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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Buckwheat is Beautiful!



We're Big on green manure up here in the Valley.....seems like our land is naturally one big clod of Clay. Not conducive at all for veggie growing. We're always working to improve our soil (or turn our clay into soil, that's probably a better way to say it)

We use a lot of fall Rye, but also use Buckwheat....Buckwheat is Beautiful! Look at those blooms...when you look out over a sea of white buckwheat blooms, it's gorgeous!






Top on my list as to why I love Buckwheat is its incredible fast growth! (Which we kinda need up here in the 'Boo)  From seeding to harvesting (or plowing under) is 5 weeks...yes 5 weeks!

It smothers out pretty much Any weed trying to grow, which makes it a prime candidate for improving the soil in a new empty garden bed.

So...we use Fall Rye in the Fall to over winter....but in season, if we harvest something and want to build the soil in that particular spot, we use Buckwheat.






I don't know of any other green manure that you could seed and plow under 3 times in One garden season! Amazing.... follow the last plowing with Fall Rye and let that sit over Winter. Come Spring, plow or dig that under and you have the makings for  wonderful soil for your new Garden.







You'll be amazed with the gorgeous friable soil you have built!

If you are going to plow under, do it just as the flowers are starting. I couldn't do that myself, as the flowers were so pretty, and I just loved the sea of green with all those white nodding heads.





Enter....Plan B. Here I waited until the majority of flowers were blooming, enjoyed the flowers for maybe one week, and then literally forced myself out there with the clippers.




The result of Plan B....Happy Happy Happy Girls! Dang, the Chickens love Buckwheat!

You can also harvest Buckwheat for yourself...turning it into flour. That's for another post. Just realize the wonders and versatility of Buckwheat....it's a Good Thing!
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

read up on processing buckwheat for food before you commit!

Paula said...

I was reminded about winter rye too late to plant this year. I haven't heard of using buckwheat though.

Forgive my ignorance, but is this something that can be plowed under without worrying about it sprouting back up, thus choking my other stuff?

Annie said...

Hi Paula, yes you can! If you don't want it coming back up at all, then plow (or dig under with a shovel) Before it goes to seed.

My suggestion would be to shovel it under as SOON as it starts to flower.

Just remember, buckwheat can be used during the hot weather in the summer...it does NOT handle frost well.

evolutionofagardener said...

I'm just learning about cover crops and hope to use them over the next winter. I did scatter some mustard seeds that are holding up pretty well through the snows. It's supposed to be good for repelling some kind of soil pest, but I forget which one. It doesn't look great after freezing, but I was surprised it still looks green at all. Maybe I'll try the winter rye, next time.

Tim and Kari O'Brien said...

Buckwheat, yes, I will give it a try, but it hard to say buckwheat without thinking maple syrup and pancakes!