So once you know when to dig up peanuts, you need to answer the question, “How are peanuts harvested?” Loosen the soil around the plants with a spade or garden fork before harvesting peanuts. Pull up the plants and shake the excess soil from the roots, leaving the pods attached. Check the soil to make sure you aren’t leaving any pods behind. Peanuts need to dry for three or four weeks before you prepare and store them. Hang the plants in a warm, dry location and protect them from direct sunlight. After two weeks, brush off any remaining soil and remove the pods from the roots. Lay them out in a single layer on a flat surface and allow them to dry for another week or two. High humidity during the drying period encourages mold.