Peanuts are a crop that can easily be grown in a home garden. Being successful just takes a little attention to a few needs of the crop and some help from Mother Nature. The peanut is actually not a nut at all – it’s a legume with compound leaves similar to clover and has yellow, pea-like flowers.Peanut varieties are classified by nut type. For the home garden, two types may be grown.
The peanut, while grown in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world, is native to the Western Hemisphere. It probably originated in South America and spread throughout the New World as Spanish explorers discovered the peanut’s versatility.
The availability of irrigation is a critical factor in choosing a market type of peanut. Runner market types of peanuts require more water than Spanish varieties. In recent years, Oklahoma producers have increased their production of runner varieties. Runners require a longer growing season - around 160 days compared to 140 to 145 days for Spanish varieties
The peanut plant is unusual because it flowers above ground but the fruit (peanut pods and seeds) develops below the ground.
Peanut seeds (kernels) grow into a green oval-shaped plant usually about 18 inches tall which develop delicate flowers around the loser portion of the plant. Peanut plants begin to bloom about 30 to 40 days after emergence.
Peanut production in Oklahoma started in the 1930s and early 1940s. Initially, the need for oil during World War II encouraged the expansion of peanut production. In 1940, there were 82,000 acres of peanuts planted. The high mark for plantings came seven years later when Oklahoma farmers planted 325,000 acres of peanuts.
Oklahoma Peanut Commission