Whether you prefer crunchy peanuts for snacking, creamy peanut butter on bread or chopped peanuts in baked goods, peanuts are a nutritious source of protein. Gardeners with a growing season of at least 130 days can successfully plant and grow peanuts in a home garden. Get a head start on the growing season and plant peanuts in peat pots indoors for transferring outdoors after the last spring frost.
Fill the peat pots with potting soil approximately four weeks before the last spring frost. Plant one raw peanut in each peat pot beneath 2 inches of soil.
Keep the soil in the peat pots evenly moist without allowing it to dry out.
Place the peat pots under a grow light or in a sunny window after they emerge from the soil.
Prepare the growing area in the spring when the soil is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Cultivate the soil with the garden spade down to a depth of 4 inches. Add 3 to 4 inches of compost to the soil and work the compost in well with the spade.
Harden off the peanut seedlings before transplanting them outdoors. Place the peat pots outside in the afternoon in a sheltered location. Leave the pots outdoors for three hours and then bring them back inside. Over the course of one week, gradually increase the time the pots are outside and move them to a location where they are receiving sunlight that is more direct.
Dig holes for the peat pots in the prepared planting area. Make each hole deep enough to enable you to plant the peat pots entirely beneath the soil. Space the holes 18 inches apart in rows 1 foot apart. Place each peat pot into a prepared hole and cover the peat pots entirely with soil. Firm the soil around the peanut seedlings with your hands.
Water the transplanted peanuts generously after planting until the soil is moist. Provide regular water for the peanut plants until they begin to bloom. When the plants bloom, wait to water until the soil dries. If you water the peanut plants too much after they begin to bloom, they may produce empty peanut pods.
Pile soil around the base of the peanut plant when they reach 1 foot in height. Make the soil reach the bottommost flowers on the plants.
Apply 2 inches of mulch around the peanut plants to keep the soil light and moist and to prevent weeds.
Harvest peanuts from the plants when the foliage withers and turns yellow. Remove the entire peanut plant from the soil and shake it gently to remove excess soil.
Hang each entire peanut plant in a dry location for two weeks to dry. Remove the seeds from the pods after the plants finish hanging.
Store the peanuts either in the shell or shelled. Store unshelled peanuts in a covered container for up to three months and shelled peanuts in a covered container for up to one year.