Peanuts have been a profitable crop in many countries for centuries. They originated in South America but their popularity has made growing peanuts popular around the world. Peanuts need 130 days to grow before harvest, so are considered a warm weather crop. But they can be grown in cooler climate by starting them indoors or by using wind tunnels. They also make an interesting indoor crop.
photo credit: tillwe
Growing Peanuts Outdoors
Make sure you have raw peanuts. You can purchase seeds for a catalog or garden center or buy raw peanuts at the grocery store.
Growing Peanuts with the Garden Soil Method
Growing peanuts in the soil is the way peanuts have been grown for years and is recommended if you are going a large crop. I am talking acres!
- Plow the ground deeply. This will be at least seven inches or more. I myself prefer 12 inches.
Plant the peanuts after the last frost in very sandy soil. This will ensure good drainage. A good peanut crop requires that the soil drain well.
- Sow the peanuts two inches deep and space the seeds seven inches apart. Make sure that any peanut seed is whole. A broken peanut will not germinate.
- Peanuts are heavy feeders so add a lot of compost and manure.
- Mulch! This will keep the soil loose so that the peanut crop will grow well. It also cuts down on weeds and will retain moisture.
- Water well when planting. Do not water again until the peanut plant sprouts.
Growing peanuts using Square Foot Gardening method.
This is the way I plant peanuts. I find it suits my gardening zone better plus I like square foot gardening.
- Set up your garden bed using the Square Foot Gardening method.
- For growing peanuts I use a one foot garden raised bed width and build the raised bed about 1 foot high.
- I add rich compost to the garden bed every 7 inches, where I plan to plant each seed. I dig a hole, remove the soil and place a one-pound coffee can of compost in the hole.
- Follow the planting instructions above.
Taking care of and harvesting your peanut crop
- Using either method your peanuts should germinate and appear above ground in one week. When you begin watering the plants regularly, do not over-water. Over-watering will create poor peanuts or no peanuts.
- Keep the peanut garden area free from weeds. Weeds hinder peanut plant growth and take away nutrients form the peanut crop growing below
- In 130 days your plants will be mature and the crop should be ready to harvest. You will be harvesting you crop in the fall and will pull the whole plant out.
Tip: If you use a spading fork first to loosen the soil, the plants will remove easily. Foliage on the plant will be yellow when ready for harvesting.
Allow the peanuts to dry for two to four weeks, Store in a cool place until you are ready to roast them.
The reason I like square foot gardening for raising peanuts outdoors is that they are easier to harvest and the square foot gardening methods using mulch creates a no weeding effect. The peanuts are also cleaner and I think you have a larger crop in a much smaller area.