Spiritofthewild
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Peanuts and corn compaion plating?

I've read that you can plant peanuts under corn, and they will benefit eachother through nitrogen fixing (not sure how the corn benefits he peanuts though). Never tried growing peanuts but I lik to try everything once and their growth is just so strange I want to see it! (Flowers that die and grow downwards to produce the 'nuts'!? Seriously what's with that!?) not sure if it will work here or not

Has anyone tried it? My concern is that the peanuts will simply be shaded out by the corn, however as I live in outback Aus and it is not uncommon for us to have a weeks of over 40+C temperatures (105+F) and zero humidity a certain amount of shade is needed for all my plants....

Also trying to grow 'cucamelon' thisyear! :D They sound yummy!


Thankyou

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Peanuts and corn compaion plating?

Corn is a heavy nitrogen feeder and peanuts are a legume. It is possible but peanuts have about a 150 day maturity date and most legumes are tilled in at flowering (for peanuts about 5-6 weeks) for maximum benefit for the target crop. Most legume cover crops are inoculated and grown to reap the greatest benefit for nitrogen fixation. The legume is tilled in at flowering when nitrogen fixation peaks and it is the decay of the plants and the bacterial nodules that releases nitrogen to the target crop about 6 weeks later. Usually there is not much benefit to concurrent plantings. Remember the bacteria that infect the legume roots are converting nitrogen for their own benefit and while they do share some with the host, they don't give it up until they are gone.

The three sisters design does utilize corn, beans and squash as companions. The corn is a heavy nitrogen feeder and the beans, if inoculated and you choose the right beans, they will need less nitrogen from the soil so they don't compete for soil nitrogen with the corn and the beans will use the corn stalks as bean poles. the squash grows under the corn so it acts as a living mulch, however squash vines are not always easy to get to go where you want them. The other thing that was often planted were sunflowers around the perimeter of the corn. Mammoth sunflowers produce edible seeds, attract bees and beneficial insects and look pretty good.
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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Peanuts and corn compaion plating?

I have found that generally, planting anything at the base of corn interferes with hilling and fertilizing. Its much easier if you can just pull up soil to hill, and hoe to weed and side dress.

For that reason, I prefer to plant my legume crop BEFORE (previous to) corn. So far my favorites are peas and fava beans. I plant them in double rows with wide enough spacing so that a double row of corn can be planted in between the legume rows when they are producing or just about ready to start harvesting. Ideally corn is ready to be hilled when the legumes are finished.

Something short season could be sown after corn has been hilled. I've tried bush beans and that works. I think peanuts would be too long season. Corn would be done way before, and the peanuts may prevent or interfere with clean up. Plus, in removing the stalks, even if you were to just cut them close to the base, you could accidentally damage the fragile peanut plants. I also think the bulky and octopus/stilt-like aerial roots of the corn could even block peanuts from burrowing properly ...they take up a wide area. I agree, too, that the corn might cast too much shadow.

Pole beans are better used with flour or popcorn that will take full season to mature. The corn also need to be sturdy tall variety. I've tried squash under the corn -- vigorous varieties will try to climb the corn. In either case, in my tiny patches of corn, anything climbing the corn can block proper pollination.

A companion crop I'd like to try with corn is one of the mushrooms that can grow in wood chip or straw mulch.

...heh... I think I started to ramble -- I hope I was clear enough.
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