Pinto peanut is a low growing perennial legume with a creeping habit. Eventually it will form a dense attractive carpet with it's bright yellow flowers. It is often used as a ground cover in orchards because of it's nitrogen fixing qualities. More recently we've seen landscapers using as a grass substitute and local councils planting it in garden beds.
Pinto Peanut tolerates competition from grass and effectively excludes broadleaf weeds, fixes nitrogen and tolerates low mowing. Best left unmown in late summer to early spring in the first year after planting so it can establish. This allows sufficient depth of groundcover to prevent weed invasion in the dormant season. Pinto peanut It protects the soil surface from erosion and improves soil structure. This is a truly amazing cover crop. It produces a dense, yellow-flowered ground cover that only grows a few inches tall. It easily outcompetes weeds and requires no maintenance. Research at the Alstonville Tropical Fruit Research centre in Northern NSW several years back showed that there is no competition with the tree crop for moisture. Like all legumes, the Pinto Peanut delivers a significant supply of nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus, but this legume is unique in that it also delivers potassium. It appears that the deep-rooted legume mines potassium and delivers it to the feeder roots of the tree (in the top six inches). This was not just a token supply. One of the soils tested revealed a threefold increase in potassium just two years after the legume had been introduced. Potassium is the most expensive major mineral, so this is a huge cost-saving benefit.
|Growing Conditions||well drained rich soil full sun to part shade|
|Flowering Season||year round|
|Max Size||10 cm|