|Better Farming Series 17. Groundnuts (FAO Better Farming series, 1977, 40 p.)|
Groundnuts can grow on savanna or forest land. They do not need a very rich soil.
But the harvest will be better if you choose a light soil, which is well aerated and not too damp.
14. Groundnuts grow better in light soil.
The fruits of the groundnut plant, the pods, develop underground.
They have to penetrate the soil in order to develop. The pods cannot easily penetrate into the soil if the soil is too heavy; that is, soil that sticks to the hands during the rainy season and during the dry season forms clods which are hard to break up.
In light soil, which is a mixture of sand and clay, the pods can develop easily. There will be more nuts, and they will be bigger.
It will also be easier to lift them at harvest time, so that none will be left in the ground.
15. Groundnuts grow better in aerated soil.
The fruits need to breathe in order to ripen. They cannot grow big when the soil is not well aerated.
The soil must be well worked before and after sowing, so that air gets into the soil everywhere.
The soil is easy to work well if it consists of sand and clay (sandy clay soil).
16. Groundnuts grow better in aerated soil that is not too damp.
Groundnuts need water in order to form and develop their pods and nuts. But if there is too much water in the soil the fruits may rot.
Water sinks slowly in clay soil
Water sinks quickly in sandy clay soil
The water needs to circulate in the soil. Water circulates well in sandy clay soil.
17. Why do groundnuts grow better in a light, aerated soil?
The reason is that the fruits grow in the earth. Fruiting takes place underground.
A groundnut plant in flower
The flowers when fertilized develop gynophores. The gynophores penetrate the ground and the pods and nuts develop from them.
The gynophores thrusts into the ground