How to grow peanuts effectively in your own backyard: seven steps

In addition to being one of the most hardy, nutritious, and profitable crops on the planet, peanuts are a relatively easy crop to grow in your backyard garden or even in your budding commercial peanut farm. That said, it does require hard work and careful attention, but as a crop, peanuts are fairly resilient. If you follow seven specific proven strategies, you can enjoy fresh peanuts as a snack or a hefty line of produce to bolster your cart at the upcoming farmer’s market.

  1. Types

The endeavor of planting peanuts begins with matching the peanut types you are more likely to successfully grow with such components as environment and purpose.

– Runner

Probably the best types of peanuts for roasting, the Runner requires four to five full months for growing.

– Spanish

Used for oils, butters, and other types of processed purposes, the Spanish peanut is recognized by its small shape, high oil content, and red skin. It requires between 100 and 120 days in the soil before it can be successfully harvested.

– Virginia

The largest legume of all the varieties, Virginia peanuts are also commonly roasted. However, compared to the Runner, they do not have the same uniformity. Common quirks of the Virginia include having up to three seeds per pod–which is always a pleasant surprise. In terms of soil-space requirements, you will need enough height to accommodate a 24-inch plant. In terms of season, Virginia peanuts require 4.5 to 5 months in the soil.

– Valencia

For a plant that reaches up to 50 inches in height and up to 30 inches in diameter, you need a lot of space per plant for the regal Valencia species. When properly cared for, they produce up to six small seeds per pod. In terms of season, they require between 95 and 100 days in soil.

  1. Soil

Peanuts are both easy and agreeable in that they will grow in a variety of soils and environments. However, they thrive in loose, sandy soils. In more packed soils, such as clay soil, too much water is retained in the dirt, and this water can rot the roots. As a result, they thrive in dry climates capable of keeping the soil from becoming saturated.

  1. Planting

– seeds

Planting peanuts consists of burying raw, un-roasted, unsalted seeds (peanuts). Before burying, simply break open the pod and collect the seeds. During this process, it is critical to not damage the thin outer skin of the seed. Additionally, as peanuts thrive in shallow soil, seeding depth should be no more than 1.5 to 2 inches. Once you have placed them in the soil, cover them gently, and do not pack it. The seeds will germinate within two weeks.

– time of year

In Australia, the best time for you to sow your peanuts is in September. However, you can also wait until around January. That said, in colder areas or months, you should plant the peanuts in a pot and keep the pot inside. Additionally, you can plant the seeds in a greenhouse.

– spacing

Mature peanut plants require approximately 30 to 35 inches of space. Without enough spacing, the plants will compete with one another for nourishment and sunlight. The result will be starved plants with much lower bloom.

– containers versus gardens

Peanuts can be easily transplanted from greenhouses and pots to a larger, outdoor garden. To do this, you should only plant one plant per pot. Transplanting should only be done when the weather has warmed enough and the sun can be expected to remain out throughout the season.

Before transplanting, you should already have the holes dug in your garden. To remove the peanut plant from the plot, use a trowel or an implement that matches the curvature or shape of your pot. It is important when digging out the plant that you do this as early as possible while remaining as close to the pot’s surface as possible. Extracting the pot in such a fashion will ensure the plant has not had enough time to send roots out to the side of the pot. Of course, staying as close to the pot with the implement will ensure you do not hit the roots in case you have miscalculated and the roots are longer than you think.

  1. Watering

Perhaps because they are a crop that requires hot climates, peanuts are very thirsty. In total, during the course of their season, they require 18 to 24 inches of water. Drainage must be provided because their roots will rot if left in pools of water.

  1. Weeding

Peanuts create a wide bloom. For the most part, the resulting shade inhibits weed growth, making peanut plants a good companion plant for such crops as corn that require weeding. That said, weeds will grow, in spite of the broad peanut plant, so you need to thin out any types of growth that will out-compete peanuts for nourishment.

You must take care, however, not to damage the root system, which is very shallow. Instead of weeding with any type of implement, which will likely damage the plant, you should conduct shallow weeding by hand. When weeding by hand, ensure you identify the base of the peanut plant and avoid it. Instead, pick with your finger tips any growing weed sprouts.

  1. Things that kill peanuts

Unlike a lot of crops, such as cabbage, cucumbers, or beans that can draw maggots or blight, peanuts are fairly immune to most diseases and predators. That said, you should fence your garden, or rabbits and kangaroo rats could devour your crop.

Another thing to prevent is shade. Peanuts require full sunlight throughout the growth period. Shade slows the growth time and stunts the peanut size.

  1. Harvesting

In terms of farm work in South Australia, harvesting time represents a short window that provides a tasty, rich bounty for all your hard work. If you harvest outside of the ideal window, the crop can be immature and small. Additionally, they can become brittle and difficult to successfully pull from the ground.