Whether or not eaten uncooked or roasted or unfold on bread, peanuts are a superb supply of fiber, nutritional vitamins, and minerals; haven’t any ldl cholesterol; and include extra protein than many meats.
The Peanut Plant
Persons are typically shocked to seek out out that peanuts will not be nuts in any respect. Really, they’re the seeds of a leguminous plant associated to peas and beans.
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The peanut plant is exclusive as a result of its flowers develop aboveground, but the pods containing the seeds develop within the soil.
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The yellow, pea-like blossoms are self-pollinating. As soon as fertilized, the fragile petals fall away. The stalks (known as pegs) slightly below the ovaries then elongate and bend towards the earth, rising into the soil. When underground, the ovary on the tip of every stalk enlarges to type a peanut pod.
How one can Develop Your Personal Peanuts
Though better-suited to the hotter local weather of the southern U.S., peanuts have been recognized to develop as far north as southern Canada.
When to Plant
- Peanuts have an extended rising season (starting from 100 to 130 frost-free days); they’re planted just a few weeks after the typical final frost date within the spring and infrequently dug up anytime after the primary of September.
- The trick to elevating them within the North is to decide on an early-maturing selection equivalent to “Early Spanish” (100 days) and plant on a south-facing slope, if potential. You can additionally get a head begin to the season by sowing peanuts indoors 5 to eight weeks earlier than transplanting exterior.
The place to Plant
- It’s essential to pick a web site that receives full solar.
- Plastic row covers are really helpful to guard the younger vegetation from spring frosts.
How one can Plant
- To develop peanuts, you’ll really want to begin with contemporary, uncooked, raw peanuts nonetheless of their shells.
- To start out inside, fill a big, four-inch-deep plastic bowl ⅔ filled with moist potting soil. Shell 4 peanuts and place them on prime of the soil; then cowl with one inch of soil. Crops will sprout rapidly. Transplant seedlings exterior after the specter of frost has handed.
- To plant exterior, place the peanut seeds two inches deep and eight inches aside in free, well-drained soil. (Add sand and aged compost to soil to loosen.)
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Caring for Peanut Crops
- When the vegetation are six inches excessive, domesticate round them to loosen the soil in order that the pegs will penetrate it simply.
- Then, hill them as you’ll potatoes and mulch with two inches of straw or grass clippings.
- Small, yellow, pea-like flowers will develop alongside the decrease a part of the stem. After the flowers fade, the ovaries will swell, begin to develop towards the bottom, after which push into the soil.
- Peanuts are harvested earlier than frost, when the plant yellows.
- Dig out your complete plant with a spading fork, fastidiously shake off many of the soil, after which hold to dry indoors for a couple of month.
- The “nut” may be loved uncooked or roasted to perfection by baking shelled or unshelled in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.
Did You Know: It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
Peanuts are thought to have originated in South America, the place Peruvian Indians cultivated them no less than 3,500 years in the past. Moreover valuing peanuts as meals, the Peruvians thought of them a standing image and even used them as cash—which isn’t stunning when you think about how many people nonetheless assume that we’re working for peanuts.
Ever questioned the place popcorn comes from? It’s additionally a seed plant! See our rising suggestions for popcorn.
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