Sunday, 9 January 2011

I grow peanuts. Do you?

It’s that time of the year when we all love to cuddle up in warm comforters and give ourselves a treat of roasted peanuts. Have you ever thought of growing your own peanuts?
Pick your peanut
There are four types of peanuts; Runner, Spanish, Virginia and Valencia. Runner is famous for making peanut butter. Spanish peanuts are known for their small size which is ideal for use as roasted snacks. Virginia has the biggest kernels while Valencia kernels are covered with bright red skin and are known for its sweetness. Simply select the one you like the most. Keep in mind the size, texture, flavor and also the use.
Perfect conditions
Peanuts are warm season crops and need four to five months of warm weather. In Karachi, the most suitable months to plant peanuts are from April to June. They can be planted directly into the ground as soon as the winter ends. Peanut plants need sandy and well-drained soil. If your city doesn’t get sufficient rainfall, provide your peanut plants with regular irrigation.
Tip: Save your favorite peanuts this winter for growing in the summers.
Peanut plant
Peanuts belong to the bean family. After two to seven days of sowing the seeds, bright green pinnate leaves sprout. The plant grows fast and its buds open up into yellow pea-like flowers with orange stripes. As the flower dries out and withers away, a stalk which is called the pedicel grows from it and goes down a few inches into the ground. This is where the peanut pods will grow and mature. The whole plant is pulled out when it is time to harvest.
Plot or pot?
Peanuts grow well in the ground or on a plot but growing them in a pot is almost the same. If you are using a piece of land to grow peanuts, plant a peanut kernel with a space of 12 inches between the plants and of 18inches between the rows. The plant spreads as it grows. For growing peanuts in pots, select a container 12-18 inch deep, with almost the same diameter.
Plant your peanuts
Once you have decided which type of peanut you want to grow and where you want to plant it, make holes one-and-a-half to two inches deep and put a peanut inside and cover it with soil. Make sure that the red or brown skin is not disturbed. Water it gently and keep it in the sun. Plant as many as you want.
I planted mine last May and the second batch in August. My peanuts did brilliantly in the ground as well as in the pots. It was a great learning experience for me and my students. They are saving some peanuts this season. Why don’t you save some peanuts as well this winter, for growing in the next season? You might end up saying the same, “I grow peanuts. Do you?”
Happy winters!
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2011.


  1. Hello Yes I created this Ms. Peanut character in birmingham alabama and I want to learn more about planting peanuts in a pot so I can share with the kids I read story time. Please send more info to Thanks Ms. Peanut

  2. Dear Zahra I'm impressed!! Planting peanuts in a pot! I love peanuts. I'll start planting this summer, but I can do so only in containers. Can you tell me how many plants (seeds) will give me a reasonable crop for myself. Najmee

  3. By the way Zahra I'm in Lahore. Do I need to be careful of the extreme weather. Karachi is mild!! Najmee

  4. Planting peanuts in pots? Never think again.You will get green vines but not nuts.What if you get nuts not more than a kg? Better plant other vegetables in those pots.The peanuts are suitable for fields.

  5. You have a very nice blog...I stumbled onto your site looking for when peanuts are best sown in guess is, from the information you gave here, is probably February or March here...I will keep looking. Cheers and happy planting!

  6. Thanks. Najmee, in karachi we have pretty extreme weather too.. its mostly hot with lesser rains as compared to lahore. Peanuts love rain and I think they ll grow just fine in lahore as well.

    @ anonymous 1. "i grow peanuts in pots" as the title says:)and its not just green vines. you actually get peanuts in pots too. most of the vegetables will produce more if planted in fields but that doesnt mean you should not try to grow your own organic food.

  7. Where can i get in touch with you for more information regarding planting peanuts?


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