Thursday, July 24, 2008

Peanut Envy

A peanut sat
On a railroad track,
His heart was all a-flutter,

Round the bend
Came the number ten.
Choo! Choo! Peanut butter!

Peanuts are high on our to-grow list. They are one of the fun things that fall into two of our gardening categories: 1) Stuff that isn't supposed to grow because it's out of season, but I feel I know better than the gardening book and I'm going to try it anyway. 2) Kid Stuff.

Our book says that in Central and North FL you should plant peanuts from March 15 to May 15. However, in my online nut research I’ve found several sites that say if you have a 130-140 day growing season you can grow peanuts in your garden. So… why not rebel against our garden bible and plant them in August? I mean who knows more? The premier FL gardening guy from U of F that wrote the best selling FL gardening book? Or us – the family that’s never successfully grown a plant before? Right….. we think we do. So according to this, our peanuts will be done by around Thanksgiving – just in time for Christmas peanut butter fudge! Hey, it says that peanuts are one of the most common things to plant in a Florida garden, so we’re moving forward.

Apparently you don’t need to buy peanut seeds – you just need to buy raw peanuts in the shell from your local grocery store. You open up the shell and pull out the nuts. You plant them about 2 inches down about 6 inches apart. Apparently peanuts prefer sandy soil with generous amounts of compost and manure. We’re supposed to provide plenty of drainage and slightly elevate or mound the rows. Easy right? I did learn that peanuts are not truly a nut, but a pea, and the peanuts grow into the ground from pegs that come off the main plant. The little diagrams of the growing peanuts are quite fascinating. We may end up with so many nuts that we’ll be nuttier than squirrel poo.

Peanut envy anyone?

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