While grocery shopping recently I was tempted beyond endurance by a hot sale. I’m not an impulse-buyer and a hard sell never works on me. Or almost never. On this day I was loading my groceries on the conveyor when what did I spy but a pallet of peanut plants for $2.99 each labeled: “Normally $6.99 – a savings of $4!” I’m not sure I believe this sign since I’ve never seen them for sale at a grocery store before. Bad sales pitch aside, I was intrigued. And it didn’t take much encouragement by Frank (actually I only needed him to not forcefully forbid me being from a sucker) for me to grab 2 to try in my garden. (I saved $8 – think how much money I’d have now if I bought the full pallet’s worth.)
I have no idea what growing conditions peanuts like. In fact my entire knowledge of peanuts (other than the roasted kind you buy for immediate consumption) comes from 2 things: 1) Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the US, was a peanut farmer back in Georgia and 2) I bought peanuts still attached to the plant and ate them on a bus in Northern Thailand. This leads me to believe peanuts like hot, humid climates which Sydney can be (when it’s not hot and dry or just plain cold). Anyway, after I got my peanut plants home I started looking online then figured since I’d already bought the darned things, any advice about season or region would be irrelevant and I should just put them in the ground. Which I did today.
I turned over the soil really well and added a bunch of sand and compost – peanuts need loose soil to put their shoots into and for the nuts to form. I didn’t use mulch because I feared this would interfere with that shoot action. I did top dress with coffee grounds which work as a nice organic fertiliser but also as a pest deterrent.
I now will watch and wait for the flowers to blossom (will my bees like them?) die and send shoots down to produce yummy peanuts. If I know my bandicoot, he’ll love my peanuts :-}