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Winci’s Winter Garden Updates

6 Jan

Just discovered how to do slideshows. Much more efficient with space when I have so many pictures.

Currently, this is what is happening in my garden including updates on container Asparagus, winter tomatoes, funny looking Romanesco Broccoli heads, sprouting broccoli (Italian; broccoli di cicco) growing in container, ginger, and other bits.

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Virginia Peanuts harvest update…YUM!

11 Nov

2010 Peanut harvest. Happy to report all pods contained peanuts which means i didn't pull them up too soon

A couple of weeks ago I pulled up my peanuts – wasn’t entirely sure what to do with them so they ended up sitting outside my house for a couple of weeks. Yesterday I sorted them and decided to plant some of them again – I doubt its the right season to grow peanuts but hey, its San Diego where its sunny and around 60-70 degrees F in the winter so I’m sure it will be fine. I will post updates if anything happens.

I roasted the rest in the shell for about 15-20mins – don’t laugh, but there were not even 10 pods for roasting! But I can report, my first ever homegrown peanuts were big and very tasty! And a big tasty peanut or two inside every pod – no shriveled up nuts which apparently indicates premature harvesting.

I was going to boil them as the shells still had dirt on them so I figured I could wash then boil but the one website I read for instructions said they need to be boiled for 2 hours??! Luckily roasting in the shell did the trick – left the dirt on the shells, peanuts inside were just perfect. Hoping next year will reap a bigger harvest 🙂

Peanuts growing by the beach?! Yes sir! Apparently Jimmy Carter would be proud.

25 Oct

I bought these plants beginning of summer from a funky little nursery on Home Ave, San Diego. Cannot remember the name of the store. The peanut plants were small and came in six pack.

Planted my new peanuts in the flower bed

I have no experience at all in growing peanuts and read they need space but that is one thing I definitely did not have. I wanted to try them as an experiment to see how the pods develop.
Three of the plants didn’t make it – they flowered a little over summer with these small yellow flowers.

Peanut flower

The plants flower and then the flowers develop into ‘pegs’ that burrow under the soil where the peanut pod grows.

When I was growing these, of course there wasn’t much to see…just little plants above ground with yellow flowers. One thing I did notice that was interesting was that the coupled leaves on the plant opened and closed according to sun and weather. I think they liked a bit of sun but when it was too hot, they folded together and closed up and then later in the day when it cooled a bit they would open again.

Peanut plant growing with everything else I could fit! The peanuts are in the foreground on the right 🙂

Peanut plant. They didn't really get too much bigger than this and remained close to the ground

Close up of peanut leaves that would close up like butterfly wings

So I had no idea what was really happening underground. I left then growing there for a few months – they didn’t do much, I wasn’t expecting much as the plants remained small and half of them didn’t make it.

Fast forward a few months from when it first started flowering, I decided to pull up the smallest plant. I was very pleasantly surprised to a couple of full sized peanuts underground! So today I harvested a handful of pods but now I’m not entirely sure what the do with them. Dry them? Wash the dirt off? I had already pulled them off the plants which were still green – after having done this already, I read on one site I should have left them on the plants to dry…oops. So now I have these wonderful little pods I can’t wait to eat! I will probably plant some of them too. My hubby said I should boil them in salt water. I also read each plant can produce as much as 40 pods. I’m pretty happy with my handful! Maybe next year I will focus more on soil requirements and watering needs and maybe harvest enough for both hubby and I to eat and maybe even enough to make to the processing time worth it!

Check out these pics

Biggest plant before I pulled it out. Maybe the size of a dinner plate

Look at those nuts!

Interesting looking peanut plant

My first ever homegrown handful of peanuts