The story of Virginia peanuts starts in the mid 19th century in Sussex County, when the first commercial crop of peanuts was planted. Virginia now has a prosperous peanut industry with more than 92,000 acres devoted to the cultivation of Virginia Jumbo peanut seeds. Many peanuts sold in the shell or roasted and salted as a snack are this variety, since the Virginia Jumbo peanut seed is known for its large size and quality.
Sowing: Northern gardeners may want to start their peanut seeds indoors to get a head start on the season. Plant the peanut seeds for sale 1″ deep in large peat pots and keep at a temperature of 70 degrees F until germination; transplant them 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.
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 location for two or three days. 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: 35
Planting Method: Direct Sow
Sunlight: Full Sun
Height: 16 Inches
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