Try Something Different: Grow Peanuts
Lester C. Fretz
Although few gardeners in Southern Ontario grow peanuts, they are an extremely easy, productive and fun crop to grow if you follow a few simple suggestions.
Peanuts are a legume and not a nut. The nut forms at the end of its flower (the ovary) which bends over and the “peg” grows into the soil . One plant can easily produce 30-50 peanuts.
Some varieties such as Jumbo Virginia, may take up 140 days to mature, Valencia , available from the Ontario Seed Company is the earliest and does well in Ontario maturing in less than 100 days.
To speed up the growing process, plant nuts indoors in 4″ pots about April 1st either in the shell or hulled. If hulled, do not remove the pinkish/brown seed covering. They may take up to 20 days to sprout
When the soil warms to 60-70F, they can then be transplanted to the garden (10″ apart) in a rich, sandy loam with crushed egg shells for calcium. Keep it watered and fertilize with phosphate but no nitrogen. Hill around its base when it reaches 1′ high. It may grow 3′ wide. Fortunately, the plant has no pests.
When the leaves yellow, pull it leaving the nuts attached to the tendrils and hang it to dry in an airy space.
Of course, you’ll save a few before roasting (@ 3500F) for the following year’s seed. Don’t be influenced by the myth that peanuts cannot be grown in your garden!