The Q&A Archives: Growing Peanuts

Question: I planted Burpee peanuts according to directions. There were no warnings about what possible
pests to guard against. The tops were beautiful, but when I dug them, something had hollowed
out nearly all of them. A real waste of my time and money! What might have dined on them and
what prevention should I have taken?

Answer: Peanut plants are generally pest free, with the exception of aphids which like to dine on the foliage. It's possible that the blossoms of the plant were not pollinated and therefore did not develop nuts within the pods. If you've noticed that something actually chewed through the pods and consumed the nuts, I'd guess that wireworms, or the larvae of beetles did the damage. It's impossible to tell without seeing the damage first hand, but if you suspect ground dwelling bad guys, try planting your peanuts (and other root crops) in a different area of the garden next year. Without a ready source of food, the grubs will die out.

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