THIS column often deals with unusual things that pop up on the internet from time to time, items you may have missed in the hurley-burley of modern living.
We talk at times about vegetables that are easy to grow, beautiful trees that line our streets, different ways that companies are dealing with waste and a myriad of other things from time to time.
Have you taken notice of the huge range of edible nuts that are available in your supermarket.
If you have you may like to know that you can grow these at home.
Most nuts are suitable for container growing, except maybe the macadamia nut tree that is usually grown in a large open area.
Peanuts come to mind first as they are quick and easy to grow, but almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio, walnuts and cashew can also be grown in the home garden or in large pots.
Most nuts planted in pots must be cared for and not left to dry out.
They should be started in small pots with an increasing pot size as they grow, finally into a large tub.
Today this column will talk about the peanut.
A small container is required to start them off.
Fill the container with a good quality compost, (one that won’t go hard like garden or topsoil does in a pot), to about 4/5 of the height of the container.
Add a small amount of water to dampen then source a half a dozen peanut seeds, (with the skin still on) and place around the area and then cover slightly.
Keep in low sunlight and water when required.
After about 21 days plants will shoot up and start growing.
When large enough to plant out, just tease them out of the soil and transplant into a larger pot, with coco peat as the medium. However, like a lot of other seeds they can also be placed on kitchen paper in a small container, slightly watered, with another sheet dampened, to cover the seeds and just wait till they sprout before planting out in a larger pot.
Now peanuts are unusual in that they grow in the ground and mature.
The plant itself has small yellow flowers that form on a long stem till they reach the ground and then they bury in and produce the peanut on the end of the flower. So, what this tells us is that one should have only two plants to say a 400mm area, which allows many stems to grow and touch the ground, therefore a greater harvest.
Keep in mind that it’s a heat and humidity-loving plant, ideal for our hot summers here in Ipswich.
Now, how do you know if you have peanuts?
The plant withers and dies, which indicates that there are peanuts under the ground. Pull the whole plant out, pick out the nuts that are no good, soft or spoiled and leave the whole plant to dry for a few days.