Today I am going to educate you! I will discuss the growing process of the peanut plant. I have recently planted some peanuts in my backyard and I am going to give you a heads up on how they grow. Why? Because this question (how do peanuts grow?) is perhaps the single most asked question that enters my ears. Every single time I eat some peanuts and I encounter someone who knows I studied botany alwasy asks me: Richard, I never actually thought about it but seriously, how do peanuts grow? As I mentioned before, I have studied in the United States at the University of Georgia. I obtained a degree in botany but after I realized there wasn’t enough work in this particular field I decided to pursue a very different field of work: account management. Just recently I found a great website that can really help you if you want to plant peanuts or want to learn more in general about the peanut plant: how do peanuts grow. For the sake of education I will write this article and with great joy I present to you: how do peanuts grow in my backyard?
Okay, a couple of months ago I decided to conduct a little experiment, I decided to grow some peanuts in my backyard. Peanuts are perhaps one of the easiest legumes (yes, they are considered to be legumes instead of nuts) that you can grow in your own backyard. Think of peanuts as tomatoes, strawberries or potatoes: they require little work but the end result is great. To be honest I kind of had forgotten where to get the appropriate peanuts, you can’t just put any peanut in the ground because most of them are roasted (so the life is burned out of them). Eventually I ended up at the local grocery store that had a tiny bag of unroasated peanuts: perfect. Before you continue reading I recommend you read this short page that describes what a peanut really is. Why am I giving you this link? So that I don’t have to do all explaining myself: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mv111
Alright, now that you know some more general information about the peanut it’s time to continue. After I planted the tiny peanut seeds in the first container I had to wait a while for them to start sprouting, actually this happend rather quick because I know how to handle my plants (and the sun helped a bit, haha). It was then time to transfer the peanut plant (which has already grown to be a quite a little plant with a nice yellow flower on top of it) to my backyard. And here it comes: most people think that the peanut plant will continue to grow and that eventually peanuts will be hanging from the plant: WRONG. Peanuts do not grow above ground but below ground! When the peanut plant matures you can dig the plant up and you can see that the roots have formed a little system where fresh new peanuts have emerged. The entire process starts with the peg of the peanut plant, it will slowly bend down untill it penetrates the soil, it will keep growing and growing and eventually a peanut will form at the end. I know that I am not that good at explaining it but I think that if you read some more information on the following pages you already have a good start: http://extension.uga.edu/agriculture/crops/peanuts/
I eventually dug up the peanuts from the soil and dried them for about 2 months. After that you can decide what you do with them: you can eat them “raw” or you can roast them in your oven (or even better: put them on the barbeque! I assure you: the smell is awesome). It was quite an adventure because I never had actually planted peanuts myself: I know the theory from hundreds of botany books but some hands-on experience is way cooler! I think planting peanuts is a great way to learn for both young and old. I definitely recommend doing some botany with your kids. You might not be too much “in to it” but I can assure you that kids usually are really fond of growing things in the garden: strawberries, potatoes, peanuts, blueberries, raspberries… anything. I actually invited some of my friends’ kids over here to dig the peanuts up and roast them 2 months later: they absolutely loved it. If you want more information on how you can grow your own peanuts I can recommend this website http://growpeanuts.com/how-to-grow-peanuts.html – it explains step-by-step how people can grow their own peanuts using very simple language. You can print the pages and take them with you to the backyard or you can let your kid read them.
If you want more information on the process or if you would like to see more pictures of the peanuts that I recently harvested, feel free to send me an e-mail using the talk to me button on top of the screen. I promise you yet again: it’s great. Just do it!