Peanuts are a fun crop to grow because they taste good. They are native to South America. They 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.
Did you Know? It shouldn’t surprise you to discover that peanuts are members of the “pea” family”!
Whether or not you grow your own peanuts, try making your own peanut butter. It’s easy, and a fun project to do with the kids. Find a Peanut Butter recipe.
If you have a 130-140 day growing season, you can grow peanuts in your garden. Plant peanuts outdoors after all danger of frost has past. 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.
Days to Maturity: 130-140 days.
How to Grow:
Peanuts prefer sandy soil with generous amounts of compost and manure. Work the soil several inches deep, and provide plenty of drainage. 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 over water these plants.
The peanut pods, or pegs, will grow from a large stem which 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.
Harvest peanuts after the first fall frost. Pull the entire plant out ,and allow the peanuts to dry. Then, pull off the peanut shells, roast and enjoy!
Tip: Save some of the raw peanuts for seeds for next year.
Peanuts a a very tender annual which will succumb to frost. Cover seedling and mature plants, as needed if the danger of frost exists.