Weedstock Wednesdays

It's Wednesday again which means time to pull some weeds! Some enjoy this job and find it to be therapeutic and satisfying, others not so much. Regardless, weeding is one of the most important steps toward a healthy and thriving garden or landscape. Weeds (pretty or ugly) can overtake your space quickly, stealing the nutrients and water from your desirable plants so it is crucial to keep them in check.

When weeding this week in the garden we discovered a pleasant but somewhat nutty surprise...

PEANUTS! Since one of our garden beds is used mainly for annuals and student garden projects sometimes there are things left behind from past experiments-including this Valencia peanut plant we found...and taste tested!

Peanuts are technically not a nut but are really beans that develop underground. After the peanut plant flower is fertilized, a specialized threadlike structure called a "peg" extends down from the flower into the ground. The tip of the peg contains the ovary, which develops into the tasty seed that we know as the peanut. Peanuts and other legumes (members of Fabaceae, the fabulous bean family) have a special relationship with a type of beneficial bacteria called rhizobia. The bacteria live in the plants' roots and form nodules, where they convert atmospheric nitrogen to a form of nitrogen that's available for plants to take up and use for nourishment. This means that less fertilizer is needed to grow these crops, and when legume crops are planted with other kinds of plants (like soybeans with corn) both plants benefit from the extra available nitrogen. 

Thanks for joining us, until next time! 


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