Planting Date: The best planting window for peanuts in S.C. is from about 5 – 25 May. Large acreages (300 and up) should be spread out over a 2-week planting interval to spread harvest maturity. Peanuts do well planted the first week of May, but try to avoid April planting to reduce tomato spotted wilt risk (see virus management). Fields with high CBR risk should be planted last to maximize early season soil temperatures. We have enough growing season to finish planting during the first week of June if absolutely necessary, but harvest conditions usually deteriorate rapidly after 1 Nov. Lower temperatures and shorter days severely limit drying time and combining hours. See the discussion on cold injury.
Soil Temperature: Should be at least 65° F at 4” depth, but soil temperature is seldom a concern for May planting in S.C.
Seeding Rate and Plant Population: Our goal is to get a uniformly emerged stand of 4 plants per row ft. to help control tomato spotted wilt virus. A seeding rate of 6 per row foot is recommended for runners (at least 5 per ft. for virginia types due to greater seed cost).
Seed Quality: Low germ. peanut seed not only require higher rates to achieve adequate stands, but can also produce plants with reduced vigor and lower yield potential. CBR is seed-transmitted - know your seed source.
Seeding Depth: Plant into consistent moisture up to a maximum depth of 3 inches assuming good seed quality. Under good moisture conditions, 1.5” depth is ideal and there is no need to plant shallower unless the seed have very poor vigor. Planting shallower than 1.5” will increase the risk of Valor injury and also increase risk of inoculant failure in marginal soil moisture.
Row Spacing: Conventional row spacing is 36 - 38", but twin-rows (7” on 36-38” centers) help to reduce tomato spotted wilt virus by covering the ground more quickly. Twin rows can increase yield even in the absence of TSWV, but a GPS guidance system is recommended to allow digging of twin-row virginia types. On twin rows plant 3 seed per row ft.