As natives of Brazil, they need a warm climate, so will grow best in tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate areas. They can take up to 5 months to mature, so will you need a little patience before you can dig up your buried treasure!
Using a trowel, dig a 5cm deep furrow and plant seeds (just raw peanuts with the skin on), spacing them 10-15cm apart. If sowing more than one row, allow 60-75cm between rows. Cover the seeds with soil and gently firm down with the back of a rake.
Water well and mulch with organic mulch, like pea straw or lucerne to help retain soil moisture. Tip: If the soil is well-watered, no extra watering is required until the seedlings emerge after 7-10 days.
Water the plants regularly and deeply at least once a week or more, especially in hot and dry weather.
As the plants grow, hill or mound the soil slightly against the plants for support. This will also help increase peanut production.
When the foliage turns yellow and plants start to die down, it’s time to harvest! Dig up the whole plant with a fork, gently shake off excess dirt and hang upside down to dry in the sun for 3-4 days or until most of the moisture has evaporated. Strip off the pods and store in air tight containers or remove the shell and eat raw.
How to grow peanuts in a pot
Choose a pot at least 500mm wide and 300mm deep. Position in full sun and protect from strong winds.
Fill starter trays with Yates Seed Raising Mix. Sow seeds over mix, lightly cover and gently water. Keep the soil moist throughout germination.
As the plant grows, hill or mound potting mix around the base of the plant. Alternatively, use organic mulch. This will help support the plant and increase peanut production.
When the plant dies down, it’s ready for harvest. Use a hand fork or trowel to dig around the plant and remove it from the pot. Shake of excess soil and hang upside down to dry in the sun for 3-4 days or until most of the moisture has evaporated. Strip off the pods and store in air tight containers or remove the shell and eat raw.
You can use raw peanuts bought from health food or grocery stores for planting. Remove the shell just before planting, but ensure the skin is still intact.
When the flowers die, you’ll notice they will develop a long ‘peg’, which causes the plant to bend towards the soil and push below the surface. The tip of the peg enlarges and eventually develops into the peanut. Fascinating to watch!
There are three main types of peanuts that you can grow – Runner, Spanish and Viriginia.