They are considerably hotter than their orange cousins.

Choose our pepper six packs and your sixth plant is free!

Cultural Information

Height: 24 inches  

Hardiness: Warm Weather Annual

Time to Harvest: 6 to 8 weeks

Characteristics: Full Sun,
Frequent watering

Used: Raw, Grilled, Roasted
or Cooked with other food

Choose a Chili Pepper $3.45 or Chili Pepper Six Pack $17.25



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