How to grow peanuts

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Peanuts are native to South America and are actually part of the legume family, not the nut family. Whether you want to grow your own peanuts to sell, eat, make peanut butter from, or just because you're curious to know if you can, pay careful attention to the following suggestions.

Skip the seed shop and buy raw peanuts from the supermarket. They have to be raw and not roasted.

Plough the ground deeply, at least 17.5 cm (7 inches) or more.

Plant peanuts after the last frost in very sandy soil. Make sure your soil drains well.

Sow 5 cm (2 inches) deep, with lots of compost and manure. You can even add about 5 cm (2 inches) of mulch on top of the surface if you are concerned that the ground is too hard to grow peanuts or if you have a lot of weeds.

Space peanuts 17.5 cm (7 inches) apart, making sure the kernels stay whole. If split, they won't grow.

Water well when planting, but not again until the peanut plant sprouts. This should take about a week. When you begin watering them regularly do not overwater.

Keep the area free from weeds which can hinder peanut plant growth.

Allow 130 days for plants to mature.

Harvest in the autumn by pulling the whole plant out. A spading fork is helpful. You'll see a mature nut when you pull it out of the ground. The foliage will be yellow.

Allow peanuts to dry for two to four weeks.

Store in a cool, dry place until ready for roasting.

Enjoy the peanuts. You can grow more next year!