Inoculants, calcium and boron are the primary needs,
Because peanuts are a legume, the addition of an inoculant provides the nitrogen-fixing bacteria needed to supply the crop with that essential element. That leaves Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) from the big three.
“Peanuts are very good scavengers of P and K,” Harris says. “Put your money into maintaining the fertilization of other crops, and the P and K needed for peanut will be taken care of.”
Provide The Calcium
“The best way to know if you need calcium or not is to take a soil sample at cracking time,” Harris says. “Sometimes you provide calcium in the pegging zone and it doesn’t rain, and you still end up with pops or pod rot. But, you’ve still got to start out doing the best job you can providing calcium to the pegging zone.”
“At planting, the lime is left on the surface and rain or irrigation moves it into the soil,” he says. “Liming really kills two birds with one stone: it provides the crop with calcium and also helps raise your soil pH.”
More Calcium For Large-Seeded Runners
“These large-seeded runners could benefit from a calcium application somewhere between what is recommended for normal runners and for Virginias,” he says. “For runners, the rate is usually somewhere around 160 to 200 pounds calcium per acre, which is about 1,000 pounds of most materials. For Virginias and seed peanuts, more like 2,000 pounds of material is needed to provide the needed calcium. So the large-seeded runners would be somewhere in between.”
Is Soil pH Right For Peanuts?
Harris points out that soil pH is a critical factor and is important for nitrogen-fixation.
“A soil pH below 5.5 will get you into some problems and below 5.0, peanuts will die,” he says.
“Remember that N fertilizers are acidifying, so you have to keep in mind what happens to the field before you put peanuts on it.”