Monday, September 29, 2008

Let's talk about my nuts

I've been very protective of my little peanut plants since they are the only plants in the garden that have not died or teetered on the edge of death. They seem quite hardy and determined to grow. I was just reading up on how to take care of my peanut plants when I realized that - yet again - I have missed the mark.

Turns out when plants were a few inches tall I should have thinned them to 8 to 12 inches apart. Um, we did not do that. I guess I got so excited that something was growing that the idea of early thinning did not appeal to me. I thought I was pretty close to the distance they should be, but I was wrong. I now have to hope they can survive in close proximity.

Then I read that "When plants are 8 to 12 inches tall, form a hill over them (as you do with potatoes) with about 6 inches of grass, straw, or loose soil to encourage pegging."

Uh, what? I have to form a hill over them as I do with potatoes? Huh. I have no idea what that means, so I went to YouTube and found a video showing a "real" garden guy hilling potatoes. Apparently you just put some dirt around the bottom of the plant. He didn't put a lot of dirt around the bottom of the plant, so it's not as hilly as it sounds. He said the key is to using a hoe and since we're extreme hoers, we're good to go.

Here are my newly-hilled peanuts.
Then it says "Peanuts begin flowering about a month or so after planting. The self-fertile flowers open in the morning, wither by evening, and then send their fruiting pegs into the soil a few days later. Avoid disturbing the soil where the nuts are forming."

Well we have had flowers, but no pegs off the flowers. In fact other than the occasional flower, the plants haven't changed much in weeks. Hmm..

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