Peanut Pictures as Promised

My friend, Sidney, gave me some corn and peanut seeds early this spring. I couldn’t find any room for the corn.  Trust me, I tried.  I even started some seeds in an egg carton while I was trying to find a place to plant the corn. 

corn in egg carton

I started the peanuts in a Ziplock bag and transplanted them into a pot. 

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In mid summer I decided I wanted to use the pot for something else and dumped the plants onto the ground because they didn’t look like they were growing so well.  But after I dumped them and saw they had pretty good roots I decided to put a couple of the plants back in the pot and I covered the roots of the ones I had dumped out on the ground.

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So, here’s my peanut harvest from about four plants.

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Here are a few peanut facts:

  • The seeds can be grown from grocery store raw peanuts.
  • The soil Ph should be about 6.0.
  • The soil should be light and fluffy and contain lots of organic matter.
  • The seeds germinate in 3 to 7 days and start flowering with bright yellow flowers in 30 to 40 days.
  • After the plant flowers, pegs are sent down into the ground where the pods form.
  • The plant blooms over a long period which means the individual pods mature at different times.
  • The soil should not be allowed to dry out after the plant starts flowering.  It results in lower yields.
  • The pods mature in 120 to 140 days after flowering.

Now here’s what I did (or more appropriately didn’t do).  I have never checked my soil Ph.  I dumped the plants under a tree, so no light and fluffy soil there except the few inches of soil that got dumped out with the plant.  My seeds did germinate pretty quickly.  I got only one yellow flower between all the plants.  The plants under the tree routinely dried out.  It’s a miracle that any peanuts grew on these plants at all.  I totally ignored the plants…no compost, no fertilizer of any kind. 

I think this could be a nice plant to grow in an edible lawn situation because of its compact bushy growth habit, and I’m sure if the plants are treated better than I treated mine the harvest would be better.  They also should grow well in a self-watering container because of the benefit of the extra warmth in the root area and the constant moisture.

I think this would be an interesting plant for kids too.  Imagine the look on their faces when they dig and find a buried treasure of peanuts.

Happy Gardening!!!!

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Plethora of Plentiful Planters

I recently found a cantaloupe growing in one of my self-watering containers, so I figure I’ll talk about the things I’m growing in containers instead of the ground.  The yard is pretty small and I’ve got something growing in just about every plantable  spot in the yard, so I use pots to increase my growing space.

08-13-08 (3) This cantaloupe is about the size of a softball and it’s the only cantaloupe to actually set fruit.. so far.  I was picking up around the yard and discovered it.

I have a couple of cantaloupe plants growing in the ground.  08-17-08 Lots of blooms, no cantaloupes that will grow bigger than a M&M.

Here’s the self-watering container (to be referred to as SWC) that the cantaloupe is growing in.  08-13-08 (4)And because this is my first year with the self-watering containers, I’m still experimenting with what will grow how well in the SWCs and I’m mixing a little this with a little that.

My neighbor’s friend gave me a few okra plants and I put two of them in here back on July 10 with the cantaloupe.08-17-08 (2)Okra plants are really pretty.  There’s actually one okra pod just to the right of the stem.  I swear I didn’t see a flower before this one.  The other okra plants I put in the ground are only 5 or 6 inches tall.  They’re also being shaded by other plants.

This is my first SWC that I started in early May.  05-31-08 (7) It’s got a monster cherry tomato, a sweet potato plant, and two varieties of watermelon.  (I gave the corn to my mother-in law because I couldn’t find a spot for it).  I’ve got a 6-foot tall stake the cherry tomato is tied to.  Once it outgrew that, I tied a string from the end of the stake to the house and am training in along the string now. 

Here’s how it’s doing today.  08-02-08 (44)

Only one of each variety of watermelon have actually set fruit.  The sugar baby is the one with the panty hose sling and the other is a full-sized watermelon.DSCN1508 DSCN1507I really don’t expect them to get much bigger because both vines are starting to shrivel up.

I gave my mother-in-law some watermelon plants too. Hers are in the ground and doing much better than mine.  This is her largest one.  DSCN1459

A month ago I planted this one with cucumbers,07-14-08 (12) and today it looks like this.DSCN1504It’s even got its first cuke on it.DSCN1510 

Here are the bell peppers growing in planters on the steps.  That was then… 06-30-08 (13)

… and this is now.DSCN1512 The container peppers are giving the in-ground peppers a run for their money in terms of size, and I’ll definitely plant them in containers in the future.  I think it helped a lot to keep the containers covered.  I’ve read that peppers like green mulch, and maybe that helped too.  I think this pot size is 10 inches, so I’d try larger pots to hopefully get bigger peppers.

I tried potatoes in a container too back in May.  That was then …05-31-08

…and this now.  08-13-08 (9)I had some leftover seed potatoes after I planted in the raised beds, so I tried this. I snuck a peek in here and haven’t seen one potato so far.

In the raised bed, I’m trying an adulterated version of a dedicated potato bin for potatoes that I saw on the GardenWeb web site that I’ve adapted to my raised bed.  06-30-08 (11) People have gotten mixed results, but for this one I’m not going to touch it until the plants naturally die back.  I’ll either be very, very happy with the potatoes or very, very disappointed.

A friend gave me some peanuts.  I started a few of those in a pot.08-13-08 (8) I have no idea how this will turn out, especially since I never put any more dirt in the pot.

And lastly, this bush.  04-20-08 I wanted to make room for some raspberry plants.  And since I wasn’t crazy about this bush (or the fact that I didn’t get anything to eat from it), I decided to dig it up and get rid of it.07-14-08 (11) After I dug it up, I had it leaning against a bench and thought, hmmm, that looks kind of nice there, so I decided to try to save them.  That was mid July… 08-02-08 (17) … and they’re still looking good.  No leaf loss at all.

And lastly (for real this time), the raspberries.  I acquired some raspberry plants from a couple of generous fellow gardeners.08-02-08 (20) 08-02-08 (21) With any luck I’ll have raspberries next year since raspberries fruit on second year canes.

I didn’t plant them in the ground because I want to see what will happen with them in the containers first.

That’s it for now.  (Did I hear you say finally?)

Happy Gardening!!!

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