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Tennessee Red peanuts, named for their papery red seed covers, were the first Valencia type peanuts grown in New Mexico. New Mexico now produces 90 percent of the national crop of Valencia peanuts such as Tennessee Red, which are known for their slightly smaller size and sweeter taste in comparison with Virginia or Spanish peanuts.
Sowing: Northern gardeners may want to start their peanut seeds indoors to get a head start on the season. Plant them 1″ deep in large peat pots and keep at a temperature of 70 degrees F until germination; transplant them 10″ apart as soon as the soil temperature reaches an average of 60-70 degrees F. In warmer climates, direct sow around the time of the last frost by planting the seeds 3″ deep and 5″ apart; later, thin plants to 10″ apart. Peanuts need full sun and soil with good drainage, though Tennessee Red peanuts can be grown even in clay soils.
Growing: When the plant reaches 12″ tall, mound up the dirt around it and add mulch to conserve moisture and keep the soil soft. The tops of the faded flowers, also called pegs or peduncles, will bury themselves in the earth and begin to develop peanuts. Water the plants if the weather gets dry.
Harvesting: When the peanuts are ripe, the leaves will turn yellow and the outer skin of the shell will feel papery and dry. Remove the entire plant from the ground by lifting it with a garden fork, and let it dry in a well ventilated, dry location for two or three weeks. When the leaves begin to crumble, remove the peanuts from the plant.
Seed Saving: Peanuts properly dried for 2-3 weeks can be used for seed, though they cannot be planted immediately because of a 1-3 month period of dormancy.
Latin Name: Arachis hypogaea
Type: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Warm Season
USDA Zones: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Seeds per Ounce: 18
Planting Method: Direct Sow
Sunlight: Full Sun
Height: 16 Inches
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