Peanut is a common food that can be found in our daily eating diet. It is loved to eat by a lot of people. However, do you know how a peanut plant looks, or do you ever curious about how to plant peanut?
Where Are Peanuts Come From?
Peanuts are actually part of the legume family native to South America, Mexico, and Central America. They are also known as earthnuts, jack nuts, goobers, goober peas, pinders, manila nuts, pindas, and monkey nuts.
Is the peanut the seed?
It is not a seed and it is not a nut either. In fact, it is categorized in the vegetable category and it is belonging to the legume family. Which means it is of the same category as beans and peas.
The peanut’s popularity is apparent in its variety of forms. Peanuts are often presented as peanut butter, salted peanuts, peanut butter sandwiches, candy bars, peanut brittle, and shelled peanuts. Their high nutritional content and affordability over other nuts have also made peanuts a popular choice.
Planting your own peanuts for selling, for making peanut butter, or simply for eating can be quite fun and delightful. Here are a few basic steps when planting peanuts.
How Long Does It Take to Grow a Peanut
The planting cycle of peanuts takes about 100-150 days, and some late-maturing varieties can reach 180 days before they can be harvested.
The Growth Cycle of Peanut
There are 5 growth cycles in the growth process of peanuts, which are generally divided into germinating, seedling, flowering, pod setting, and mature stage.
This is the stage where the peanut is sowing to 50% of the seedlings unearthed until the first leaf is unfolded. The germination period takes 5-15 days.
The specific germination time is related to the temperature. The spring peanuts have a long germination period, which may take 8-15 days, and the summer peanuts have a much shorter germination period, generally, it will just take 5-10 days.
The seedling stage is from the germination of 50% of the seeds to the opening of the first flower of 50% of the plants. The seedling period generally takes about 20-35 days.
The specific time varies greatly due to the variety and planting season. The spring seedling period is generally 25-35 days, and the summer seedling period is 20-25 days. Some summer-sown early-maturing varieties may only need 20 days.
From 50% of the plants flowering to the appearance of chicken head-shaped young fruits on 50% of the plants, it is known as the flowering stage.
The flowering period is 15-35 days. Depending on the planting season and variety, the flowering period is 25-35 days for spring peanuts and 15-20 days for summer peanuts.
4. Pod Setting
From 50% of the plants with chicken head-shaped young fruit to 50% of the plants with full fruit, it is known as the pod setting period. The pod setting period is generally 20-40 days, spring sowing will take about 30-40 days, and summer sowing will take about 20-30 days.
The period from the appearance of full fruit on 50% of the plants to the full ripeness of most pods is called the ripening period. The ripening period of spring sowing peanuts is 40-50 days, and summer sowing is 30-40 days.
What is the Best Month to Plant Peanuts?
Generally, the best time to plant peanuts is from mid-to-late April to May, that is, the time before and after the cool spring weather is the best time for peanut planting. Plastic film coverage can be planted in advance to mid-to-late March.
However, the climatic conditions are different in different places, so when planting peanuts, it should be determined according to the actual situation, but you must ensure that you do not sow when the temperature is too low!
Required Materials to Plant
- raw peanuts with the red skin still intact
Steps to Grow Peanuts
Planting and Fertilizing the Peanuts
Do you know when is the best time for you to plant peanuts?
Peanut is a warming crop, so the temperature cannot be too low. The most suitable and stable temperature for peanut seeding is around 12 °C, and its optimum flowering temperature is 23-28 ° C, the lowest temperature is 19 ° C. By taking this into consideration, the best climate to grow peanuts would be after the last frost of the spring.
Here are the steps for you to plant and fertilize the peanuts:
- Choose a planting site with light and sandy soil.
- Prepare the site by plowing the ground at least 7 inches or more. Sow in manure or compost.
- Soak the peanuts overnight before planting for quicker germination.
- Plant the peanuts less than 2 inches deep with at least 7 inches spacing between them. Take care that the kernels are kept whole.
- Water the peanuts well after covering them with soil. Avoid watering again until the emergence of new sprouts. It takes about 10 to 15 days for new sprouts to grow. Do not overwater when you begin to water them regularly.
- Keep the plantation site free of weeds that may hinder peanut growth.
- Add more compost or fertilizers with extra calcium to enrich the soil.
After the planting process, do you know how long do peanuts take to grow and when peanuts can be harvested? Well, it generally takes about 4 to 5 months for the plants to mature. It is nearly time to harvest the peanuts when the leaves turn yellow.
Here the harvesting process:
- Dig up a few peanuts to check if they are mature when the leaves start turning yellow. Continue checking periodically until the peanuts are ready for harvest.
- Harvest the peanuts by pulling the entire plant out. Each plant yields about 40 peanuts.
- Harvest the peanuts before a hard freeze.
Storing the Peanuts
After the peanuts have been harvested, you need to keep them in good storage.
Here are the steps for you to store them properly:
- Dry the peanuts thoroughly after harvesting. You may leave them by the windows to dry if the weather is good or find a place with good air circulation indoors.
- You may use the oven to dry peanuts in small quantities. Place the peanuts in a tray and bake them in a preheated oven at 130′ F. The peanuts should be dry, but still soft.
- Throw away rancid or moldy peanuts as they may contain a fungus called Aflatoxin. The said fungus can cause serious illness to humans when ingested.
- Store shelled and unshelled peanuts in a sealed container. Shelled peanuts can last for 3 months in the refrigerator. Unshelled peanuts can last for 4 to 6 months in the refrigerator.
- Store peanuts in freezer-safe containers for long-term storage.
What Soil Do Peanuts Grow Best In?
The requirement of soil texture to grow peanuts is not very high. Except for soils that are too sticky, the soil of the general texture can be planted with peanuts.
The most suitable soil for growing peanut is sandy soil with medium fertility, loose and breathable. If the peanut is planted in the clay soil, you can keep the soil to be loosened and the yield can be higher.
Peanuts are acid-resistant, so they are suitable for growth in slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0-6.5. Peanuts can still grow in acidic soils, but lime must be applied to improve the soil and increase yield.
However, peanuts are not salt-tolerant. Planting in saline-alkali soils will make it easy to get germinated and death, the growing plants are short and the yield is low.
Since tea is also suitable for growth in slightly acidic soils, peanuts are particularly suitable for tea plantation or tea tree interplanting.
Peanuts are calcium-loving crops, which grow well in high-calcium soils with high yields.
Besides, peanuts are suitable for growth in soils with deep plow layers (about 30 cm in thickness) and medium organic matter (about 1%). If the soil organic matter content is too high (more than 2%), the pods are susceptible to contamination and resulting in lower quality.
Can I Grow Peanuts At Home?
Yes, you can grow them at home. You can plant them in a container or in a pot. Peanut seeds are easy to root and sprout, and the planting process is rather simple.
You can just buy unroasted or fresh peanuts from your local market or store. You can then remove the upper skin of the peanuts.
Prepare a lunch box and few pieces of tissue paper. Put a tissue paper into the lunch box, Place the peanuts on the tissue paper. Don’t make the peanuts to get too close to each other. Place each of them with a little space in between. Then cover the peanut with tissue paper. Pour some water into the lunch box for moisture. But please do not overwater it.
Transplant into a larger container
After 3 to 4 days, you can remove the tissue paper and you will see the peanut is starting to germinate. You can then plant the peanut seed into large containers or plastic pots. You can insert a ratio of 70% garden soil with 30% of compost into the container. Then plant those peanut seeds into the container.
After planting the seed, you can cover the seeds with some potting mix. Sprinkler water on it so that the soil gets moisture.
Place the container in direct sunlight. After about a week, the seeds of the peanut plant will start germinating.
At this point, you can separate the baby plants and transplant them into different containers.
After transplanting peanuts into a new container, everything will become easy for you as long as you taking good care of the plants. You should avoid using the fertilizer with a high level of nitrogen as it will kill the plant.
Your peanut will be ready for harvesting when the leaves turn yellow and begin to wither. Generally, it will take 120 to 150 days for you to harvest your crop after planting.
- You need to make sure the plant is receiving enough sunlight, and the soil in the pot or container is breathable.
- Before planting the seed, you need to apply compound fertilizer in the early stage. After that, you need to apply phosphate fertilizer and potash fertilizer in the medium stage.
- You only need to prepare seeds for potted peanuts. Plant the seeds about 3 cm under shallow soil. Before planting, you must remove the shell so that it is better to germinate and root.
Some Challenges You May Have
There are two main challenges when growing peanuts.
First is the weeds that happen to grow through the plants just by the sheer nature of how sparse they tend to grow.
Secondly, the time of when you should harvest them it’s really difficult to know without digging the plants up. When they’re ready for harvest use about four or five months but even so some peanuts mature at different times even though it’s the same crop. So you tend to get the odd premature seedling popping up all over the place.
Even experienced farmers have a tough time knowing the exact right moment to harvest their crops. So it’s a bit of a technician sort of stuff when coming to harvesting.
How big the size of the plant can be?
Mature plants can have a size of about 36 inches for its diameter and with a height of 18 inches.
How many peanuts can you get from one plant?
On average, each plant can produce about 25 to 50 peanuts.
Is it easy to grow peanuts?
As long as you are having the right soil, and fertilize the soil in the right way, then it is actually not so hard for you to grow them. Once everything is set, you just need to water them every day. But do remember to not overwatering the plants.
What grows well with peanuts?
You can plant potatoes and carrots as companion plants for peanuts. This is because these two crops are also in-ground crops that have almost the same growing conditions as peanuts.
You should try to avoid planting corn as corn is having different growing needs from peanuts. The plants of corn grow faster and grow taller than peanut. They also have more leaves which may be shedding light on peanut plants. Therefore, it is not advisable to plant corn as a companion plant for peanuts.