Have you ever considered growing
your own peanuts
? Peanuts are a healthy and delicious snack food that is easy to grow in the home garden.
Although commonly classified as a nut on store shelves, peanuts are actually a legume--part of the same family as beans and peas
. Peanuts have a long growing season, lasting about 120 to 150 days, so you need to live in a warmer climate--at least zone 5
--to allow them enough time to mature.
Like beans and peas, you don't need special seeds to grow peanuts. The seeds are
the peanuts located inside the pods/shells. For planting, use fresh, unroasted peanuts. Plant peanuts 1-1/2 inches deep in hills when soil temperatures are about 65 F. They like sandy well drained soil and lots of water.
As the plants grow, they'll look a lot like pea plants, with similar flowers, but peanut plants grow more in a bush shape than a vine. Expect to see your first peanut shoots about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Peanuts will be ready to harvest in the fall, when the foliage turns yellow. Harvest peanuts
with a potato fork and allow the nuts to dry for a couple weeks before removing the pods for oven-roasting.