When To Harvest Peanuts

Q: I grew a row of peanuts for the first time this year but I don’t know when to harvest them. 

A: You need to combine three observations to reach the conclusion that your peanuts are ready to harvest. The first observation is reading the seed label for your peanut variety. It will tell you approximately how many days it should take from planting to harvest. The second observation is the color of your plants. When harvest time approaches, the leaves will begin to transition from deep green to lighter green to slightly yellow to mostly yellow. The period between “slightly yellow” and “mostly yellow” is a good harvest time. The third observation comes from carefully excavating under the plant and pulling some of the underground peanuts. The seeds inside should be brown and mature-looking. Don’t worry if you find a few immature peanuts that have just started to grow. There will always be a few of them under the plant at harvest time. It makes sense to dig up one plant to examine all of the nuts on it before you dig your entire crop. When plants have been unearthed, put them in a dry place for at least a week. It should be easy then to shake dry soil from the roots. Keep plants dry for another couple of weeks, until the leaves are dry and crumbly. At that point you can pull off all of the nuts and store for later enjoyment.

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