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Peanuts Planting Dilemma: Expert Advice on When to Plant

Peanuts are not only a great source of protein for vegans, but when you plant them, they help the soil with nitrogen as a fixator.

Generally, Peanuts are warm-season crops planted in the early summers in Zone 8-11, where the summer is longer for the plant to produce a better amount of seeds. While in Zones below 7, they are started indoors in the early spring to give a head start for summer transplants. 

Follow along to learn about the Peanuts’ growing conditions and planting time.

Where do Peanuts Grow Best?

The earthy Peanuts require long growing seasons, ample sunlight, and moderate rainfall.

Generally, Peanut grows in dry areas all around the world at a temperature ranging around 70°F (21°C) and 90°F (32°C), from West Africa to South America, but India and China are the primary producers.

You simply plant them in your garden or raised beds by incorporating sand to make them light and airy. 

However, gardeners in the northern climate prefer growing Peanuts in a wide container, so it is easy to bring them indoors during winter flurries. 

A Peanut plant in a black container under bright sunlight.
You can easily take the Peanut Pot outdoors once the temperature starts increasing.

Regardless of the planting site, the average time from planting until harvest takes around 120 to 150 days. 

As you sow the peanuts in spring after the frost, the seedling emerges within 7 to 10 days, followed by vegetative growth over the next few weeks. 

Further, for the yellow flower of Peanuts to self-pollinate, set pegs (fertilized ovule carrying structure) into the ground and then forming Peanuts roughy in 60 days requires at least one-third of daylight. 

When to Plant Peanuts?

As a warm-season leguminous crop, you can plant the Peanuts from mid-spring i.e. April to early summer. 

But planting them in May allows the Peanuts to enjoy extended summer heat that helps increase the plant’s yield. 

That said, the planting time for Peanuts may significantly vary considering the local climate and weather patterns.

Early Planting 

For zone 7 and below, having short growing seasons, you must start the Peanut seed 6-8 weeks before the last frost.

This gives your Peanut plant a head start for transplanting after the winter passes and soil temperature warms up to 60°F to 70°F.

Selecting the short-season varieties like Valencia and Tennessee Red would be best here.

Moreover, the indoor-started seedling can easily escape the winter injuries responsible for declining production from a Peanut plant. 

Late Planting 

In the Southern states of the U.S., like Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, where summer lasts longer, sow Peanut seed directly in the garden. 

Like many gardeners, you may use the Peanuts from last season as seeds for growing. But we recommend you select the varieties like Spanish Peanut best for Peanut oil. 

Early summer planting is especially suited in Zone 8, Zone 9, and Zone 10 alongside raspberry and blueberry.

Note: Growing Peanuts for your home may not get you any legal complication but commercial production of Peanuts require federal license. So, co-ordinate with your state governmant to get the clear idea on it legality.

How to Plant Peanuts?

Here is how you can grow Peanuts from seed at home.

Outdoor Planting

  • Select a sunny spot and work the soil to loosen it. You may incorporate some sand to make the soil airy and well-draining. 
  • Plant some healthy Peanut seeds about 2 inches deep in the soil and 6 to 8 inches apart within the rows. 
  • Water thoroughly to ensure good soil and seed contact and proper germination. Remember, the soil is kept moist but not drenched.
  • Apply a layer of plastic mulch or organic mulch to help retain soil moisture, maintain soil temperature, and suppress weed growth that may disturb the Peanut’s growth.
  • Since Peanuts can sustain nitrogen needs by nitrogen fixation, avoid using nitrogen-rich fertilizer that encourages vegetative growth instead of flowers. Simply aged compost would be best to use monthly during the active growth phase.
  • Your plant should be ready to harvest around fall (September to November) when the leaves and stems start turning yellow and dry. 

Further, to harvest the Peanuts dig up the plant and light lift the pods with a garden fork. 

Now shake off the excess dirt and store the pods in a well-ventilated warm room for 10 to 15 days to cure them. 

The Peanuts are ready to be consumed once the outer shell dries completely. 

Indoor Planting

  • Choose some high-quality seeds of the varieties of your choice.
  • Soak the seed in water overnight or place them between moist paper for a few days until they sprout.
  • Take a bigger germination tray or small pots, and fill it with a well-draining potting mix, preferably sand mixed in peat moss.
  • Make a shallow indentation (1 inch deep) in the potting mix, place the seeds with sprout facing downwards, and cover it lightly with the potting mix.
  • Ensure the soil remains consistently moist and keep the container in a warm, sunny location.

You’ll start noticing the seedling in about 6-10 days.

Let the seedling grow a few sets of leaves, and then transplant them outdoors.

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Keep Rodents at Bay!

Be wary of rodents, as they are the primary pests that can wreak havoc on the potted or ground Peanuts.

Plant aromatic herbs like basil, garlic, and thyme to deter rodents or fence the garden.