Potatoes and peanuts are two staple crops that are highly economical. As they’re both grown underground, you may want to plant them together. However, before planting them together, you should know if it’s feasible.
You can plant potatoes and peanuts together, although it’s not recommended. While both are grown underground, their cultivation periods, nutritional needs, irrigation requirements, and harvest timings are very different. Thus, they’re not convenient to grow together.
Further in this article, I’ll discuss some reasons why you shouldn’t plant peanuts and potatoes together. Moreover, if you want to do so at any cost, I’ll go over certain things to keep in mind to succeed in your adventure.
7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Plant Potatoes and Peanuts Together
Both potatoes and peanuts are botanically vegetables, as peanuts are a legume, and potatoes are a tuber. However, they’re so distinct that growing them together doesn’t make any sense. Let’s look at each thing a plant needs to grow and compare them to peanuts and potatoes to better understand why it’s best not to grow them together.
Here are 7 significant reasons for why you shouldn’t plant potatoes and peanuts together:
- Varying cultivation processes.
- Different growing seasons.
- Distinct irrigational needs.
- Dissimilar harvesting periods.
- Different types of crops.
- Incompatible fertilizer needs.
- Varying soil and temperature requirements.
1. Varying Cultivation Processes
The cultivation process includes everything from seeding to harvesting. Potatoes and peanuts have very distinct cultivation processes. Hence, they are best cultivated separately.
Peanut seeds are tiny, and they take less space underground to accommodate themselves. On the other hand, potatoes are significant, and therefore, need more spacing.
Moreover, the most significant thing for any crop is how much time it takes in the whole cultivation process, from beginning to end. Peanut’s cultivation period is almost double the potato’s cultivation period, making it impractical to cultivate together.
2. Different Growing Seasons
In the United States, peanuts are grown in summer and harvested in September and October before frosting starts. On the other hand, potatoes grow in fall, winter, and spring.
If you grow potatoes and peanuts together and all other factors are somehow controlled, you can not provide them with different seasons simultaneously. It’s better not to raise them together but alternatively.
3. Distinct Irrigational Needs
Peanuts take more extended time in the field than potatoes. So, the irrigation is different for both. Potatoes live shorter and need frequent watering, whereas peanuts require delayed irrigation over more extended periods.
Planting them together would be challenging to find a balanced moisture content and irrigation timing that suits both. If you cater to one’s needs, the other will have to suffer.
4. Dissimilar Harvesting Periods
The harvesting period is when the crop is ready to harvest and be taken out from the fields to the processing units. If two crops have different harvesting periods, gathering one and leaving the other on the ground would be complicated.
Potatoes take 60-90 days in the field for harvesting, depending on the variety. In contrast, peanuts take 110-120 days to mature. While harvesting the earlier crop, the latter suffers due to the pulling of roots and heavy foot traffic.
In the case of peanuts and potatoes, peanuts will suffer. This torture may hinder peanut reproduction’s pegging and podding processes, resulting in a heavy loss of money, resources, time, and energy.
5. Different Types of Crops
Potatoes and peanuts are very distinct. There is no comparison of both in terms of cultivation. Potato is a short-lived, tuber vegetable, whereas peanut is a legume like peas and lentils, having a comparatively longer shelf life.
The peanuts seeds can live up to a couple of years if stored in good conditions. Potatoes don’t have such perks, and they only live for a few months.
How does their shelf life make them incompatible with growing together? Through their pre-cultivation processes.
6. Incompatible Fertilizer Needs
Potatoes need a high phosphate formula of fertilizers, whereas peanuts require nitrate-rich fertilizers. Their requirements are so divergent that the other will negatively impact if we cater to one.
If you use nitrate fertilizers, the foliage will develop excessively in potatoes, hindering the tuber development under the soil. In contrast, phosphate-rich plant food will negatively impact the peanut flowering and fruition.
7. Varying Soil and Temperature Requirements
Finally, there is one thing that both the plants, peanuts, and potatoes need; silty, sandy, and loose soil that is rich in nutrients and drains water quickly.
However, there is a catch. Potatoes are happy with acidic soil, having a 4.8 to 5.4 pH value. On the other side, peanuts grow healthy in less acidic to neutral soil, having a 5.5 to 7 pH value.
Their temperature requirements are also different. Peanuts require a high temperature and potatoes need a cold temperate climate. Peanut’s ideal temperature ranges from about 20°C to 35°C (68 to 86°F) and potatoes at 20 to 24°C (68-75.2°F).
Tips on How To Grow Peanuts and Potatoes Together
After knowing the reality, if you still want to grow potatoes and peanuts together, I would advise you to keep several things in mind to be a success at your farming experiment:
- Small Scale Cultivation: It would be more manageable to control some of the cultivation factors if you’re growing peanuts and potatoes together at a small scale.
- Soil Preparation and Seeding: It’s best to sow the peanut and potato seeds in separate rows. Although they both need similar soil, separating them will be more manageable.
- Irrigation: If you separate peanuts and potatoes in rows, you can schedule irrigation differently for both, catering to their moisture needs.
- Fertilizers: Organic fertilizers are best used to cater to all needs. Otherwise, growing them without fertilizers is not a bad idea either.
- Harvest: I would advise you to harvest potatoes manually. Therefore, you don’t torture peanuts that are still flowering and starting their reproduction.
Potatoes and peanuts have similarities, such as being underground crops and needing the same soil type. However, they need very different climates and nutrients for ideal fruition. If you plan to plant them together on a small scale, you’re welcome to experiment with proper care and caution.
However, growing peanuts and potatoes together at a large scale is neither feasible nor profitable. Therefore, it’s best to grow them alternatively.