Late last winter or very early spring depending on how you look at it, Dear Hubby said I would like to grow peanuts again this year.. we have grown them before with moderate success.. its very tricky to give them enough heat and long enough days to full finish the peanut..
So I ordered the seed peanuts from OSC (Ontario Seed Company) these peanuts have been bred for canada, well at least the southern zones.. they need 120 days min and more is better.. and they are space hogs.. they really are, with each peanut plant needing 36 inches each, fat and full and because of how they grow you need to stay on top of weeds and keep a bare soil under the plants themselves, you can mulch on the sides but not under the plants themselves.
Now if you have grown peanuts this is old hat to you but if you have not, its a funky plant.. it grows bushy with leaves that will remind you a bit of clover or at least it does to me and its flowers are lovely yellow, its a pretty plant in the garden, you could get away in the right places using it as a “edge” plant and no one would be any the wiser that you are growing peanuts.. they would just see a three footish high green row with pretty yellow flowers..
Once the flowers bloom, the stamen which is dark purplish color will head out and down.. down, down.. into the ground.. that’s right.. the peanuts are not going to grow on the roots of the plant but are in fact growing to grown on ends of what was once the above grown flower.. how freakin cool is that!.. now the first big push on the early flowers and the best producers are going to the flowers that went in clusters at the base of the plant,
I find these the most productive and the ones most likely to finish.. the secondary blooming which is lovely to look at, will produce more single peanuts if they reach full size on the lines outward.. the more mature peanuts will have lines on them when they come out of the ground..
Ideally leave them till frost nips them.. we did not do that this year because I needed to make the choice between pulling the plants still green with hints of yellow coming at the end of a extra warm spell just before extreme rain coming and risking rot.. Given the amount of rain we have had, I will take the loss we might have gotten if I had been able to wait for frost, (which is to be coming today)
Once they are pulled out, they must be hung to start curing.. they filled the whole of my living room on laundry cloths dryers.. with a fan on 24 hours and a small heater for just a bit of warmth without to much.. Once they are dry enough, shake off the extra dirt and keep letting them dry down.. on average it takes about 2 weeks but weather does play a factor..
Then take them off and decide your choice, wash, salt boil and then roast them, or dry them, brush the dirt off, then dry oven roast them.. I brushed them, did a slow low dry for 24 at herb setting on the dryer, pulled any thing that did not pass the test after that finally drying out.. which was about 5%, and then into the oven for 45 min they went.. I started take one out and cracking it and testing it for being ready at 40 min and this batch was perfect at 50 min..
I love that we have one more choice to grow “fat” on the farm but in the garden.. Its one of the few perks of the changing weather patterns here on the farm, more heat units, longer falls.. I have to admit that I have given though to growing peanuts and sweet potato’s as the main summer crops in the geodome, the extra days, the extra heat and the warmer soil will just make those crops thrive..
After all I can grow greens, salad fixes and more in the main and food forest gardens very well all spring, summer and fall..
Do you grow peanuts? If so do you grow just a few as a treat feed or do you grow a couple big good rows for your own peanut butter? Do you like salt boiled peanuts? Dry Roast? I love the skins on the fresh peanuts, fresh peanuts are just more.. yum.. double yum!