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The Groundnut Plant: A Complete Guide and Care Tips
Are you looking for a unique and delicious crop to add to your garden? Look no further than the groundnut plant! This nutty and nutritious legume is not only tasty but also easy to grow.
In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide on how to care for this fantastic plant.
What is a Groundnut Plant?
The groundnut plant, also known as peanut or Arachis hypogaea, is a legume that originated in South America.
It belongs to the same family as beans, lentils, and peas.
The plant grows underground inside pods that can contain one or more peanuts.
Groundnuts are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins B3 and E.
They are commonly used in cooking or consumed raw as snacks.
If you want to enjoy fresh groundnuts right from your garden this summer/fall season here’s what you need:
- A sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil
- Fertilizer high in phosphorus (bone meal)
- Groundnut seeds (they can be found online or at local nurseries)
Sow the seeds about 5-6 inches apart into soil amended with bone meal fertilizer about 1-2 inches deep.
Water well after planting every day until germination occurs which takes usually between 7 -10 days after sowing.
Caring for Growing Plants
- Watering: After sprouting water only once per week if it does not rain enough during the week.
- Soil: Groundnuts do well in sandy, loamy soil that is well-drained.
Keep your soil moist but not wet to prevent disease from developing.
- Pests and Diseases: Watch out for aphids and spider mites which can be treated by spraying with soapy water or insecticidal soap.
Fusarium wilt is a common disease that attacks groundnuts; it can be prevented by maintaining proper drainage and crop rotation practices.
The best time to harvest groundnuts is when the plants start to dry out, which takes about 4 months after planting.
Dig up the pods gently using a fork or spade shovel then lay them out in a single layer to dry in full sun for several days until all leaves have fallen off.
After they’re completely dried you can remove the peanuts from their shells, store them in an air-tight container away from direct sunlight, humidity or excessive heat as this could make them spoil faster than anticipated.
You can boil, roast or add groundnut butter for different recipes either sweet or savory meals like soup, smoothies e.t.c
Cultural Significance of Groundnut Plant
The cultivation of peanuts helped reduce hunger during times of drought because they grow underground where they are safe from droughts and other environmental factors such as too much wind exposure which makes farming difficult at certain times throughout many regions across Africa within West Africa especially Nigeria where it’s also celebrated every year on November 1st as National Peanut Day!
The groundnut plant is an easy-to-grow crop that offers delicious nuts packed with protein and nutrients.
With proper care such as regular watering and fertilizing, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh groundnuts in your garden.
So why not try growing this unique plant this season?