Buckwheat is a short-lived summer annual reaching maturity in just 70-90 days. Buckwheat is not a grain or even a grass, but an herb. It is one of the fastest and easiest establishing cover crops available. It can produce 2-3 tons of dry matter in just 6-8 weeks making it an excellent crop for summer weed suppression. It is easy to kill and is known for its ability to extract phosphorus from the soil. It is also known for its sweet blossoms that attract beneficial insects. It is very succulent and does not add much to the soil by way of biomass.
- Often used as a summer starter crop to suppress weeds
- Delicate, fibrous root system
- Establishes very quickly - very useful for weed suppression after early harvested crop
- Mellows the soil and encourages soil aggregation
- Great for bringing idle ground into production
- Tremendous scavenger
- Residue decomposes quickly
Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Buckwheat likes light to medium, well drained soils, sandy loams, loams, and silty loams. It grows best in cool, moist conditions. Buckwheat is not drought tolerant. It works very well as a nurse crop. Make sure to cut back on the seeding rates. It is very susceptible to frost and kills easily by rolling.
Drill 50-60 lbs/A 1⁄2 to ¾ inch deep when all danger of frost is past. For weed suppression or broadcasting into a firm seed bed, use up to 90 lbs/A. For a nurse crop, use one-third the usual rate.