Peanuts are one of the most popular and versatile legumes in the world. They are used for making peanut butter, oil, snacks, candies, and many other products. But how do peanuts grow? Unlike most plants, peanuts do not produce fruits above the ground, but underground. This article will explain the process of growing and harvesting peanuts, from planting the seeds to storing the pods.
Planting the Seeds
Peanuts are planted in the spring, after the last frost, when the soil temperature reaches at least 60°F (16°C). Farmers use specially grown peanut kernels from the previous year’s crop as seeds. They remove the shells and soak the seeds overnight in water to speed up germination. Then they sow the seeds about two inches deep and four to six inches apart in rows. The seeds will sprout in about 10 days and grow into green, oval-leafed plants .
Flowering and Pegging
About 40 days after planting, the peanut plants will start to produce yellow flowers around the lower portion of the stem. The flowers are self-pollinating, meaning they do not need insects or wind to transfer the pollen. Once the flowers are fertilized, the petals fall off and the ovary begins to form.
The peg is a special stem-like structure that grows down and away from the plant. It has the peanut embryo at its tip, which penetrates the soil and turns horizontal to the surface. The embryo then develops into a peanut pod, which contains one to four seeds. The pod grows and matures underground, while the plant continues to flower.
Benefits of Starting a Peanut Plant Indoors
Peanut are a fascinating crop with a unique growth process from planting to harvest. Whether you’re a gardening enthusiast or simply curious
About the journey of peanut, the Benefits of Starting a Peanut Plant Indoors: Peanuts have a long growing season and require 100 to 130 frost-free days to reach maturity.
If you live in a cooler northern region, starting the plants indoors approximately one month before the last anticipated frost is recommended. On the another hand, if you reside in a warmer southern region, you can either directly plant the peanuts outdoors after the last frost or start them indoors. Few weeks before the last frost.
Selecting Good Seed Peanut
To ensure successful peanut cultivation, picking out good seed peanuts is important. While you can use raw peanuts, Purchased from the grocery . Growing peanut using seed peanuts obtained from a gardening store is generally easier. Just before planting, keep the peanut in their shells to avoid them from drying out too rapidly and not producing. Roasted peanuts shouldn’t be used since they won’t germinate.
Preparing the Soil for Planting
Start by adding damp potting soil to a clean container. Using a bowl or beginning pot about 4 inches (10 cm) deep might be OK. Before adding the Seed peanut, and make sure the soil is moist. A paper or peat pot is recommended, as it allows for easy transplantation of the entire seedling. If a plastic container is the only option; ensure it is clean by washing it with warm water and soap.
Germination and Seedling Growth
Place a few seed peanut on top of the soil, gently pressing them into the soil. About 1 inch (2.5 cm) should be placed over the peanut of spongy, loose dirt. It is essential to leave the brown paper coating surrounding each nut seed intact, as it aids germination.
If the soil is dry, mist it with water just enough to make it feel damp but not drenched. If planting outdoors, space the seeds 2 inches (5 cm) apart. 20 cm apart and 8 inches deep.
Flowering and Pegging
These flowers self-pollinate. Pegging is a characteristic of peanut development. The developing ovary, often called a “peg,” enlarges, develops from the plant, and eventually forms a short stem that juts into the earth. The peanut embryo is located at the peg’s tip, penetrating the soil and turning horizontally to the surface. As the plant grows and flowers, it produces 40 or more pods, with the growing cycle lasting around four to five months.
Maturation and Harvesting Process
Farmers wait for favorable soil conditions until 140 to 150 days after planting when the peanuts are ripe and ready for harvest. The plant israised with a digger, shaken to remove extra dirt, turned, and then set back down in a “windrow” posture with the leaves down and the peanut.Facing up. For storage, the collected peanut must be dried to a moisture content of 10% or below. The peanut is taken from the vines and placed in windrows for a few days to cure before mixing. The vines can feed cattle or the soil.
Digging and Drying
The peanut plants are ready for harvest when they begin to yellow and wilt, usually four to five months after planting. The harvest time depends on the type and variety of peanuts, as well as the weather and soil conditions. Farmers wait until the soil is not too wet or too dry before digging up the plants.
They use a machine called a digger, which lifts the plants out of the ground, shakes off the excess dirt, and flips them upside down. The plants are then left in the field for several days to dry and cure. This process reduces the moisture content of the pods from 25-50% to 10% or less, making them suitable for storage4.
Combining and Storing
After the peanuts are dried, they are separated from the vines using a machine called a combine. The combine collects the pods in a hopper and deposits the vines back in the field. The vines can be used as animal feed or compost. The pods are then transported to a warehouse, where they are cleaned, graded, and stored in bags or bins. The peanuts are now ready to be sold or processed into various
Growing peanut from seed to harvest requires careful planning and attention to detail. By starting the plants indoors, selecting good seed peanuts, preparing the soil adequately, and following the growth stages of germination, flowering, pegging, and maturation, you can successfully cultivate your peanut. The journey from planting to harvest takes approximately four to five months, and the rewards are nutritious peanuts ready to be enjoyed or used in various culinary creations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I grow peanuts directly outdoors without starting them indoors?
After the last frost, you can grow peanut outside in a warmer southern zone.
Where can I obtain seed peanuts for growing?
Gardening supply companies sell seed peanuts in cultivars that are suited for purchase.
How long does it take for peanuts to mature?
Depending on the kind and variety, the growth cycle of peanut normally lasts four to five months.
Can I consume freshly harvested peanuts?
Before eating or storage, peanuts collected from the field must be dried due to their high moisture content.
What should I do with the peanut vines after harvesting?
Peanut vines can be utilized as healthy animal feed or left in the field to feed the soil.