Pegging Peanuts: A Geocarpic Wonder

Growing peanuts includes a process known as pegging peanuts, learn how the peanut seed plants itself after fertilization.
By Barbara Pleasant
December 2002/January 2003
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Learn about peanuts reproductive process called pegging peanuts.
PHOTO: FOTOLIA/VOLK1945


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Learn how the process of pegging peanuts works when growing peanuts.

Pegging Peanuts: A Geocarpic Wonder

Peanuts are a rare example of the reproductive strategy called geocarpy, in which the seeds form and ripen in the ground beneath the plants. Beginning about 40 days after germination, peanuts produce yellow sweet-pea like flowers. When the flowers fade, the stems on the fertilized ovaries lengthen until the painted "peg" punts itself in the soil, 1 to 2 inches deep. Once it penetrates the soil, the peg turns horizontal and continues to grow and mature into a peanut. Flowering is continuous over several weeks. The first pegs that enter the soil, which grow quite close to the taproot, mature at a slower rate than those that appear later, so they all even out in the end. Depending on variety and growing conditions, each peanut plant should produce between 25 and 50 pods.


Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on .


Read more about planting and growing peanuts: How to Grow Peanuts.








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