Scoville units: 4000-6000
The Chimayo pepper is a sweet and slightly hot pepper that has been grown for centuries in its namesake town in New Mexico. Plants are compact and productive, yielding dozens of 3-4 inch fruits from midsummer through the fall. They can be harvested at any stage, but should be allowed to fully ripen to red for optimal flavor, drying, and seed-saving.
The Chimayo pepper is on the Slow Food Ark of Taste and for good reason. They have a unique sweet-hot flavor as a fresh chili paste that only intensifies when dried.
David Vigil and Loreal Monroe grow this variety to connect with the many generations of David’s family that have farmed and lived in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Days to maturity: 70-80
Seeds per pack: 25
Germination rate: 42% on 04/18/2023 (below standard)
Planting / harvesting notes
Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost and transplant into the garden well after the danger of frost. Keep seedlings moist but do not overwater. Transplants should be initially watered in well, and plants will be most productive with regular irrigation and full sun.
Seed keeping notes
Peppers are generally self-pollinating, though we isolate different varieties of the same species by at least 50 feet, in hopes that flying insects will not cross pollinate them unexpectedly. There are several important species of peppers, so check your scientific names! Pepper seeds are ripe when the fruits have turned their final fiery color - in this case, red. Cut the fruit (consider wearing gloves), scrape out seeds, and lay them out to dry on a labeled screen or paper product in a ventilated place away from direct sunlight for a week or two. Drying the peppers before seed extraction can slightly lower your germination rates, but works fine for home seed saving as long as the peppers do not rot.