Using peanuts for soil improvement – What are the benefits of peanuts in the soil?

Peanuts, like all legumes, have the amazing ability to fix valuable nitrogen in the soil. In general, the higher the protein content of a plant, the more nitrogen it returns to the soil. Peanuts are not only delicious, but also full of protein, so groundnut cover crops are a win-win situation. Not only do you improve the soil by planting peanuts, but you’ll end up providing the family with a tasty, nutrient-rich snack. How do peanut plants improve soil fertility and what are the benefits of peanuts in the soil? Find out more.

How peanut plants improve soil fertility

Nitrogen is a key ingredient in the formation of soil organic matter. Peanut cover crops release nitrogen into the soil as the plant decomposes. Microorganisms decompose the plant and release nitrogen into the soil as they die. Most crop residues contain much more carbon than nitrogen, and soil bacteria need both. Improving the soil by planting peanuts conserves about 23 percent of the fixed nitrogen in the soil, which is available for next year’s crops.
Using peanuts for soil improvement not only brings nitrogen to the soil, it also has other benefits, such as
such as :

  • increase organic matter
  • improve soil porosity
  • nutrient recycling
  • to improve the structure or inclination of the soil
  • lower the soil pH
  • the diversification of beneficial microorganisms
  • break the cycles of diseases and parasites

Therefore, as you can see, the use of peanuts for soil improvement has a multitude of advantages for the gardener.

How to plant peanut cover crops

You can throw a few peanut seeds in the garden to increase their nitrogen fixing capacity, but it is better to inoculate the seeds with the Rhizobium bacterium, which is available in powder form. A half-pound bag is sufficient for 100 pounds of peanut seeds, which is more than enough for the average family garden.
Pour the peanut seeds into a bucket before planting. Moisten them with non-chlorinated water. Stir the seed to make sure it is evenly moist. Sprinkle inoculants over the seeds and stir them to completely cover them. Don’t worry if you add too much, it will not damage the seeds. When all the seeds have turned black, they have been inoculated. If some seeds are still pale, add more inoculants and keep stirring.
Once the seeds have been treated, prepare the planting area by placing 4 cm (10 cm) of fertilizer on the surface. Push the fertilizer into the soil to a depth of about 6 cm (15 cm).
Sow the seeds 8 cm (8 cm) apart. (3 cm) deep, at 20 cm. (8 cm) and in rows of 30-61 cm. (12-24 cm). When the peanut seedlings are several inches tall, thin the plants to 18 cm (46 cm) apart by cutting the weaker plants at the base with scissors.
Place soil around the base of the peanut plants when they are about a foot high (.3 m.) to allow the pods to grow and spread underground. Mulch between the mounds to conserve water and delay weeds. Water the plants with one inch of water per week depending on weather conditions.
In 120-130 days your peanuts should be ready to harvest; the leaves will be yellow. Lift the plants from the bed with a garden fork. Store the entire plant in a dry, well-ventilated room for about two weeks before removing the peanuts.
Return the remaining peanut plants to the garden and grow them well to reap the benefits of the nitrogen-rich plants and return them to the soil.

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