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The peanut plant
Peanut is a head with a height ranging from 60 to 80 cm, with erect or drooping stems. The leaves are composed of two pairs of oval, alternate leaflets. The flowers are yellow and their number varies according to the variety and the cultivation environment. A peculiarity characterizes the plant: its fruits develop underground. In fact, after flowering and fertilization, the peduncle stretches and penetrates into the ground; here the small fruit is formed and then grows, until it is harvested. In the past this plant was more widespread in family gardens due to its simplicity of cultivation and the ease with which it can be preserved. In the bad season, the peanut was one of the richest foods given the large amounts of protein and calories it is able to make.
The peanut plant comes from warm climates, but in summer it can vegetate quietly even at our latitudes; apart, of course, the high hill and the mountain.It wants a position in full sun, dry, even if on hot days it will not disdain watering at all. To flower and mature instead, it will need, respectively, 20 ° C and 22 ° C.During the whole summer, because the vegetative cycle is about 5 months. It loves the loose soils that do not hinder the formation of fruits, with a slightly acid reaction even if it is well suited to vegetating in neutral reaction soils. For fertilizing administer fertilizers based on phosphorus and potassium, but not nitrogen because it interferes with the work of the bacteria that fix nitrogen in the soil.
The peanut plants they must not be sown for two years in a row in the same soil, try also not to have other plants of the Leguminosae family precede or follow it. Turn the soil to a depth of 25-30 cm; being careful to level it, to avoid dangerous stagnation of water. With regards to fertilizing, remember that soils with organic substances are fine, but the use of manure or compost is not recommended. The peanut cleverly exploits the nutrients found in the soil, so it is possible to have good crops even without fertilizing. Plant at a distance of 40-60 centimeters between the rows and 15-20 centimeters on the row. You will have to shell them before burying them, but without removing the red film that wraps them.
Peanut plant: Main pests and diseases of the peanut
It is a rather resistant species, so much so that in small cultivation pests and pathologies do not represent a big problem and one gets to not carry out anti-parasitic interventions. In any case, even peanuts have enemies like all plants: the fungal diseases that are caused from stagnant water, due to insufficiently loose soil. Remember to place draining material at the bottom of the vase (pebbles, broken pottery shards, etc.) if you decide for a "balcony" cultivation. As always, and for all the plants, respecting the rhythms of the watering will be of great help to you. Among the insects the enemies are the glossy black aphid of the legumes and the red spider. chemistry or rely on the biological one.