Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts are native to Virginia and are grown commercially. There aren’t as many peanut outlets as there are wine outlets in the state, but the discrepancy is shrinking. Peanuts go hand in hand with popcorn so a few thoughts on growing both seem in order.

Plant shelled peanuts 12 inches apart and 1-1/4 inches deep. When the peanut plants are about 12 inches tall, they should be hilled or mulched with straw. Harvest the peanuts when the leaves turn yellow. The best way to harvest peanuts is by slowly prying up the whole plant with a potato fork. After you have the plant out of the ground, gently shake off the loose soil. Hang the plants in a shady, warm, and airy location. Allow two to three weeks of drying time to allow the  moisture content of the peanuts to drop. When the leaves become dry and crumbly, you can pull the peanuts off the plants. At this time they should be ready for roasting and storing.

Popcorn should be grown like sweet corn. It should be planted early to allow plenty of time for maturing. Plant 6 inches apart in rows 36 inches apart. After a good frost or when the plants are brown and dry you may remove the ears from the stalks. At this time the kernels should be hard and glossy in order to pop well. Be sure to spread out the husked ears in a dry, airy spot to cure for several weeks. Store the kernels in the refrigerator to maintain proper moisture content in the kernels for good popping.

Keep your fork


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