Growing New Mexico type chilis in mid south (southern IL)

Murphysboro, IL(Zone 6b)

Hi everyone:

I am trying to grow a couple of New Mexico type pepper varieties for the first time (Anaheim and New Mexico 6-4L). I'm in southern Illinois -- climatically we're sort of midwest and sort of the south.

A friend reported to me that New Mexico chilis don't do well here. She said that the plants grew okay but fruit set was very poor (whereas jalepenos and bells set fruit just fine in the same garden).

I'm wondering if this is typical or not for my region. Anyone know? I'm wondering if these varieties need dry desert areas that cool off at night. Here is southern IL, it really doesn't cool down at night much at all. Sometimes its 95F all night long.

This message was edited May 8, 2012 7:36 AM

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

I have grown anaheim peppers here in Las Vegas where nightime temps in the 90s or 100s are common. We do not cool off at nights, but we are very dry. Pepper production slows some years in the heat, but I have not noticed anaheims acting differently then Jalepenos or Bells. I do not know how high humidity will affect the fruitset. (is that the right spelling? affect? Or was I supposed to say effect? Grr...I swear reading my students paperwork for so many has de-educated my brain.)

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Wish my answer was more helpful, but I would say give it a try! Let us know how it goes.

Murphysboro, IL(Zone 6b)

Thanks for the reply, GrowningNVegas. I planted an Anaheim and a New Mexico 64L this week, along with 4 jalepenos of approximately the same size. I will report back how they do.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I would give it a shoot. I have friends that grow chilis that live all over the US, the thing is that you have a shorter growing season. That would be the only real thing that I can see that would hold you back.

Murphysboro, IL(Zone 6b)

Just an update. My anaheims seem to be growing and flowering well. One has about a 1.5" fruit on it. So far so good!

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Great! Thanks for keeping us posted!

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

ssipes - I think our climates are near-identical, and I've grown many chile varieties successfully over the years. Last year, Mariachi did well for me and this season I've got a lot of Anaheims set on. No problem.

They're certainly not a New Mexico type, but I'm getting a little frustrated this season by Corno di Toro Rosso - I've got tall, healthy plants with lots of blooms but no fruit set yet after 6+ weeks. I guess they're just a late variety, maybe. We'll see.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Ozark I have read that they are late to mature. I thought they were sweet peppers but in DG PF they appear to be hot. ???

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

1lisac - I noticed that in PlantFiles too, some folks reporting Corno di Toro being hot. They're not supposed to be, here's the description from Shumway where I got the seeds:

"Terrific sweet roasting or salad pepper with elongated 8 to 10 inch curved fruits. Vigorous plants support a heavy crop. Very popular in Spain; name means "Bull's Horn" which the big fruit resembles. Matures from green to red, use in either stage. 72 days."

Hmmm. May be, but the name is Italian, not Spanish. So far as the DTM, I'm at about 60 days now and have blooms only. I'm not worried about it - the plants are big, healthy, and blooming and I bet they'll set some peppers when they get around to it. I hope they'll be sweet and not hot, though.

Murphysboro, IL(Zone 6b)

Update:

So, with the terrible drought in July, it is hard to gauge how well the Anaheim and New Mexico peppers did. They only made one or two peppers each, but they also didn't survive the drought, ultimately.

We had some jalapenos growing nearby, but a little more shaded. these went into stasis during the drought and bounced back in the fall to produce a pretty nice crop.

I'm going to try again this year, with more than just two plants.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Corno di Toro turned out to be a real nice sweet pepper for me last year. The peppers were large and tasty and the plants were loaded. I doubt I'll grow it again though because it's so late - the peppers got ripe all at once in September though they were transplanted to the garden in May. Four months is too long to wait for a ripe pepper, in my opinion - I prefer varieties that bear all summer long.

I'm going to grow Jimmy Nardello sweet frying peppers this year, I've read good things.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

It might have been your strange weather last year. My peppers always slow down when it gets super hot and the Mother Load comes in Sept. Oct.

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