Organic Buckwheat Crop Cover 1 Ounce
Green manures are crops planted on the soil surface that enhance soil fertility and texture.
Buckwheat is a fast-growing, warm-season, succulent,
broad-leafed annual plant, that can smother out weeds, protect the soil
surface and provide habitat for pollinating and other beneficial
insects, explained Dan McGrath, crops scientist and staff chair for the
Linn County office of the Oregon State University Extension Service.
With a fibrous root system, buckwheat seed can germinate within
days of planting, especially if the soil is warmer than 55 degrees. Not
requiring much water and tolerating poor fertility, buckwheat is ideal
for many less-than-ideal places in your garden. But be forewarned – it
does not like saturated soils or shade.
Since buckwheat is a succulent, it decomposes rapidly, and does
not provide much organic matter to the soil. But it does improve the
short-term tilth of the soil, and better prepares your garden bed for
transplants. It is particularly efficient at taking up phosphorus from
the soil and storing it in its tissues. There is some research evidence
that incorporating buckwheat residues can increase phosphorus
availability to the subsequent crop.
Because it grows so fast, buckwheat is ideal for planting in
places that might be left otherwise bare over the summer, such as spare
garden beds whose spring crops are harvested and fall crops are yet to
"Sometimes home gardeners get overly ambitious with a
rototiller in the spring," said McGrath. "If you work up too much
ground, then the ground that you don't plant can get away from you and
become a mess of difficult to control weeds. My advice to the gardener
who has 'bitten off more than you can chew' is to plant buckwheat to
hold the tilled area until you have time to plant new crops."
Buckwheat reaches flowering stage at about two to four feet
high, in as little as four to five weeks. It continues to flower for
several weeks, then sets seed two to three weeks after flowering.
Buckwheat seeds are eaten by ground dwelling birds including pheasant
Buckwheat can become a weed under certain circumstances, said
McGrath. "But, I consider buckwheat to be a 'good weed' because it is
relatively easy to kill and it crowds out other weeds that are much
more difficult to kill."
Farmers kill it with herbicides, mechanical cultivation and
mulching. Home gardeners can easily pull it out or chop it down before
it sets seed. Since buckwheat is frost sensitive, it will winter kill
naturally. Buckwheat seeds can survive over winter in many parts of
Plant buckwheat in the spring to early summer. Scatter the seed
over your garden bed, at a rate of about one pound per 500 square feet
of garden space (about three ounces per 100 square feet) and rake and
water in. Though plants may appear wilted on hot summer afternoons,
buckwheat does not require much water.
Mow or cut down buckwheat within 2 weeks of first flowering if
you want to avoid setting seed that could cause a "weed" problem in
your following crop. Turn the buckwheat plants into the soil. They will
decompose rapidly and not hinder your planting of subsequent crops.
Some examples of a use of buckwheat in the home garden as a cover crop might include:
After harvest of late spring lettuce, plant buckwheat in early
June. Then, in late July till it under and plant broccoli starts for
After picking all your overwintered cole crops in May, plant
buckwheat, then plow under after flowering in July or August. Then
plant leafy salad greens or overwintering carrots or onions.
In a particularly weedy area, cut back and till under weeds in
the spring or early summer and plant buckwheat, which will smother out
the weeds. Then plant a fall-planted crop such as garlic.
If you want to grow buckwheat for seed or grain, it will take about three months from time of planting.
Expiration dates are all 2014 or longer, items are freshly made or packed so rest assured you get the FRESHEST of what you buy. AMBER'S ORGANICS.