Peanut Companion Plants – Learn About Companion Planting With Peanuts
The peanut plant (Ipomoea batatas) is one of the most popular edible nuts in the world. They are very nutritious and have many health benefits such as being high in protein, fat, fiber, vitamins A & C, potassium and magnesium. They are also rich in essential fatty acids which may reduce cholesterol levels.
The seeds contain a good amount of vitamin E too. Peanuts are considered a “superfood” because they provide all these nutrients at a low cost. They are widely used in many countries around the world for their nutritional value and flavor.
However, peanuts aren’t just eaten for their taste or nutrition; they’re also grown commercially for food use. Commercial production of peanuts began in the United States during World War II when it was discovered that the seeds could be dried out and ground into flour to make U.S.
military rations. Since then, peanuts have been grown commercially in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other parts of Latin America. There are several varieties of peanuts available including:
Brazilian Peanuts (Ipomoea capitata) – These are the largest variety of peanuts and are found growing wild throughout Brazil and neighboring countries like Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia. They produce large pods with a diameter up to 4 inches (10 cm). They have a rich, nutty flavor and larger peanuts.
Valencia Peanuts (Ipomoea Batatas var. Integrifolia) – Also known as West Indian Peanuts, these are grown in the U.S., Mexico, Central and South America.
They are the most common variety in the U.S. They have a sweet flavor and oily texture compared to other types of peanuts.
Spanish Peanuts (Arachis Hypogaea var. Communis) – These grow in Spain and surrounding areas like Morocco, Portugal and other parts of Europe. They have a unique earthy flavor and are smaller than other varieties of peanuts.
These are just three of the most common types of peanuts available, but there are many others. You’ll even find peanuts grown in some parts of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other parts of Europe.
For the past several years, there has been a health craze with “raw” peanuts. These are simply peanuts that have not been cooked or roasted and still in their raw form. However, you may find that these peanuts can be VERY hard to crunch into.
This is because they contain natural toxins called lectins are not destroyed by cooking. However, these lectins can cause gastro-intestinal distress like vomiting and diarrhea if eaten in large amounts. They can also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb some nutrients like vitamin B1 (thiamine) and other nutrients which is why experts recommend AGAINST eating too many raw peanuts.
Grow Organic Peanuts
If you want to grow peanuts, you should know that it takes about five months for the plants to mature completely for harvest. It’s best to start peanuts indoors about 8 weeks before the last frost. You’ll need a half pint (8 oz.) mason jar and some newspaper to make the starter pot.
Begin by moistening the newspaper and wringing it out until it is just damp. Place two sheets of newspaper on the bottom of the jar and tightly pack them down.
Next, mix up some potting soil with equal amounts sand, manure and humus. Fill the jar three-quarters of the way full with this mixture. Make sure the soil is loose and airy by gently tapping down on it with your hand.
This will ensure good root development and helps prevent the peanuts from rotting due to excess moisture. Place three or four seeds in the soil and lightly cover them with more soil. Then place the jar in a warm location such as on top of your refrigerator, an appliance or in a window that gets a lot of sun. Water the soil whenever it looks dry. Peanuts require a lot of water, so be sure to check the soil often.
When the peanut plants are large enough to handle, their leaves should be large enough to envelop the soil and their roots should fill the bottom of the mason jar, then it’s time to transplant them into the garden. You can do this by carefully digging a hole in the ground and placing the entire mason jar in it. Cover the jar with soil and water regularly.
When the peanuts have reached about 2 inches in height, it’s time to thin them out. Carefully dig around the plant to expose the roots and pull up all the smaller plants surrounding it. Leave the strongest looking plant and a couple of smaller ones.
These remaining peanuts should grow fine, producing peanuts by late summer or early fall.
Once you are ready to harvest your peanuts, it’s best to wait until the pods turn red before you pick them. If left on the plant, the pods will naturally dry in the sun and the peanuts will fall out on their own. Then you can shell them yourself or run them through a home nut picker/sheller.
You can also let the plants mature which will turn their color from green to brown and then dry them for a few days in the sun. Peanuts can be kept for a long period of time if stored properly in a dry location such as in a burlap bag or a bucket.
Peanuts are a good source of protein, B vitamins and minerals such as iron. They are also very high in folate or vitamin B9 and contain no trans-fatty acids. While peanuts may appear to be high in fat, they actually contain no cholesterol and only 1 gram of saturated fat per ounce.
Peanuts are commonly used in desserts, candy and in baking. They can be combined with oatmeal, cocoa and sugar to make a delicious snack. Peanut butter is nothing more than ground peanuts mixed with a little bit of salt.
It can be used on crackers, celery or apples. Peanut butter is high in calories so it should be used sparingly.
Peanuts are high in resiliency. While they can grow in poor soil, they prefer a nice loamy soil that has been cultivated. They have a long tap root that allows them to reach moisture that other plants may not be able to get to.
If there is a drought, the plant will shut down until more water becomes available.
Peanuts are used in a variety of ways. Peanut butter is popular and great as a dip for apples or crackers. It can also be used in place of other oils in cooking and can even be used in baking such as in peanut butter cookies.
Peanuts can be eaten on their own after they have been dried.
They are used to make oils, ointments, paints, wood stains, fuel and many other products. In some countries they are used for feeding livestock. They are high in protein and carbohydrates so they provide a good energy source.
Just a handful of peanuts in the shell can provide a good snacks on the go. If the peanuts are left in their shells they can be cleaned by gently rinsing them off and then drying them thoroughly before storing them in a jar or other container out of direct sunlight.
Peanuts need little attention, no fertilizer or pesticides are needed. They have few insect enemies due to a sticky substance contained within the shell and skin of the nut. They don’t need much water and can tolerate drought conditions.
The plants grow to about 4 feet in height.
Grown primarily for its underground crop, the peanut is a relative of the potato, tomato and pepper plants. It’s often called a “groundnut” and the name “goober” comes from an African word “nguba” which means ground nut.
Cultivation of peanuts began in South America but was popularized in the US and Africa. George Washington Carver researched hundreds of ways to use peanuts and promoted their cultivation as a cash crop during the Reconstruction period.
Peanuts are the most popular nut in the US and for good measure. They grow underground and come up in a beautiful purple flower. The peanut itself is edible and can be boiled, roasted or eaten raw.
You can also eat the leaves of the pea plant but they are generally not as palatable as other greens such as lettuce or spinach.
The flowers themselves can be eaten but most people just enjoy their beauty. The plant will generally grow 12-24 inches in height and produce several purple flowers on thin stems.
The pea plant is easy to grow from seeds which can be found at your local nursery or garden store. If you have children they will enjoy “planting” the seeds for the first time.
The pea plant will generally grow 2-3 feet in height, has long green leaves and produces a bright purple flower with yellow markings in the middle.
The pea plant is native to the Mediterranean region but has been spread around the world and grown as a vegetable for human consumption as well as animal fodder.
Peas come in various varieties but can generally be grouped into field peas, sweet peas, and garden peas. They are high in protein and carbohydrates and low in fat so they make a good supplement to the diet.
Peas grow in pods and each pod generally has 2-3 peas inside. They can be eaten fresh, frozen or dried to be eaten later. They can also be cooked and pureed then frozen for later use.
The pea plant is a cool season vegetable which means it does best in temperatures around 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. They can grow in warmer or cooler weather but the plants grow slower in cool weather and might need help maturing before a sudden cold snap kills them.
The best tasting peas are generally grown on vines that are at least 6 feet long and allowed to climb. They need some sort of fence, trellis or other support to grow up.
It takes about 90 days from planting the seeds to harvest but once established it’s a fairly easy plant to grow.
This legume is native to the Middle East and Asia but is now grown worldwide. It is one of the oldest vegetables still in cultivation.
They are eaten fresh in many different ways and can be found at most grocery stores year round. The peas themselves are actually a seed found in a pod.
Peas are cultivated for human consumption as well as animal fodder. They are fairly easy to grow, taking about 90 days from seed to harvest. They grow best in cool weather.
The pea plant is a cool season vegetable and can be grown in most parts of the US. They are fairly easy to grow and are rewarding to eat.
The plant itself grows anywhere from 2-5 feet tall, has long green leaves and produces bright red, yellow or purple flowers with a darker center.
It is native to the Mediterranean region but is now grown all over the world. It is related to the garden pea but grows wild in most parts of the US and Canada.
The plant produces a seed that is usually dried, cracked open then cooked before being eaten. They can also be canned or frozen.
Dandelion greens are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium and other minerals. They also contain omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
These greens can be eaten fresh in a salad or cooked as a side dish. They can be lightly fried in oil or butter then seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. They can also be boiled and served with a little butter and salt.
Dandelion greens have a bitter taste and a thick, somewhat tough texture so they are usually mixed with other more mild greens like spinach and lettuce.
The dandelion is considered an “invader” species to much of North America. They grow best in poor, dry soil and their taproot can break up concrete making them unpopular with homeowners and city parks departments.
Many people however like the bright yellow flowers that are produced in spring and the leaves that are produce all summer make a tasty addition to salads.
Dandelion is actually a French word meaning “lion’s tooth”. The jagged edged leaves are said to resemble a lion’s tooth.
Dandelion greens have been eaten for centuries, especially in France and Italy. They are most often used as a salad green, often mixed with milder greens to lessen their bitter taste.
These greens are the young leaves that grow directly from the root. They can be eaten raw or cooked and have a slightly sweet flavor.
The greens are harvested when they are about 6-12 inches tall. The entire taproot is often harvested and then replanted to ensure the freshest greens.
Dandelions are most often eaten raw in a salad but the leaves can also be blanched or steamed then served with butter, salt, pepper and sometimes added with other greens. The flowers can also be used to make wine, tea and honey.
Dandelion has been a common weed found on roadsides and in lawns all over the world. It has been a favorite herb for centuries in many countries.
It is very high in vitamin A and has a lot of vitamin C, E and K. It is also high in potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.
Dandelion leaves contain antioxidants that help to protect the body from short-term effects of pollution and other toxins. They also have a cleansing effect on the liver.
They improve digestion and help with bloating, gas, constipation and other digestive conditions. They help to relieve stomach and intestinal disorders such as colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Dandelion leaves can help those who are trying to lose weight as they assist the body in using protein and regulating sugar levels.
They also help to regulate blood sugar in diabetics. They can be used to lower blood pressure and promote heart health.
Dandelion greens are used to treat gallstones, liver and kidney problems. They can be used to boost the immune system and helps to fight respiratory conditions such as asthma.
The dandelion leaf is used to treat urinary problems such as infections, incontinence and even help with male infertility.
These greens are often mixed with other herbs to make them more palatable, especially for those taking them as medicine.
These greens can be stored up to two weeks in the refrigerator and for up to six months if dried.
Dandelion greens are high in antioxidants and can help with a variety of health issues.
They can be eaten raw in a salad but are often boiled, blanched and then buttered. They can also be sauteed.
Dandelions usually grow wild but can be cultivated. The full-grown flowers make a nice addition to salads, especially when mixed with milder greens and even fruit.
The roots can be baked, boiled or roasted and then ground into a nutritious coffee substitute. They work well in tea as well.
Dandelion leaves are not just good for you, they are quite tasty when served with a little butter or oil and salt. They also work well in soups and stir fries.
They are great in a salad together with other greens. These greens can be frozen or dried to enjoy at a later date.
How to Harvest. It is better to harvest dandelion greens when they are young and tender. They can be harvested all summer as the leaves grow in clusters of three from the top of the root.
Cut off the clusters leaving about an inch of root and replant the root. This will ensure you have a steady supply all summer.
These greens can also be harvested in the spring when the flowers just start to open. The flowers are also edible raw and added to salads or dried for future use. Dandelion coffee can be made by drying the roots, grinding them and using them like regular coffee beans.
They were once used as a coffee substitute for people who couldnt afford it.
Dandelion greens have been eaten for centuries by many people. Today they are starting to regain popularity as more people are finding out how nutritious and delicious they are.
They can be used in recipes that call for spinach. They can be cooked in stews and casseroles or just eaten raw in a salad. They also make a great substitute for water when your thirsty.