How Do You Grow and Harvest Peanuts?


Quick Answer

To grow peanuts, plant them at least 2 inches deep in well-drained soil with full sun exposure, cover them with compost, water them regularly and dig them up after about 150 days. After harvesting, hang the pods in a warm, dry location with good air circulation.

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How Do You Grow and Harvest Peanuts?
Credit: Georgia Peanut Commission CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

An optional step before planting the peanuts is inoculation. Inoculate peanuts by coating them with a good peanut inoculation powder. This gives the peanuts a supply of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which allows the plants to extract more usable nitrogen from the soil. Peanuts, like all plants in the legume family, naturally attract nitrogen-fixing bacteria already present in the soil, but inoculation ensures the plants have access to a rich supply of these beneficial microbes.

Peanut plants require at least 6 inches between each plant. If you grow the plants in containers, ensure that they have several inches to grow downward. Peanuts require regular watering, but seedlings require more moisture than mature plants. Do not overwater after the plants are established, as soggy soil encourages fungi and nematodes.

Peanuts provide a natural indicator around harvest time. Between 120 and 150 days after planting, peanut leaves begin to turn yellow, which shows that they are ready for harvest. Once the harvested peanut hulls are completely dry, they are ready for canning, cooking or eating straight from the shell.

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