Fruit of thePeanutan annual plant that belongs to the large legume family (Fabaceae), peanuts (or peanuts) can be produced in our latitudes, in the ground in the South and in pots or planters in other regions. Easy to grow, it makes it possible to decorate the aperitifs of the end of summer. It would therefore be a shame to deprive yourself of it, especially since serving the peanuts from the garden has something to surprise the guests. Let’s see how to sow, plant and care for Peanut so you can harvest your own peanuts in the summer.
Cultivate peanuts to produce peanuts
To grow your own peanuts, just install the Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) in soil with a pH of 5.8. This legume loves soil richessufficiently supplied with nitrogen, well drained and preferably not too clayey. As for the ideal exposure, it must be very sunny because peanuts need heat. In our latitudes, the ideal is to grow your peanuts in pots in order to be able to put them under shelter in the event of the first early frosts.
The peanut is also called peanut, pinotte, ground pea or ground pistachio and, across the Atlantic, peanuts. At maturity the plant can reach 1 m in height and 40 cm in wingspan. Its fruit is edible but it can also be grown as a decorative plant for its beautiful foliage and pretty yellow flowers.
There are different ways to get seeds, either in a pet store in the section dedicated to bird food, or in some garden centers that sell ready-to-plant kits containing peanut seeds, potting soil and a terracotta pot. or a biodegradable bucket. Some people also simply buy fresh peanuts in the supermarket, that is to say in their shell (and not salted or roasted), to try growing peanuts…
Here is the method to follow.
- In Aprilgerminate the seeds by sowing them 3 cm deep in moderately moist soil,
- Place the pot in a bright room where the temperature is 20 to 22°C,
- Water as soon as you sow, then let the substrate dry out a little between two waterings.
Germination is fast and it only takes 10 to 12 days to see its plants emerge.
It is important to wait until the ice saints have passed (May 11, 12 and 13) to plant its germinated seeds because the risk of frost should no longer be to be feared. Peanut being a plant frost She absolutely cannot stand the cold.
For a potted culture, it is preferable to choose fairly large containers, with a diameter of 30 to 40 cm, with a perforated bottom to guarantee good drainage, and filled with loose and fine soil of the compost type. Each pot should be placed on the balcony, terrace or in the garden, in a place well exposed to the sun and sheltered from the wind. Water regularly but in moderation. Peanut can flower from 6 to 8 weeks after sowing. As soon as the yellow flowers bloom, watering should be reduced.
Peanut can also be grown in the ground as long as it enjoys good sunshine. But this mode of cultivation is especially possible in our southern regions. In this case, the following conditions must be observed:
- Count one Peanut foot every 35 cmand if you wish to cultivate several rows – for the many aperitifs in anticipation – it is advisable to respect an interval of 70 to 80 cm between the rows.
- Mound the rows to facilitate the “work” of the flowers provided with a gynophore which, after fertilization, comes into contact with the ground so that fruiting takes place in the ground.
- Water if necessary to preserve the just wet substrate but be careful to keep a light hand because the earth should never be soggy.
- Hoe regularly and delicately until the flowers are close to the ground: it is then the time to install a mulch and of course to put away the hoe in order to let nature take its course.
Maintaining your peanut plants
Peanut does not need complicated care.
We simply take care to maintain a slight humidity but the important thing is not to water too copiously. Overwatering only exposes the plant to the risk of disease.
As we have seen, hoeing is important for Peanuts in the ground as long as the flowers do not touch the ground. In the same way, it is necessary to scratch the surface of the substrate of the peanuts in pot regularly.
Pests and diseases
The aphid transmits to the plant the peanut rosette, a disease caused by a simple RNA virus. Inviting ladybugs to the garden helps fight aphids naturally. The rust as well as leaf scab are two diseases that can affect Peanut if grown in a humid environment and significantly reduce yield. This is why you really have to be careful not to overwater this type of legume.
Harvest his peanuts
It’s time to harvest when the stems and the leaves are dry. To do this, all you have to do is tear off the feet of Peanuts to recover the pods, which are then wrinkled. They should be dried, either by leaving them in full sun for a few days or, if it rains, they can be placed on the veranda. You can also dry them in the oven. After shelling, the integument that envelops the peanuts is then easily detached.
This is between 3 and 5 months after planting the germinated seeds that you can harvest the fruits of your own Peanuts, starting in August. What a pleasure to serve as an aperitif garden peanuts, just as we like to do with cherry tomatoes and small carrots or even radishes which are also popular as an aperitif. Available plain, grilled or salted, it can also be used to prepare peanut butter. You can even make your own soaps from peanut oil.
Easy to grow, Peanut is a decorative plant that grows quickly. Children can therefore have fun sowing between March and May, for flowering between May and July and a harvest before the end of the summer holidays. But before allowing them to taste their own production of peanuts, it must be ensured that they are not allergic to peanuts.