Underground News


When we were in the garden doing the first big round of cleanup I noticed the peanut plants, one of this year’s garden experiments, were starting to look a little “done.” Yesterday I took up a fork and harvested them all.


I wasn’t sure what I was going to find so I was pleased to see that each plant had a fair number of fat pods down around their roots.  Peanuts have a fascinating way of flowering and forming their seeds. After the bloom is pollinated it grows a stem that pushes the ovary down into the soil where the pod forms. They seemed to have enough decent soil to grow in above the more clayey layer below and didn’t look distorted at all. The tops, however, were another matter. Some had been chewed completely off by some rabbit or rodent.


Once I plucked them from the plants and gave them a good washing I ended up with a decent bowlful for our little patch. They do take a lot of space for the amount we got, though. I’m not sure if the spots on the shells are caused by a soil problem, pests or disease. Time to do some research. I also need to find out how to roast them. We’re sure we won’t be making boiled peanuts, a southern treat. Last weekend we were visiting friends in Alabama and tried boiled peanuts for the first time and, while we thought they were edible, didn’t feel a great need to have them again.


In other underground news, the oca patch seems to have hit its stride and the plants are looking lush and happy. As I mentioned before, they will have only just started forming tubers after the Autumn Equinox. We’ve had some cold nights since then, but no frost yet. Still, I’m keeping them covered with some row cover as insurance. It would be great if we got a harvestable crop from these, but I don’t see growing them again until I’ve got a lot more space to play around with.

Did you try any garden experiments this year? How did they do?


7 thoughts on “Underground News

  1. Interesting about the peanuts and well done for bringing them through. I think it must be worth it to just watch that strange way of making the seeds. I have been very boring this year as I don’t want to have too big a vegetable plot as it is more difficult to leave untended. My space is, therefore, all accounted for by the stuff I count as essentials. I am going to go wild next year as I have bought seeds for some decorative gourds. 🙂 Amelia

    1. I’m tempted by some of the wild gourds I’ve seen. I’d really like to grow some of the birdhouse ones, especially. Be sure and share pictures of your gourds when you get them.

      1. I like to have gourds to use as an autumn indoor display instead of flowers. The decorative gourds that are grown here are quite small, you fill a bowl with several of them. Are birdhouse gourds large?

  2. growntocook

    I am impressed with your peanut harvest! How long is your growing season?
    Our biggest experiment (gamble) this year were sweet potatoes. The harvest was not terribly impressive, but I felt very proud anyway as I have grown eight plants from just one tuber that I bought at the organic food store. I might grow them again next year, hopefully the summer will be better…

    1. Thanks! Our growing season is usually an even six months from mid-April to mid-October but it can easily be a month shorter between first and last frost. I did try sweet potatoes this year with disappointing results. Stay tuned for details…

      1. growntocook

        Oh, that means our seasons are similar. I never thought I’d be able to grow peanuts here – something to keep in mind for the next season.
        I am looking forward to your update on sweet potatoes!

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