Planting Peanut Seeds: How Do You Plant Peanut Seeds
Baseball just wouldn’t be baseball without peanuts. Until relatively recently (I’m dating myself here…), every national airline presented you with the ubiquitous bag of peanuts on flights. And then there’s Elvis’ favorite, the peanut butter and banana sandwich! You get the gist; peanuts are entwined into the fabric of America. How do you plant peanut seeds? Read on to find out about planting peanut seeds at home.
About Planting Peanut Seeds
If you’re interested in trying your hand at growing peanuts in the garden, there are a few things you should know. For instance, did you know that what we refer to as peanuts are actually not nuts but legumes, relatives of peas and beans? The self-pollinating plants bloom above ground while the pods develop beneath the soil. Inside each pod are the seeds.
Once the blossoms are fertilized, the petals fall away, and the stalks, or pegs, located just under the ovaries, elongate and bend towards the earth, growing into the soil. Underground, the ovary enlarges to form the peanut pod.
Although peanuts are thought to be a warm weather crop only propagated in the southern regions of the U.S., they can be grown in northern areas as well. To grow peanuts in cooler zones, choose an early maturing variety like “Early Spanish,” which is ready to harvest in 100 days. Plant the seed on a south-facing slope, if possible, or to get an early start, sow the peanuts seeds indoors 5-8 weeks prior to transplanting outside.
How Do You Plant Peanut Seeds?
Although you may have success planting peanuts from the grocers (raw ones, not roasted!), the best bet is to purchase them from a reputable nursery or garden center. They will come intact in the shell and must be hulled before using. Now you are ready to plant.
The peanut seeds look remarkably similar from end to end, so it’s not uncommon to wonder which way to plant a peanut seed. There is no particular end that gets plunked into the ground first as long as you remember to remove the hull beforehand. Really, growing peanuts from seed is easy and especially fun for the kids to be involved in.
Select a site that is in full sun with loose, well-draining soil. Plant the peanut seeds three weeks after the last frost and once the soil has warmed to at least 60 F. (16 C.). Also, soak the seeds overnight in water to promote more rapid germination. Then sow them to a depth of 2 inches (5 cm.), 4-6 inches apart (10-15 cm.). Seedlings will appear about a week after planting and will continue to grow slowly for the next month. If frost is a concern at this time, cover the seedlings with plastic row covers.
To start the peanut seeds indoors, fill a large bowl 2/3 full of moist potting soil. Place four peanut seeds on the top of the soil and cover them with another inch or so of soil (2.5 cm.). When the plants have sprouted, transplant them outside as above.
Once plants reach about 6 inches tall (15 cm.), cultivate carefully around them to loosen the soil. This allows the pegs to penetrate easily. Then finish by mulching with a couple inches (5 cm.) of straw or grass clippings.
Peanuts should be watered regularly by deeply soaking the plants 1-2 times per week. Watering is most crucial at 50-100 days from sowing when the pods are growing near the soil’s surface. As the plants become ready for harvest, allow the soil to dry out; otherwise, you’ll find yourself with dozens of sprouting mature peanuts!
Harvest your peanuts, or legumes, for roasting, boiling, or grounding into the best peanut butter you’ve ever eaten.
Growing Peanuts: Planting Guide, Care, Problems and Harvest
Jennifer is a full-time homesteader who started her journey in the foothills of North Carolina in 2010. Currently, she spends her days gardening, caring for her orchard and vineyard, raising chickens, ducks, goats, and bees. Jennifer is an avid canner who provides almost all food for her family needs. She enjoys working on DIY remodeling projects to bring beauty to her homestead in her spare times.
Would you like to take a guess what the biggest ‘go-to’ snack option is around my house? It isn’t potato chips or cookies – it’s everything peanut-based. Sometimes I will eat a big spoonful of peanut butter when I have the munchies.
I think it’s because it doesn’t take much to fill you up when you eat peanuts since they have so much protein. Plus, they taste delicious.
With eating all of those peanuts, I figured I’d better learn about growing peanuts in my own garden. Now that I have plenty of experience, I’m sharing everything I’ve learned with you.
Growing Peanuts From Seeds
Sow seeds directly outdoors after the last frost. Remove the shells before sowing but be careful not to damage the tender skin on the seeds. Plant the seeds one to two inches deep, four to six inches apart. Leave three feet between the rows. Keep the soil moist to ensure germination. Seeds will germinate in ten to 15 days. Thin the seedlings when they are about two inches tall, to eight to 12 inches between each plant.
Keeping the area around the plants weed-free and loose is very important because once the plant has flowered and has been pollinated, it will start sending pegs into the soil. Adding a couple of inches of mulch helps with weed control.
After the pegs have entered the soil, do not disturb them. You might see lots of flowers on the plants but only 15 percent of them will actually send a peg into the soil and grow peanuts.
Benefits of Planting Peanuts
Peanuts are a nutritious type of food because they contain a lot of protein, few carbohydrates, and no cholesterol.
How do peanuts grow and how to plant peanuts are simple processes, though they have a longer growing season than other legumes.
Peanuts are hardy. They have basic needs such as water, sunlight, and fertilizer. One of the best things about planting peanuts is they don’t need a pollinator source such as bees or wind. They are self-pollinating.
In addition, peanuts are easy to store. They make a sustainable food source.