Pegging Peanuts: A Geocarpic Wonder

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PHOTO: FOTOLIA/VOLK1945
Learn about peanuts reproductive process called pegging peanuts.

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.