[Market-farming] Buckwheat re-growth?

Steve Diver steved at ncat.org
Mon Jul 11 13:54:11 EDT 2005

John Hendricksen, thanks for the following advice --
"buckwheat will regrow if clipped before it reaches 25% bloom"

Janet Bachmann, thanks for the following advice --
".....mature seed at about 45 days.  At that point, if you mow it or 
disc it in, you will get another lush green cover crop, unless it is too
late in the season and it gets killed by frost.  An organic market
gardener in Missouri told me 15 or so years ago that he got 3 buckwheat
cover crops in a summer in this way."

I was out there this morning and the flowering buckwheat has
turned into a city for bees.  I've decided to let it go to seed
and see what happens.  I mainly want to keep the soil in
green cover with little disturbance.

This is a patch of buckweat 30' x 100' in size.  I had broadcast
seeds on top of moist soil, but it dried too quickly.  We got a
second light rain, but still it dried too quickly.  The soil crusted
over, and weeds started to come through. 

So I wheel-hoed the whole patch with a 8-inch center-mount
oscillating hoe.   Fyi, it takes one hour to walk back and forth
like that.  

Stirring the soil provided excellent seed-soil contact.  I irrigated
once, and the buckwheat came up a few days later.  It is now
waist high and beyond.  That was 30 days ago.  Buckwheat has
got to be one of the fastest growing biomass plants in the world.  

The Glaser wheel hoe offers offset oscillating hoes that you can
double to provide a broader sweep, so working a patch of soil
could go faster.  It is a decent way to break loose crusted soil,
knock down an emerging flush of weeds, or to provide
seed-soil contact for broadcasted seeds.

Steve Diver
Northwest Arkansas

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