Peanuts are so good! It has an exquisite sweet taste, ideal to please even the most demanding palates. But why do we have to go buy them when we can grow them ourselves? It is true that it takes more work, but we will gain in health and, incidentally, we will save some money, which is always good.
So get to work! Discover everything you need to know about the peanut plant : characteristics, what climate it needs, how to multiply it, and much more.
- 1 Characteristics of the peanut plant
- 2 How is it grown?
- 2.1 Location
- 2.2 Soil or substrate
- 2.3 Subscriber
- 2.4 Collection
- 2.5 Multiplication
- 3 Peanut Problems
- 4 Peanut Uses
- 4.1 Culinary uses
- 4.2 Medicinal uses
- 5 Peanut allergy, how do I know if I have it?
- 6 Conclusion
Characteristics of the peanut plant
The peanut, known by the scientific name Arachis hypogaea , is an annual herb, probably native to South America, from where it began to be consumed about 8,000 years ago. From there it reached Peru, where it was cultivated for the first time according to the remains of Pachacámac and the Lord of Sipán. The Incas spread their cultivation to other parts of South America, and the settlers who invaded them took specimens to Europe and Africa.
It is an annual, erect herb that grows up to 80 centimeters in height. The leaves have 4 leaflets, with petioles up to 10cm. The bracts are lanceolate, with an acuminate apex. The corolla is golden yellow, and is ovate. The flowers do not have much decorative value due to their size, barely 10mm. The fruit is a legume that develops underground , oblong in shape, inside which there are between 1 and 6 seeds, about 10mm in diameter.
How is it grown?
If you want to have several peanut plants, you must take into account everything that I am going to tell you below:
It must be placed (or planted) outside, in full sun. Of course, the climate must be warm, since it does not resist frost .
Soil or substrate
Whether it is grown in the garden or in a pot, the soil must be loose, have good drainage and have a pH greater than 7.
Very important to pay. This plant needs many nutrients so it is required to give it an ‘extra’ of food throughout the growing season. We will use organic powder fertilizers if it is in the garden, or liquid fertilizers if it is in a pot .
It is the most difficult part, since if they are removed before time, the fruits will not have ripened enough, and if you wait too long, they can start to germinate. To do? Well, it is best to remove several plants at intervals , until you see that most of the peanuts are already ripe.
The seeds are ready for consumption when they turn pink or red.
To obtain an excellent harvest, the seeds must be sown in spring , when temperatures, both maximum and minimum, begin to rise. They can be sown directly in the garden, putting 2 every 3-5cm, or in pots with universal cultivation substrate, putting a maximum of 2 in each.
It is a plant that is highly resistant to pests and diseases, but since summer is the time of greatest growth and since it is a very hot and dry season in several places, it can be affected by cottony mealybugs , which we can easily remove with a cotton swab. ears moistened with water.
On the other hand, if you live in a humid climate, you have to be very careful with snails and fungi . For the former, you can put orange, melon, watermelon or potato peels around your peanut plants, and for the latter it is advisable to carry out preventive treatments with copper or sulfur in spring, or with potassium soap , which will also serve to prevent other potential pests.
The peanut has many culinary and medicinal uses. Discover them:
Peanuts contain about 35% protein and 50% fat. In addition, they have cystine, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, which are vitamins that keep the body in excellent health . Thus, they are used above all in the kitchen.
In tropical regions, for example, they extract their oil to prepare their exquisite recipes , and the fruits, whether roasted or cooked, are consumed almost everywhere in the world .
As a curious fact, and although it is not strictly culinary, to say that the leaves and stems serve as food for grazing animals .
If we talk about the medicinal properties of the peanut, we will immediately know that it is an amazing nut. Its extraordinary qualities are:
- Relieves and prevents constipation.
- Helps gain weight.
- Delays aging.
- Lowers cholesterol levels.
- Mitigate the symptoms of menopause.
- Protect the heart.
- Being rich in vitamin A, it takes care of the eyes.
Peanut allergy, how do I know if I have it?
Unfortunately, not everyone can consume peanuts, as it produces a significant allergic reaction, preventing them from breathing. To find out if you have an allergy, you can only do two things: eat one -near a health center or a hospital, just in case- and wait to see how your body reacts .
The most common symptoms of this type of allergy are:
- Appearance of red welts on the skin
- Swelling of the face and/or around the mouth
- Nasal congestion
- Crying eyes
- Trouble breathing
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek urgent medical help .
The peanut plant is loved by millions of people for its delicious flavor. It is very easy to grow and, we could even say that it is ornamental, due to its beautiful yellow corolla.