Are you a peanut lover?
I am too! In fact, my day wouldn’t be complete without a serving of peanut butter somewhere in there!
So you might have been wondering how to grow peanuts in a container, or whether it’s even possible?
Luckily for us, it most definitely is!
I’m going to explain how to go about growing peanuts in containers, and even how to grow peanuts from seed. Keep reading for all the Intel!
- Can You Grow Peanuts in a Container?
- Optimum Growing Conditions for Peanuts
- How to Grow Peanuts from Seed
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Can You Grow Peanuts in a Container?
While you might have thought that peanut growing is restricted to the warmer south, growing peanuts in containers in the cooler north is totally possible.
Actually, it’s the container that makes it possible.
Containers and pots can be placed in optimum positions for sun and warmth, whether it’s a patio, balcony, conservatory, or your lounge!
This means that you can mimic the growing conditions needed for peanuts to thrive, even when your natural environment doesn’t play ball.
To add to this, peanuts need a long growing season. Most varieties need upwards of 120 frost-free days to mature.
Optimum Growing Conditions for Peanuts
So what environment do you need to create for your container peanuts to thrive?
Peanuts have a few preferences when it comes to temperature, light, and water. If you can meet these with your container, you should be rewarded with some yummy peanuts at the end of the summer!
You might have guessed already from the spiel above, but yep, Peanuts like sun, warmth, and humidity
They are actually classified as tropical plants that grow best in zones 6-11 (if you’re planting outdoors in the ground). If you’re planting peanuts in containers, you can stretch this a little further north.
Soil temperatures need to stay around 70-80˚F, and air temperature ideally upwards of 85˚F.
Like most heat-loving plants, peanuts need a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. So, place your container in your sunniest, south-facing location for best results.
If you can’t guarantee enough direct sunlight, you may need to help your plant out with a little electric energy.
Getting started with grow lights can seem overwhelming as there are loads to choose from and some aren’t cheap. But sometimes the right light can be the difference between a successful crop and a failure.
I’ve got two useful guides to different grow lights that are worth checking out if you’re interested in taking this route. Have a read of my guide to the best T5 grow lights and the best LED grow lights for herbs to get an idea of what you need.
As mentioned above, peanuts like humidity, which means they are not going to be happy if they are allowed to dry out.
The soil needs to be kept consistently moist and the plant would probably appreciate a little spritz of water every now and then if you’re experiencing a very dry summer.
Peanut plants appreciate healthy, free-draining soil, but since they are legumes, they fix their own nitrogen. For this reason, you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you feed your peanut plant with nitrogen-rich fertilizer during the growing season.
Too much nitrogen will result in an excess of foliage and a minimum of peanuts.
Instead, make sure the soil is healthy at the start of the season by mixing in a good amount of aged compost before you plant your peanut.
Making your own compost is a satisfying and sustainable addition to your gardening practice that doesn’t necessarily require loads of space.
Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still make your own compost on a patio or balcony simply by using a good compost tumbler. Simply collect your food scraps in a kitchen compost bin and transfer them to the tumbler when full.
How to Grow Peanuts from Seed
Peanut seeds are actually just peanuts! When you purchase them, they will still be in their shell. Don’t remove them from the shell until immediately before planting.
So, how to plant peanuts from seed?
Simply remove the peanut from its shell but don’t scrape off the skin. Plant the peanuts around 2 inches deep and 3-4 inches apart in a seedling tray.
Keep the soil moist but not too wet. Once the seeds have sprouted, make sure they get plenty of light. A sunny, south-facing window ledge is ideal. Grow lights are even better if it’s too early in the season for enough good sun.
When the seedlings are a few inches tall you can transplant them to your large pot or container of choice.
How to Grow Peanuts in a Pot
Unfortunately for lazy gardeners, peanuts do require a little more work than simply watering. They are similar to potatoes in that they need the soil to be banked up around them as they grow. The more you do this, the more peanuts you’ll get.
Because of the need for this banking up of soil, the pot or container that you plant your peanut seedlings in will need to be deep enough to allow for this.
Really, the deeper the better, but obviously you’ll be restricted to the space you have available. The bigger the container or pot, the more peanuts your plant will be able to produce.
How to do this?
As the peanut plant grows, it will produce small yellow flowers. When the flowers are finished, tendrils will grow out from them and down towards the ground. It is from these tendrils that the peanuts will grow, but only if they’re underground. This where you come in.
Consequently, you’d probably want to be starting with a half-filled pot or container when you initially plant your peanut seedling. This will allow for more heaping up of soil around the plant as it grows.
At the end of the season, you will harvest your peanuts by pulling up the entire plant and removing each peanut shell from its tendril.
You’ll know it’s time to do this when the plant’s leaves start to yellow.
Your harvested peanuts can be eaten fresh or dried for storage. Don’t forget to save some for homemade peanut butter!
As you can see, there is a little more to growing peanuts in containers than simply bunging them in a pot and hoping for the best.
They need a little TLC with regard to maintaining optimum temperatures and humidity, and then building up the soil around the base of the plant once peanut production begins.
But, if you’re willing to put in the work, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be rewarded with a hefty crop of beautiful peanuts at the end of the summer.
Have you successfully grown peanuts before? I’d love to hear your thoughts on growing peanuts in containers so please go ahead and share below!