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Growing Peanuts

Updated on November 19, 2017

Considering growing peanuts? An interesting and uncommon choice, but not surprising since Americans consume more than 2.4 billion pounds of peanuts every year, and you guessed it, much of it goes into the classic PB & J sandwich.

Growing your own peanuts can be an interesting and rewarding hobby, not to mention delicious!

However, they are not suitable for just any garden, they do need certain conditions for optimal growth. This article will focus on how and if you can grow your very own fresh peanuts that you and your family can enjoy all year long.

Peanuts are native to tropical regions of the Americas. However, in the United States, they are mostly grown in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

There are 4 main types of peanuts.

Runner

This type is very popular because of it's uniform kernel size. More than half of it's production is used to make peanut butter. Grown mainly in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma.

Spanish

These smaller kernels are primarily grown in Oklahoma and Texas and are used mainly as snack nuts. (the ones covered with the brown skin) They have a higher oil content than other varieties.

Virginia

Virginia kernels are the largest and are processed and roasted in the shell as gourmet peanuts. Grown in southeastern Virginia, northeastern North Carolina and South Carolina.

Valencia

These sweet tasting peanuts are covered in a bright red skin and usually sold roasted and in the shell. Main production is in New Mexico.

Many sub-species also exist among the four main groups.

Peanuts are in fact, part of the pea family and thus a legume (think beans) rather than a true nut. The peanut plant flowers above the ground, however, the actual nut matures below the surface producing around 40 pods.

They do require a fairly long growing season compared to many common garden crops.

About four to five months are required from planting to harvesting your peanuts, so you'll want to make sure you have enough time in the growing season in your region.

Interesting Facts!

  • Peanuts are also known as goobers, goober peas, groundpeas, ground nuts, and earth nuts.
  • Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free,
  • 20% of the world's peanut production is used in candy.
  • One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
  • Mr. Peanut was created by 13 year-old Antonio Gentile in a logo contest held by Planters in 1916.
  • Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter, both farmed peanuts.

It's better to know in advance if peanuts are a viable crop for your garden than to be disappointed by cold weather ruining your produce just before they are prime.

Peanuts do best in light, sandy soil (referred to as loam by gardeners and horticulturists), and require a lot of water to thrive - the equivalent of twenty to forty inches of rain in a growing season. If you live in a relatively dry climate, be prepared to water your peanut plants frequently.

Like many legumes, there is no need to track down seeds at a garden center. Just purchase raw peanuts at any grocery store. (Important: avoid roasted varieties, they will not grow!) Peanuts should be planted one to two inches deep, and spaced about six inches apart. If planting a large quantity of peanuts, remember to space your rows three feet apart to give them plenty of room to spread out underneath the soil.

Given that peanuts are a warm weather crop, make sure not to plant them until all danger of frost has passed - they do not deal well with cold weather, a frost may kill your young peanut plants before they have a chance to even sprout.

If you just can't wait that long however, peanuts may be started indoors ahead of time, as much as a month before the last frost is expected. Peat pots should be used if possible for this to minimize transplant shock. Peanuts like mulched soil , so be sure to work plenty in the area you plan to grow your peanuts.

You'll want to make sure your soil is both soft enough for the peanut plants to push their way into the ground later (peanuts start on pods above ground, then push their way into the soil as they mature) and well drained. If your soil does not provide good drainage, plant your peanuts in raised mounds to ensure drainage.

And last, but not least, anyone can grow their own peanut plant indoors anytime of the year for ornamental purposes. These more than likely won't sprout any peanuts but will certainly make an interesting addition to any home. (Remember, this is not a house plant, it will wither with time!) It's also a great plant to start with your kids! As a matter of fact, I think I will grow one with my children and post the pictures here in the future. Should be lots of fun!

How You Can Grow A Peanut Plant

Materials:

Raw peanuts (purchase from the grocery store - not roasted!)

Flower pot or container with drainage hole (6-8 inches in diameter)

Sandy or sandy loamy soil

Method:

Soak peanuts in water overnight

Fill pot with soil to one inch below rim

Plant three peanuts 1 to 1.5 inches deep and cover firmly with soil but do not pack

Keep soil moist and maintain a temperature of 65 degrees F or above. Peanuts should sprout within five to eight days. Keep plant in a warm location exposed to direct sunlight as much as possible. Blooms will likely appear approximately 45 days after the peanut plant has emerged.

Growing Your Own Peanuts

From Ground to Plate

Hopefully this brief article has given you the information you need to begin growing your own peanuts in the garden, and gotten you excited about the prospect. Happy gardening!

If you are unsure about any of the details here, your local university generally has an extension which can provide you with more than enough information to start your own little plantation.

© 2008 chantelg4

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    • profile image

      Heatherly 

      5 years ago

      There must be something about the weather this year. I have found serveral peanut plants growing in my garden.

    • toomuchmint profile image

      toomuchmint 

      6 years ago

      I never thought of growing my own peanuts. It sounds like they could be an interesting crop to experiment with.

    • profile image

      Harrilyn, Texas 

      6 years ago

      Never thought of growing peanuts although my grandmother did years ago in Tennessee. Bought raw peanuts for the squirrels in our yard and suddenly this spring these strange plants started appearing everywhere, in pots, yard and flower beds. Discovered they are peanut plants so intend to see if we get a harvest in July. They are certainly easy to grow in our sandy soil.

    • profile image

      Martyns 

      6 years ago

      I am looking for a place where you can actually buy some peanuts for planting, could someone point me a place where they got theirs please...

      Thanks..

      Ngo650@Yahoo.com

    • Nurfninja profile image

      Nurfninja 

      7 years ago from Earth

      haha that's interesting. "1 acre of peanut plants can make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches", lol.

      very great hub! thankyou.

    • profile image

      dorthy 

      7 years ago

      A sauirrel planted a peanut in my 10 gallon bucket. I was trying to grow a tomoto, but it died. Kept watering it and now it has had 4 yellow blooms. It is getting cooler here in Colorado so decieded to bring it inside today. Not sure what to do but will keep watering. Not sure if it will get taller and know they have peanuts as I pull up the peanut plants in my lawn and they have tiny ones. Our neighbor has peanuts that he feeds the birds and natually the squirrels enjoy storing them. That is part of nature and enjoy watching them. They are a beautiful plant, so will see how far it goes inside our home.

      Thanks for all the information. Not sure if you will take this but will try. All new to me, but wanted to share what happened this summer. :)

    • LaurieK profile image

      LaurieK 

      7 years ago from Minneapolis, MN, USA

      I have never heard of boiled peanuts before, I'll look up more info on that. I do love peanuts, but modern peanut butter does not agree with me. It would be fun to grow and make my own -- but, again, living in a north-facing apartment in Minnesota kind of makes that unlikely... Great hub, anyway! :o)

    • profile image

      nut head 

      7 years ago

      There is not a better way to eat peanuts than boiling them. Don't knock it until you try it.

    • profile image

      Bret Moreland 

      8 years ago

      Great article! We've grown peanuts in containers and in the garden here in Colorado. It's such fun to watch them rapidly grow, flower, peg, and make peanuts. It's almost magic. We like to boil our raw peanuts. Here are some pictures of our peanuts growing, flowering, and harvesting from our garden:

      http://www.boiled-peanut-world.com/peanut.html

      Your suggestion to start the plants indoors is a great idea if you have a short growing season where you live.

    • profile image

      Rob S 

      8 years ago

      Wow! This is the greatest thing since the Big Bang!! I am gonna grow me a peanut plant!!

    • profile image

      glynndaj 

      8 years ago

      Granddaughter & I planted and they are beautiful ! cannot wait for harvest.We planted in a gro-pot in my front yard.

    • profile image

      bill 

      8 years ago

      ..I love boiled peanuts....here in California they do not sell boiled peanuts like back in Virginia so I boil my own.....I'm growing some too but the weather may be a bit cool, I live in the forest in the mountains in California and the growing season is only about 4 months or so....we are already in June so I'll have to wait to try them outdoors.....gonna try some in a pot though...

    • profile image

      george milton 

      8 years ago

      Funny thing is all the grocery stores in Texas sell unroasted virginia peanuts as well as burpee. So while everyone says Spanish peanuts do well here I'm trying to plant virginias in Texas. Should be plenty warm and will water often just hope the clay rich soil was mulched and turned enough to work for them.

      Quick peanut butter is throw couple cups of peanuts in blender and pulse the motor as you add a few tablespoons of good light unsaturated oil like canola to keep it from sticking. Peanuts alone will stick

    • Sarah_Callahan profile image

      Sarah_Callahan 

      9 years ago

      Nice article..with useful information.

      Thanks!!

    • profile image

      Abob817 

      9 years ago

      Quick little FYI. I do peanut research and thought it was worth noting that once the plant starts flowering it will make pegs that will grow in to the soil directly under where the flower was. Once the individual flower blooms it will only last for a day then about 8 to 14 days later a peg appears and from that a peanut will grow. Maturity time on the pegs varies but 60 to 80 days will prob give the best results.

      Oh yea, where the leaves attach to the stem is where the flowers come from.

    • profile image

      Walter Copeland 

      9 years ago

      We live in Western Colorado, in a valley of the Colorado River, with a very warm climate, with at least 5 months of frost free weather, so purchased 10 seed peanuts at a feed and seed store that said they would grow here...did not plant until 15 May, but it should not frost until early Oct. Should have looked you up before. Great information for the home gardener...Thanks

    • TimFischer profile image

      TimFischer 

      9 years ago

      mmMM Peanuts. now I can make my own peanut butter!

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 

      9 years ago

      I love peanuts and have never thought of growing my own i will try this time

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 

      9 years ago

      I love peanuts and have never thought of growing my own i will try this time

    • profile image

      jatoon 

      9 years ago

      love peanuts but why make peanut butter once u should mix peanuts and stawberry together itys great i woulid love for you all to try it

    • profile image

      Laurie Harley 

      9 years ago

      What a great article! This would make an excellent homeschool project for my daughter. She loves to garden and we *so* enjoy making boiled peanuts. This way we can grow our own peanuts to boil and eat. Thank you!

    • profile image

      valencia apartment 

      10 years ago

      This looks like a real challenge but kind of fun at the same time! I Will try the potted version.Thanks.

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      10 years ago from Texas

      Here in North Texas they grow pretty well. I used to grow them but we moved a few years ago and I don't have quite the space I did so I gave up potatoes and peanuts, but the peanuts really like the weather here. The Spanish peanuts did the best.

    • profile image

      blm 

      10 years ago

      this is the netest thing ever and i am going to give it a try for sure

    • Woody Marx profile image

      Woody Marx 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Here in Guelph Ontario they grow a lot of things...I wonder if peanuts is one of them? They are my favourite food! High-five for peanuts! ;)

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      My friend was growing these but then shifted and they didn't survive. Great hub and I will have to try this. as I love peanuts too and cashews.

    • manoharv2001 profile image

      Manoharan 

      10 years ago from Bangalore - 560097, Karnataka, India

      If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.

    • profile image

      John Evans 

      10 years ago

      Hey! Thanks for the interesting and informative site. I grew some last year but the outcome was very modest. This year will be different. Well, i'm off to get some more sand.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      This is a really great hub. We love to grow "free findings" indoors, like avocado pits, pineapple tops, and citrus seeds. Some of these plants can be very attractive, although, of course, they never produce anything you want to eat. We'll try peanuts, too!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      that was a great hub and I have wondered about growing them but here in washington we have so much dampness. Maybe in containers though cause we can have some pretty warm summers (8o degrees)  It will be fun to just try anyways Thanks. G-Ma :o)

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 

      10 years ago

      This is pretty interesting stuff. Never thought of growing a pot of peanut before, but its worth trying it out.

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 

      10 years ago from Sydney

      Love peanuts and eat lots

      Still they tell me one man' food is another man's poison.

      I wonder what is in or missing in our bodies to kill some and maker nutters of the rest of us?

    • profile image

      Bob 

      10 years ago

      This was really a fun article to read.

      I live in an apartment and have been using pots to grow my own herbs for cooking.

      Peanuts sound like a fun project. Can you give us some idea as to how many nut one might expect from a pot with 3-4 plants in it?

    • Darlene Norris profile image

      Darlene Norris 

      10 years ago from MI

      This is really interesting. I may try this sometime! I live in TN, and you can grow peanuts here. They like to boil them in the shell, which I think is nasty, but a lot of people here like them that way!

    • Blueassea profile image

      Blueassea 

      10 years ago from Ontario Canada

      This looks like a challenge but fun at the same time! Will try the potted version.

    • profile image

      MarkMcCullagh 

      10 years ago

      Cool hub. I love peanuts, especially honey-roasted and eaten with dark chocolate. Mmmmm.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 

      10 years ago from London UK

      I love peanuts and have never thought of growing my own!! Like John weather would be too bad and im not that green fingered!!

      Great hub chantel ;)

    • John Austwick profile image

      John Austwick 

      10 years ago from Bolton

      Great hub unfortunately the climate hear wont work for peanuts I could still try a pot though :)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Chantel! Thank for this great informative HUB...I'm always looking for something new to grow in the garden...This will be the new one for this year. Never thought of growing peanuts. I'm all excited now because I have a new project Thanks. I'm off to do some more research...sun and warmth in my mind only as it's still blizzarding outside.

      Great HUB regards Zsuzsy

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