9 Nutty Facts About Peanuts and How to Grow Them

Peanuts aren't nuts at all! Here's how to grow these tasty snacks that are actually legumes.

1. Peanuts hold a lot of moisture (25 to 50 percent) when harvested, so hang the whole plant to dry for about 2 weeks.

2. A single plant produces around 40 pods and each holds one to four peanuts.

3. Reaching up to 18 inches, flowers soon turn downward where they develop the peanuts underground.

4. The peanut is the seed! Place shelled, raw peanuts on top of the soil, cover with an inch more soil and look for sprouts in about 10 days.

5. Two things are required to successfully grow peanuts: full sun and sandy soil.

6. To grow peanuts in the North, start seeds indoors and plant a variety such as Early Spanish that is ready to harvest in only 100 days. Other cultivars need at least 120 frost-free days.

7. There are four major types of peanuts: runner, Virginia, Valencia and Spanish. Valencias are one of the easiest for home growers. Try Tennessee Red and Georgia Red.

8. Peanut plants need only about 1 inch of water per week.

9. It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.

Learn more about using peanuts to attract birds to your backyard!