How Are Peanuts Grown?

Growing peanuts requires a lot of work and knowledge to ensure a good crop. This article will discuss how peanuts are grown and what is needed for a successful harvest. From planting to harvesting and beyond, there is much to learn about growing peanuts.

Peanut plant full of peanuts.

When to plant peanuts

Peanuts have a lengthy growth season, lasting from 100 to 130 frost-free days; they’re planted a few weeks after the typical last frost date in the spring and are frequently pulled up anytime after September 1.

Where to plant peanuts

It is critical to choose a location that receives full sun. To also get the most out of your peanut crop, make sure that you choose an area with well-draining soil and plenty of room for the plants to spread. 

The ideal pH level for peanut soil is between 6.0 and 7.5, so before planting, be sure to test your soil’s acidity levels. 

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How to plant peanuts

Follow these steps for the best results when planting your peanuts.

  1. First, prepare an area with well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Dig a hole about one inch deep and 2 inches wide for each seed you plan to plant. 
  2. Then, place one peanut into each hole and cover it with soil so that the seed is completely submerged beneath the surface. 
  3. Water the area thoroughly and keep it moist until your seeds sprout; this usually takes about 10 days.

Taking care of peanuts

Peanuts are easy to grow, but there are certain steps you’ll need to take for them to thrive. Here’s how you can care for your planted peanuts to enjoy their deliciousness at harvest time.

  • When the plants are six inches tall, cultivate around them to soften the soil and allow the pegs to penetrate it readily.
  • After that, hill them and mulch them with two inches of straw or grass clippings.
  • Small yellow pea-like blooms will appear near the bottom of the stalk. When the blooms fade, the ovaries enlarge, begin to develop toward the ground, and eventually push into the earth.
  • Peanuts are picked before the first frost when the plant turns yellow.
  • With a spading fork, dig up the entire plant, carefully brush off most of the soil, and hang it to dry indoors for approximately a month.

Learn more about how peanuts grow here.

A hand pulling a peanut plant from the ground and on a side photo of peanut plants growing in a field.

Do peanuts grow on a tree or a vine?

Peanuts are not grown on a tree at all–they actually grow underground! Peanuts are legumes that produce fruits and seeds in their pods, which develop underground at the base of the plant. When the pod is mature it’s dug up, dried out, and then processed into edible peanuts. 

They grow underground on vines that can reach up to 4 feet in length. While these vines are often mistaken for trees due to their size, they produce delicate yellow flowers that eventually develop into peanut pods. 

Surprisingly, peanuts actually have more in common with peas than nuts like walnuts and hazelnuts. That’s because all types of legumes – including beans, peas, and lentils – share similar characteristics regarding their growing process. For example, they all fixate nitrogen into the soil which helps other plants better absorb nutrients from the earth.

Can you grow peanuts from a peanut?

Growing peanuts from a regular grocery store peanut are surprisingly easy and can be done with some effort and dedication.  Peanuts are actually a type of legume that grows underground, which makes them particularly suited for DIY gardening. 

All you need to start growing peanuts from a single nut is soil, compost, or fertilizer, and plenty of sunlight. Once the seed has been planted in the ground, it will begin to sprout in 2-3 weeks with proper care. Once grown, the plants will produce flowers followed by clusters of small green pods filled with peanuts that can be harvested up to three months after planting.

How long does it take for a peanut plant to produce peanuts?

Typically, it takes approximately four months from planting until harvest time. In the early stages of growth, peanuts require copious amounts of water and plenty of sunshine in order to thrive. During this stage, which typically lasts between six to eight weeks, the plants begin forming flowers that will eventually become peanuts. 

After pollination occurs, the peanuts start developing within their pods below ground. In warm climates with ample moisture, this process takes about five to seven weeks before they are ready to be harvested.

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