Goober Peas

Peanut plants

Peanut plants

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 :-}

Peanut plants in the ground

Peanut plants in the ground

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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15 Responses to Goober Peas

  1. anamonreal19 says:

    It sounds like a fun new adventure!!

  2. Very cool! Keep us posted! Can you imagine how many people will envy you for growing your own peanuts?

  3. wow that would be amazing! wonder if your chooks will give em a chance! xx

  4. vuchickens says:

    oooh… homemade peanut butter… yum!!!

  5. They grow here as a green manure crop – they fix nitrogen into the soil. so even if you feed the bandicoot and chickens you will also be doing the soil good. It sounds like a winner to me!

    • I read that I should carefully harvest the peanuts then turn the rest of the plant into the soil as green manure. You’re right, even if I don’t get to eat peanuts, it still could be a good addition to my garden. But I really do want to eat peanuts!

  6. Sounds like a great adventure to see if they grow and how many peanuts you get, keep us posted

  7. Linda says:

    This is something I’ve always wanted to try, but I don’t think I’ve ever lived in the climate for them…in fact I don’t even know what sort of climate they like! Lol. I just never saw any for sale so always assumed they didn’t grow well where I lived, I guess. Look forward to hearing how your experience with them goes…! Very exciting!

    • When I see a new plant like this for sale it always makes me wonder why I haven’t seen it before. If peanuts grow well in Sydney, why doesn’t everyone have them. Doesn’t everyone love them (except that growing number who are allergic, of course)? I can’t wait to see how they do.

      • Linda says:

        I’ve experimented with a few plants that way. I bet your peanuts will grow just fine since it’s so warm down there…no frost to compete with!

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