Buckwheat in Okla: How's yours?

chickencoupeMay 18, 2014

I really had to work the soil. It doesn't like compaction. I reseeded in a few areas. I'm having decent luck with it. I love how fast it grows and how easy it is to pull or kill. These are making some nice fall beds. I broad cast several pounds all over the place. It didn't come up. But the recent cool weather and a bit of moisture has caused it to germinate in many areas.

It's not the best root system for clay soil, but it's doing decent at suppressing grass growth in recently disturbed yard area. I can see why three successive plantings for new areas are recommended.

I have been extremely gratified to see predator wasps chowing down on the blossoms.

"Buckwheat for Cover Crop"

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wulfletons(Zone 7a)

Did you sow primarily in sunny spots? It looks great!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 9:37PM
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Lisa_H(7)

I need to get some more. Mine has been pretty pitiful so far, but it may pick up once we get some warmer weather.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 11:12PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Mine is already rototilled under and decomposing and I am getting ready to plant in the area where it was. I'm planting melons, cucumbers and southern peas where it was. It is too hot and too dry here for buckwheat to have a good summer and it isn't raining enough and I don't want to have to water a cover crop, so I am getting ready to sow "Iron and Clay" cowpeas instead, as well as any other cowpeas I have left in my seed box in any unplanted area where I need something desirable to crowd out weeds and prevent soil erosion. I might sow grain amaranth in the back garden as a summer compost crop, if it ever rains again. It would need some irrigation or rainfall to get it to sprout, but after that, it grows well on extremely low moisture even in very poor soil. The ground there is rock hard and dry and cracking (I cannot believe how awful it is because plants did great back there last year, albeit with a huge amount of rainfall in May), but I've managed to get almost half of it rototilled. Today I hope to work on the other half. It'd be easier if I had a jackhammer.

I do have an insectary seed mix (that has buckwheat as one of its many varieties) that I am preparing to sow in the area where my compost pile was, as soon as I remove the last bit of compost from it for use, and then rototill all the weeds and volunteers they have popped up in that area as I've been removing the compost there for a couple of months now. I can't leave the volunteers and weeds as a cover crop because they'e a mixture of good stuff (Laura Bush petunias, dill, cilantro, amaranth, four o'clocks, datura and celosia) and bad stuff (lambsquarters, crabgrass, and several kinds of pigweed) and I refuse to spend hours pulling out the bad stuff.

Some years when we have had more decent (as in cooler and rainier) weather, I've kept buckwheat going pretty deeply into summer, but it is really a cool-season crop and our cool-season is over down here. All my cool-season leafy crops are bolting.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 9:03AM
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mulberryknob

I have several volunteer plants come up where I planted a cover crop last year. It is blooming now.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 10:23AM
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chickencoupe

Wufleton ~ Yeah. because of the new garden bed area. It doesn't like the heat.

I planted different section this way: 2 with only buckwheat, one with just wheat and the other with buckwheat/wheat. Wheat seems to be allelopathic to bermuda (but not some other grasses).

Buckwheat doesn't mind. It grows at the same rate in all.

It does prefer to be buried rather than sprout from surface like when I hand broadcast it.

Lisa ~ if you're ever in this area, stop by and I can give you a pound or so. I'll be ordering another 50 lbs within the next month.

I love this stuff! I cannot wait to have all the green manure it produces.

I've had to water it a couple times, but I'm very stuck up with the water supply.

I'm going to let what I have reseed. It is SO much easier to pull buckwheat than get rid of BERMUDA. ha! And the bunnies love it.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 1:27PM
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Lisa_H(7)

I broadcast zinnia seeds where the buckwheat didn't come up. I figured the zinnias would grow perfectly happily in the heat :)

My buckwheat is soooo tiny. How tall does it get?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 2:32PM
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chickencoupe

Even in heavy clay some are about knee high. In other areas they are 5 to 6" high but fully grown. The heat seems to stunt their growth. I really didn't expect them to flower, but they did.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 3:03PM
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Lisa_H(7)

I took a pic of my buckwheat. it looks like it is trying to flower.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 2:24PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

In a good, long cool season with plentiful moisture, from an early planting, buckwheat can get 2-4' tall in good, humusy soil. Often, though, we go from too cold to too hot so fast that it can start blooming when it is less than a foot tall. In poorer soil or in low light, it may stay smaller and less vigorous, but it still will grow and flower.

My plants are all messed up from seesawing from 30- and 40-degree nights to 80- and 90-degree days in April and early May. My buckwheat is done, but the clover just started blooming this week. The clover is late, but it is in shade behind the garage so it always is a little slow. This year it is slower than usual.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 2:52PM
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chickencoupe

Lisa, it looks great! Dawn, your comment explains why some are shorter but flowering. This is a great cover crop!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 3:41PM
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Lisa_H(7)

Yes, I was expecting closer to two feet! I probably sowed it too late. I was worried about frosts. Interesting. I'm willing to try it again, it just wasn't quite what I expected! :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 4:07PM
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Lisa_H(7)

It's flowering!

and a much wider view of the wild area I'm trying to bring into some kind of order. If anyone ever at any doubt that I'm not a great weeder...here's your proof :)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 12:55PM
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chickencoupe

That looks great to me! Aren't the blooms perdy? I just love going outside and seeing all the buckwheat in bloom. And there's always insects feeding on them.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 3:31PM
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chickencoupe

In the spring I overseeded. I must have broadcast about 20 lbs trying to get it to sprout. I seeded while it was raining, but we just didn't get enough moisture.

Over the least three days all of it has sprouted. I'll put up a pic if it gets to flowering stage. My others are beginning to bolt with some of them 4 foot tall.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:13PM
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Lisa_H(7)

I had a bunch sprout too. I guess it was laying in wait for better conditions!

So, pull or cut?

Lisa

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:52PM
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chickencoupe

Sup to you. I can tell ya that the seeds look like they'll easily get away from ya. It blooms for a very long time, though. And the buggies love it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 7:44PM
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chickencoupe

Well, here's the sea of buckwheat. Not every day ya get to see a crazy loon's garden.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 3:59PM
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chickencoupe

This be why.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Lisa_H(7)

very nice!! You should have some happy polinators in a little bit. I like the sea of green. :)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Lisa_H(7)

I haven't pulled mine yet. I keep looking at the flowers and don't have to heart to do it.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 4:30PM
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chickencoupe

I just noticed the shovel by a stand of johnson grass. Guess I better get that. lol

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 5:02PM
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