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Peanuts in Florida, Arachis hypogaea

Useful for : Food Production. Edible Parts, Animal Forage. Native to : Central America
     After careful consideration of what types of annuals might thrive in the harsh wet heat of the Florida summer, peanuts came up as an obvious choice. After some searching we were able to fine raw fresh peanuts, which were much cheaper than roasted. And taste kinda awful.
     According to IFAS, the harvesting time for peanuts vary widely depending on what commercial purpose the peanuts are to be used for. Apparently they can be harvested in as little as 60 days for the boiling market or as long as 180 days for the roasting market. They are grown largely in north Florida and are a huge cash crop for farmers. Most diseases can be reduced by crop rotation, keeping peanuts in an area not more often than once every four years.

Of course, those recommendations are for monoculture farms. Nothing much is said for the home gardener or for polycultures. I suspect peanuts would do very well in a polyculture, where Tobacco Spotted Wilt Virus would be non-existant.
     Another article from IFAS discusses a little about the techniques for growing peanuts on the farm, such as planting depth and row spacing. Peanuts should be planted no closer than six inches in rows and two inches deep in very loose, well-drained soil with a pH of 6 - 6.5. They should be planted after the last frost date and before the beginning of June in Florida.
     There is some discussion as to whether peanuts are perennial or not. In the northern part of the US they are for certain treated as annuals. Perennial peanut, an entirely different member of the peanut family, is a popular groundcover and forage in Florida. It also has little yellow flowers but does not form peanuts.

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