Learn how to start growing peanuts in the garden and you will have a newfound appreciation for that jar of peanut butter. Is it easy to grow peanuts? Honestly… no. I didn’t find it easy at all! However, it was a fun and educational garden project that I really enjoyed!
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Is it easy to grow peanuts? Well, not for me!
This past summer I decided to try my hand at growing peanuts. Why do I want to grow peanuts? Because they are seriously nature’s tiny miracle! There is so much goodness packed into one tiny little peanut!
If I could grow them in my garden, I figured I would be well on my way to adding more of that nutritional goodness to my diet, right? Well, growing peanuts is not as easy at it seems! I am going to share my experience growing peanuts in the garden, however you can also grow peanuts in containers as well.
How to Grow Peanuts in Containers
To grow peanuts in a container, you need to start with raw peanuts. They won’t be found in your snack isle at the grocery store, unfortunately. Then, get a rather shallow pot that is much longer than it is deep.
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You don’t need a lot of space for roots but you need room for it to spread. Fill the container ⅔ full with moist potting soil. Shell four peanuts and place them on top of the soil; then cover with one inch of soil. Water regularly and watch them grow!
Growing Peanuts in the Garden
Growing peanuts in the backyard garden is a fun and eco friendly project for kids. You probably won’t be getting enough to really fill you up or make your own peanut butter. But, if you want to give it a try, here are my peanut growing tips!
Step One: Find Peanut Plants
Since I live in Georgia (which is known for it’s prolific peanut production) I actually found peanuts at my local nursery. I grabbed 2 plants. If you live somewhere outside the great state of Georgia you may have to do a bit of Googling to find your peanut plants.
You can buy peanut plant seeds on Amazon. I had high hopes….surely growing peanuts would be a cinch with my gardening know-how, right? Hmmmm…
Step Two: Find the right spot for growing peanuts in the garden
This is not as easy as it might seem. Growing peanuts requires full sun, good drainage and soil that is fairly loose. They need lots of organic material in the soil. I found what I thought was a good spot and put my 2 plants in the ground around early spring. Now comes the fun part…the WAIT!
Step Three: Wait some more (OMG! how long does it take to grow peanuts??)
This is the hard part. Unlike tomatoes that you can actually SEE growing on your plants, you cannot see the peanuts. As the plant grows it sends little shoots down into the soil and the peanuts grow under the soil on the ends of those little shoots.
It is seriously frustrating looking at my plant and wondering what is under the soil! Growing peanuts takes patience….I must admit, I bought a LOT of peanuts at the grocery store while I waited for my peanut plants to do their thing. A girl could starve waiting for her garden to yield actual food.
If you are curious to know how long peanuts take to grow, from planting to harvesting, the growing cycle of a peanut takes 4 to 5 months, depending on the type and variety. Yeah… have patience!
Like these peanut growing tips? Here are a few more gardening tips
- Edible Gardening Tips and Foodscaping Ideas for Beginning Gardeners
- Urban Composting Tips for City Dwellers and Apartment Renters
- Tips For Preparing Your Spring Garden
Step Four: Harvest your peanuts!
So, when the plant begins to turn a bit yellow in late summer or early fall you will know it is time to harvest. Wait until the soil is moist and gently pull the plant out of the soil. Let your nuts dry in the sun while still on your plants.
When everything is dry, detach your peanuts. Voila, you now have a tasty snack…only you probably got about 12 peanuts all together and you are still hungry for more peanuts after eating your tasty snack. It is times like this that I am seriously happy that they are easy to find in my local grocery store. Growing peanuts in the garden is fun but not a great way to get loads of fresh peanuts!
How many peanuts do you get from one plant? Only about 50 peanuts. I am clearly not going to be able to supply my family with a significant number of peanuts out of my own garden. But, since peanuts are packed full of nutritional goodness I can’t just NOT include peanuts in my diet, right?
Health Benefits of Peanuts
Why are peanuts so important for our diet? Peanuts have 7 grams of protein per serving to help satisfy our hunger. They are full of fiber to help keep your digestive track happy and healthy. They have trace minerals like phosphorus and magnesium for bone health and are high in Vitamin E and niacin for skin health.
Easy Peanut Recipes
- Sweet Salty Trail Mix Recipe and the Power of Peanuts!
- Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe
- Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
Peanut Growing Tips
Ok, I would love to try growing peanuts in the garden again, however, a larger yield would be nice! So, I decided to start researching a few peanut growing tips to boost my next yield. Here are a few things I learned from my research on how to grow peanuts.
- Peanuts have a long growing season so planting early is important.
- There are early-maturing varieties for shorter growing seasons.
- You can sow peanuts indoors 5 to 8 weeks before transplanting outside.
- Ideally, peanut plants need full sun.
- Sand and aged compost help amend the soil so peanut plants thrive.
- Each plant produces between 25 and 50 peanuts.
Clearly, if I am only going to get 50 peanuts from one plant, I am not going to be able to stock up on these tasty little morsels. I can eat 50 peanuts in one sitting!
I guess I will still be heading to my local grocery store for a container or two for trail mix. But, growing peanuts is still fun! Want more info? Head over the The Farmer’s Almanac for tips on growing your own peanuts!
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.