Peanuts are a fun crop to grow, simply because they taste good. They are native to South America. The plants need a long growing season, and light, sandy soil. They do not grow well in clay soils, as the pea pods or “Pegs” burrow into the soil. These pegs have difficulty pushing through clay soils. So, why not give them a try in your garden this year? Go get some raw peanut seeds and have fun! Soon, you will be digging out your favorite peanut recipes.
Did you Know? It shouldn’t surprise you to discover that peanuts are not tree nuts. They are Legumes… members of the “pea” family”!
Whether or not you grow your own, try making your own peanut butter. It’s an easy, and fun project to do with the kids. Find a Peanut Butter recipe.
If you have a 130-140 day growing season, you can grow these legumes in your garden. Plant them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. Sow them one to two inches deep. Space seeds six to seven inches apart, in rows three feet apart.
If you have a shorter growing season than the plants need, sow seeds indoors two to four weeks before the last frost date for your area. Use individual peat pots to minimize transplanting shock.
Tip: You don’t need to buy seeds from a seed store. Buy raw peanuts from your grocer, if available.
Final Spacing: Thin or space seed 6 to 8 inches apart, in rows 24 inches apart.
Did You Know? Peanuts are an ingredient of Dynamite.
Days to Germinate: The seeds germinate in just 3 to 4 days, depending upon weather and soil conditions.
The plants prefer sandy soil with generous amounts of compost and manure. Work the soil several inches deep, and provide plenty of drainages. If your soil does not drain well, slightly elevate or mound the rows.
Make sure to provide water to keep the soil moist, as sandy soils dry out quickly. Do not overwater these plants.
The peanut pods, or pegs, will grow from a large stem that bends down and pushes into the soil. If the soil is too hard, add a couple of inches of mulch and sand on top of the soil.
Ideal soil pH: 5.0 – 6.5. More on soil pH
Soil Temperatures – Ideal germination temperature by vegetable
Ideal Soil pH – by vegetable
Days to Maturity: 130 – 140 days, minimum.
Harvest the nuts after the first fall frost. First, pull the entire plant out of the ground. Then, allow the peanuts to dry. Then, pull off the shells, roast them, and enjoy!
Tip: Save some of the raw peanuts for seeds for next year.
The plants are very tender annuals that will succumb to frost. So, make sure to cover seedling and mature plants, as needed if the danger of frost exists.
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National Peanut Day – This is a day for the Peanuttiest among us.
Official Peanuts (Cartoon) Homepage Okay, this isn’t a gardening site. But, we thought you’d appreciate a short diversion from gardening to visit Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the gang. Without a doubt, it is kid-safe