Your peanuts will be sent to you in the shell to protect the seeds from damage. Keep them in the shell until you are ready to sow. After shelling you can soak the peanut seed in warm water for 12-24 hours to speed up germination. To get a head start on the season start them indoors 3-4 weeks before planting out. Alternatively direct sow outdoors when soil temperatures reach 16-18 degrees Celsius. (Approximately 3 weeks after the last frost) In either case plant the shelled peanut seed 2.5-5cm deep and cover with soil. Outdoors space plants or seeds 15-30cm apart in rows spaced 75-90cm apart. Peanuts like a sunny location and well drained soil. They will germinate in a week or so and grow slowly for the first month. Cover with row cover to protect from frost if it threatens.
When plants reach 15cm in height, loosen the soil around them by lightly cultivating so that the pegs can more readily penetrate the soil. Lightly mulch with straw or grass to keep soil moist and loose. Soil should be moist while peanuts are starting to form below ground and hold back on watering near harvest which will be when the leaves begin to yellow and/or frost is imminent. To harvest, loosen soil around the base of the plant with a garden fork and pull up the plant. Shake excess soil from the roots. Look at the lovely shells clustered around the base!
Hang plants for 3-4 weeks in a warm, dry location out of the sun. for 3-4 weeks to dry. To save space, after 2 weeks you can brush off any dry soil, pick the shells and lay them out on a screen to continue drying. Store the dried shells in mesh bags in a well ventilated space for longest storage.
To boil peanuts, cover the un-shelled peanuts with salted water (or beer, bourbon etc) and boil gently for 3 hours stirring and topping up the liquid now and then. Eat warm.
To roast peanuts, spread shelled or unshelled peanuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 350degrees Fahrenheit. Unshelled peanuts will take 12-18 minutes and shelled approximately 30 minutes. Enjoy