Less Noise, More Green: Peanut plants reach the next step in development

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Peanut plants reach the next step in development


I might actually have peanuts to harvest this year! They have survived the rain and one hundred degree temperatures, as well as attacks from squirrels. You can read about my troubles with the little peanut thieves here and here.

What you see in the photo above are pegs. These appear after the plant flowers. The peg is the flower's ovary and the embryo is at the tip of the peg. The peg grows down into the soil and the peanut  forms at the end. A plant will send many of these pegs into the ground. This is such an interesting little plant. I always thought peanuts grew out from the roots, like potatoes, then I got me some education.



The trick now is, once the pegs are in the soil, to mulch around the plants and hope for continued warm weather. These are Virginia Peanuts and need up to 150 days of hot temperatures to mature. This takes me to the end of September, when it is often still hot here in Rhode Island. The weather had been such extremes this year, though, who can predict what the start of fall will bring?

Once the peanuts start to form, lets see if my little furry friends show interest in the plants again. I have my row covers on standby, just in case.

See you in the garden,
Sue




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