Most people enjoy peanuts, whether as a snack, peanut butter on bread, or a salad. We all know what peanuts are, but how are they grown? Can they survive winter?

Peanuts can survive winter in hot tropical climates where temperatures don’t drop below 56° Fahrenheit (13.3° Celsius). A light frost will damage a peanut plant, and a hard frost will cause a peanut plant to wither and die. Peanuts can hold onto a damaged plant for up to a week.

In this article, I’ll discuss whether it’s possible for peanuts to survive and grow in the winter, if peanuts can survive frost, and when peanuts should be planted and harvested.

Is it Possible for Peanuts To Survive the Winter?

Peanut plants thrive in warm temperatures and direct sunlight. But, what if that’s not an option?

It is possible for peanuts to survive the winter, but it’s not likely. The ideal temperature for peanut plants to grow is 86° Fahrenheit (30° Celsius). The lowest temperature that peanuts can survive at is 56° Fahrenheit (13.3° Celsius). If temperatures drop below that, peanuts will not grow.

Peanut farmers have to ensure that they plant their crops so that they can be harvested before the winter arrives. Peanuts can take up to 150 days before they’re ready to be harvested, so the timing is crucial. If the crops are not harvested on time, they can be ruined by cold temperatures.

Can Peanuts Survive Frost?

Cold winters bring frost and sometimes snow with them. While it’s beautiful, it’s not suitable for plant growth. Frost can damage and kill plants, but what about peanuts?

Peanuts can survive frost, but they will have to be harvested as soon as possible. Peanuts will be safe while they are underground, but the peanut plant will be damaged or wither and die if it’s hit by hard frost.

Peanuts can hold on to the peanut plant for a few days to a week after the plant is damaged or destroyed. Therefore, it’s possible to save peanuts if hit by frost, but only if you act quickly. Always ensure that you harvest your peanuts before winter arrives to avoid cold temperatures and frost.

Can You Grow Peanuts During the Winter?

You get four types of peanuts, and some need up to 150 days before they can be harvested. This leads people to wonder whether they can grow peanuts during the winter.

You can not grow peanuts during the winter. After the last frost, peanuts can be planted towards the end of winter. Peanuts will only germinate if the temperature is 68° Fahrenheit (20° Celsius) or above.

It’s possible to plant peanuts in a greenhouse or containers inside your house, and then replant them in the ground when the weather allows.

However, peanuts don’t like to be replanted, so be careful when moving and planting them.

When Should Peanuts Be Planted?

When planting peanut crops, ensure that the shells are whole. If a peanut is broken, it will not germinate. Discard it, and do not plant it.

Peanuts should be planted in early spring when the temperature rises and there is no more frost. They need full sun to grow and should be planted in loose soil.

It’s best to water peanut plants in the evening, and you should make sure to keep the soil moist until the plant flowers. Once the plant has flowered, you should let the soil dry between watering, which should still preferably be done in the evening.

When Should Peanuts Be Harvested?

Peanuts should be harvested when the plant’s leaves turn yellow. This will be in the fall and can take anywhere between 95 to 150 days after planting. The whole pod needs to be removed from the ground and hung to dry. 

There are four types of peanuts, and they require different amounts of time before being harvested.

  • Virginia peanuts – 130 to 150 days before harvesting.
  • Runner peanuts – 130 to 150 days before harvesting.
  • Valencia peanuts – 95 to 100 days before harvesting.
  • Spanish peanuts – 120 days before harvesting.

If you’ve ever wondered how farmers harvest peanuts, here’s an interesting YouTube video by Conley Banman showing just how they do it:

Can Peanuts Safely Be Stored Through the Winter?

Peanuts can safely be stored through the winter. Once peanuts have been harvested, they can be stored shelled or unshelled. Peanuts will last longer when stored in a cool environment, but they do have a shelf life.

While you can safely store peanuts through the winter and summer, you can only store them for a certain amount of time. Peanuts can last longer depending on how you store them:

  • Stored in the pantry: peanuts can last about four months. 
  • Stored in the refrigerator: peanuts can stay fresh for up to twelve months.
  • Stored in the freezer: peanuts can last around twenty-four months.

It’s important to note that roasted and flavored peanuts won’t last as long as raw peanuts.

Additionally, shelled peanuts should be stored in an airtight container, but unshelled peanuts can be stored in a ventilated area.

Can Peanuts Go Bad?

Most food can go bad or rancid after a while, but peanuts are not like most food. People don’t seem to think that peanuts can go bad, but they can’t stay fresh forever.

Peanuts can go bad. Once they expire, they will shrivel, and mold will start growing on them. Peanuts can also go rancid, causing them to have a foul smell and sour or bitter taste.

Final Thoughts

Peanuts can survive winter in warm environments if the temperature does not drop below 56° Fahrenheit (13.3° Celsius).

Frost can damage a peanut plant and even kill it. If the plant is only damaged slightly, it might be able to produce peanuts when it gets warmer.

If the plant is damaged, the peanuts need to be harvested as soon as possible. After frost damage, don’t wait longer than a week to harvest your peanuts.

Peanuts should be planted in early spring and harvested in the fall when their leaves start turning yellow.

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