Peanut plants are an excellent crop to grow in your garden, especially for beginners, since they are so easy to grow. This is because they can grow in poor soil and need little to no fertilizer or organic matter. That’s not even all the benefits of growing your own peanuts.
They’re also drought tolerant, but before you grow your own, you need to learn the proper way to grow them. Below we go over all the basic steps to start growing your own peanuts.
Peanut plants, also known as Arachis hypogaea, are a great crop to grow for all home gardeners, no matter your level of experience. Not only is this southern crop easy to grow, but it also improves the soil it’s grown in. It does this by adding nitrogen to the soil. This can also benefit other plants.
The best part is that you don’t have to use fertilizer, especially after they have been planted. Using fertilizer at this time could lead to burning your plant.
Low maintenance doesn’t begin to describe this crop. Peanuts can grow in the lowest quality soil as long as it’s loose. Isn’t that great? Now you can spend your time elsewhere in the garden.
But those aren’t the only reasons that many gardeners are growing peanuts In their yard. It’s also because growing your own peanuts is a whole lot cheaper than buying them in-store. Plus, now you can make organic peanut butter from your own peanuts. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
Now there is a wide variety of peanuts, but the main types of peanuts include:
How To Grow Peanuts
A lot of people talk about peanut seeds, where do I get peanut seeds. Well, they aren’t really seeds, you grow peanuts from… well… peanuts!
To grow peanuts, you start them like any other plant and grow up your seedlings. To do this, you need to fill a large bowl 2/3 full of potting soil, then shell about four peanuts, you can get the peanut seeds at the grocery store or your local garden center.
Make sure the peanuts are raw peanuts and uncooked, then place the dry peanuts on top of the soil. Then cover them with about an inch of soil. The peanuts won’t take long to sprout.
After the last frost, you can transplant them into your garden. This is because peanuts tend to do better in warm temperatures but can grow in cooler climates. After you transplant them, small yellow flowers will form about 40 days later. After the flowers are pollinated the petals of the peanut plant flowers fall off, the ovary of the peanut forms from under where the petals fell off.
You may be wondering what a peanut ovary is. I’ll explain. The ovary is called a peg. The peg grows and makes its way down and away from the plant. Then it starts to grow a stem that goes into the warm soil (going into the soil like a peg would insert into something else… get it?).
The peanut embryo is on the tip of the peg. This is what goes down into the topsoil. The embryo will then start turning into a peanut.
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How To Get The Soil Right
Peanut plants do best in a combination of sandy soil and loose soil, but they can thrive in other soil types. You can to add organic matter such as organic mulch and a growing medium to keep the soil moisture and keep the soil loose. Unless you’re planting Tennessee Red Valencia peanuts, they can grow in clay soil with no problem.
However, if you use sandy soil, you most likely won’t have to add anything. This is because peanut plants make their own nitrogen You don’t have to worry about weed control with peanuts since these cover crops tend to take over the top of the soil. But before transplanting your peanuts, you need ensure the soil temperatures are at 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
You want to plant your peanuts after your last frost date. This will differ depending on where you live. When planting the peanut seedlings, you want to plant them 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart if you’re planting in containers or flower pots; keep that in mind when choosing the size.
Also, be sure your container has good drainage. You can do this by adding drainage holes to the bottom of the pot.
How Much Water
Peanut plants need 1 inch of water every week to grow but there should never be water puddles on the soil surface this could led you to over water and you don’t want to drown your plants. One thing that can help with this is to have well-drained soil as well as drainage holes on the bottom of your containers. To make watering easier you can set up an irrigation system.
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Peanuts need full sun to thrive so keep that in mind when choosing where you want to plant them. They also love warmer climates and humid conditions, so they are definitely more of a summer crop than fall. If the weather does get chilly though you can protect them with a tunnel.