Contrary to popular belief, the peanut is not a nut; it is actually a vegetable belonging to the legume family, which includes peas and beans. These tropical natives of South America require about 120 days to mature, but fortunately the peanut plant can withstand light spring and fall frosts. Jumbo Virginia is a productive variety for home gardens. Although the peanut plant is generally considered a Southern crop, Northern gardeners can also grow them successfully if they choose early cultivars such as Early Spanish and start plants indoors.
(On just a quarter-acre of land, you can produce fresh, organic food for a family of four—year-round. Rodale's The Backyard Homestead shows you how; get your copy today.)