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#203812 Reply

E. Vinje

Hello –

Peanuts require a very long growing season; between 100 and 130 days for most varieties. That is, night temperatures must not drop below 55 degrees and the soil must be 65 degrees or warmer at a depth of 4 inches. However, that does not mean that you can not grow them if you live in a cooler environment. In the case that you do need a jump start on the growing season, it is important to select an ‘early’ variety and/or start your seeds indoors or in a greenhouse five to eight weeks prior to transplanting outdoors when conditions are right. Here are some basic strategies for growing great nuts:

• Use untreated SEED peanuts (can be shelled or un-shelled but must have brownish skin still in tact)
• Apply inoculate to seed peanuts before planting (peanuts are actually legumes and like peas and beans they greatly benefit from nitrogen fixing bacteria which forms a symbiotic relationship with the plants’ roots, leading to healthier plants with noticeably larger yields)
• Grow in full sun
• Grow in well drained soil to deter aflatoxin – an extremely dangerous mold. You can always work perlite and organic matter into your garden in order to achieve better drainage
• Utilize row cover for protection from spring frosts
• Direct sow seed 1-2″ deep and 6-8″ apart then cover with a thin layer of compost
• If starting seed indoors plant 1″ deep in peat pots due to delicate root systems (peat pots can be transplanted directly into the soil later on)
• As they grow, mulch around plants so that soil remains easily penetrable to allow for greater production
• Keep soil moist until flowering begins and then allow soil to dry out between watering
• After the small yellow flowers drop they will begin to grow towards the ground and into the soil. At this point begin hilling the plants as you would potatoes and top dress with a soft mulch (like straw)
• Harvest before frost when plants yellow

Hope this helps!