Peanut Farming January 05, 2018
Peanut Farming - Daily Care
Loosen the soil after a few weeks.
- Once your plants reach a height of 6 inches (15.24 cm), you should lightly and carefully dig around the base of each plant to loosen the soil.
- The plant will develop runners as it grows, and each of these runners will develop blossoms. The flowers will wilt and bend down, but you should not pick them off.
- These downward stems are called "pegs." Your peanuts will grow off of these pegs, and the stems need to find their way underground in order to grow those peanuts.
- By making the soil looser, you make it easier for the pegs to get underground.
Hill the soil around the base of the plant later on.
- After the pegs have found their way underground and the plants themselves are about 12 inches (30.5 cm) tall, you should gently form the soil into small hills around each buried peg and around the base of the plant.
- Doing this provides extra warmth and protection for the peanuts growing on the ends of the buried pegs.
Lay down a light mulch.
- Spread out 2 inches (5 cm) of straw or grass clippings over the area immediately after creating the hills.
- Mulch prevents most weeds from coming up.
- Additionally, it also keeps the soil warm, moist, and soft.
- Do not use heavy mulches like wood chips, though. Additional pegs may need to break through the soil, and they will not be able to do so with heavy mulches in the way.
- Use a watering can or garden hose with a gentle spray setting to provide the plants with 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water each week.
- Ideally, peanuts should be given a little water at a time. They do best when the soil is slightly dry on the surface but moist at about 1 inch (2.5 cm) down.
- This can be determined by sticking your fingertip into the soil and noting how much of your finger you can insert into the soil before you feel moisture.
Avoid fertilizers with high levels of nitrogen.
- Fertilizers are not usually necessary to begin with when growing peanuts, but if you do opt to use a fertilizer, make sure that it does not contain large amounts of nitrogen.
- Peanuts supply their own nitrogen. Adding more nitrogen to this will produce very bushy plants with thick foliage and little fruit yield.
- Once the plants begin to flower, you can begin treating them with a fertilizer rich in calcium. Doing so may help maximize nut formation.
Protect your plants with mesh fencing.
- The biggest threat to your peanut plants are squirrels, chipmunks, and other small critters looking for a free feast. Placing mesh fencing around your plants is a simple, sure way to keep these uninvited dinner guests out of your crop.
- Push the fencing 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm) below the ground to protect the peanuts as they grow underneath. Many mice and squirrels will try to dig the plants up after nuts begin forming, and if the netting does not extend below ground, they may succeed.
Use insecticide only as needed.
- Peanut plants are not usually victims when it comes to pests of the insect variety. Some insects do occasionally make themselves a nuisance, though, including cutworms, cucumber beetles, and aphids. These insects usually attack by eating the plants.
- Spray the leaves with a pyrethrin-based pesticide for best results.
- If you want to stick to something organic, sprinkle ground red pepper on the leaves, instead.