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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Limestone Co, Alabama
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    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    ... I am using [buck wheat] as a grass killer. It isn't easy turning pasture into garden without herbicides...
    You must plow the ground, till the ground, plant buck wheat, mow the green buck wheat down, then plow or turn the green buck wheat stubble under, re-till the ground, replant the buck wheat, then re-mow the green buck wheat, and repeat the process every time the green buck wheat begins to flower. If you continue to do this for one growing season, in a years time the buck wheat in conjunction with the plow will kill most grasses and weeds, even in a new or first year garden. However if you ever once allow the buck wheat to bloom, say for your bees, or if you ever once allow the buck wheat to go to seed, you may well wish that you had the weeds back that you started with.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Baker Oregon
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    2,407

    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapfe View Post
    However if you ever once allow the buck wheat to bloom, say for your bees, or if you ever once allow the buck wheat to go to seed, you may well wish that you had the weeds back that you started with.
    Its really that bad to let it bloom? I can understand the going to seed, but how long is your window of opportunity to mow and till after it blooms and before the seeds mature?
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    2,644

    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    Then whats the point? why waste seed> just plow ever 4 weeks and kill everything you need to..

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Harsens Island , Mi , USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    I had to read that a couple times . Mow my crop ? I did get the part about the weeds and a cover crop ...but mow ? OK clover gets mowed .Buckwheat goes in with the corn . Its allowed to bloom ...its a feed crop for us . Deer love it,,ducks move in to eat the seed . Its great for bees because when its done golden rod has started . Whats left is pulled for next yrs seed . Its a great crop .

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
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    1,674

    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    ... Its really that bad to let it bloom? I can understand the going to seed, but how long is your window of opportunity to mow and till after it blooms and before the seeds mature?
    Buckwheat is not as bad as a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. With the right amount of rain it almost leaps out of the ground and can start blooming 30 days after planting and ready for harvest in 70 days or less. This is as fast, or faster than Japanese millet. That said I would rather hoe or pull buckwheat out of a garden than BUCK GRASS (Johnson grass) so if you want to, plant buckwheat, go ahead. The problem is the number of buckwheat seeds produced and remember every seed represents a new plant. Years ago, my hunting club planted strips of buckwheat to shoot morning doves over on opening day. We bush hogged it down a week or two before the season opened. If the vegetation was still rank I would also hit each plot with a disk harrow to expose enough bare dirt so the doves would land to feed. I know I saw an inch of buckwheat seed on bare dirt.

    Buckwheat’s quick maturity is one reason (I think) old time Northern farmers planted it. As previously noted, this is just my theory. I don't think there was ever much commercial demand for buckwheat flour, but it was a quick and sure harvest (without much work or rain) that could help feed a family in a pinch.

    If you are planting it for your bees, let it go to seed or even keep disturbing the ground so new plants will germinate, grow, and flower. If on the other hand you want to use buckwheat as green Roundup follow the advice in post 21.

    I don't have a clue how much time before buckwheat seeds become viable.
    Last edited by Scrapfe; 07-08-2012 at 11:47 AM.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
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    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    Quote Originally Posted by seal62 View Post
    ... I had to read that a couple times . Mow my crop ? I did get the part about the weeds and a cover crop ...but mow ? ...
    Buckwheat produces a huge amount of stalks and leaves. You will need to mow before tilling or else buy a bull dozer to till with. That is why buckwheat works so well at killing grass and weeds, it crowds them out. Remember the OP asked about converting a cow pasture into a garden patch.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Then whats the point? why waste seed> just plow ever 4 weeks and kill everything you need to..
    Buckwheat jumps out of the ground like a land mind. It grows fast, it produces tons of organic matter, it has huge leaves that act like umbrellas. It is a wonderful plant when used to out compete, over shadow, and suck the life out of emerging weed seeds, grass roots and rhizomes. Besides think of all the organic matter you are adding to your soil.

    Even if you don’t practice organic gardening this will encourage healthier root systems for your veggies, make cultivation easier, and hold moisture better. While just plowing every 30 days creates a deep seedbed so you can grow better weeds next year. Try it some time and see if you don’t agree.
    Last edited by Scrapfe; 07-07-2012 at 06:22 PM. Reason: combination
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
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    232

    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    how long is your window of opportunity to mow and till after it blooms and before the seeds mature?
    Buckwheat will bloom - shall we say "in succession" ? There will be mature seeds on the lower branches while it is flowering at the top. So, it CAN become a weed. To some people, anyway.

    I think the seed is viable once it reaches the dark brown color. Maybe medium brown? I try to leave mine until the seed clusters will easily "strip" from the plant with very little resistance. Then I mow/bush hog "high"...then mid level...then as low as possible without making ground contact. After this, I lightly harrow - just disturbing the soil.

    CC

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapfe View Post
    ...remember every seed represents a new plant.
    Scrapfe - I bought japanese buckwheat two years ago as an alternative to the common. You know, the nectar production debate. Not wanting to lose my seed, I have planted in strips to make it easier to gather by hand. Many times, I would walk by the strips and do calculations like..."ok - one seed makes one plant. One plant makes a hundredfold in seeds. So, how much do I need to gather..."

    I collected about two gallons before bush hogging July 4th at 2 p.m. It was around 99 in the shade - and I wasn't. Thats getting close to the sharp stick eye poke... LOL

    CC

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapfe View Post
    you don’t practice organic gardening this will encourage healthier root systems for your veggies, make cultivation easier, and hold moisture better. While just plowing every 30 days creates a deep seedbed so you can grow better weeds next year. Try it some time and see if you don’t agree.
    If you keep the weeds plowed under, for a full seasson.. IE disc every two weeks or so, it accomplishis exactly the same thing without wasteing buckwheat seed. I have 40 acres that I rotate in and out....... If yoru cgoing to mow it down before it does anything you don't need to seed.
    No noticiable difference in weed growth.....at least here.....

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
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    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    If you keep the weeds plowed under, for a full season.. IE disc every two weeks or so, it accomplishes exactly the same thing without wasteing buckwheat seed. ....
    Planting buckwheat in succession on a future garden plot is the "green" alternative to covering the garden plot with a black plastic sheet for a year. You are not wasting seed. If you doubt it try growing weeds and grass in a dark shaded place see how well they do. The only difference is that buckwheat can make 3 tons (dry weight) of plant matter or green fertilizer per acre and that’s with just with one planting. The old John Deere or plow horse only makes C02 or methane. The following link shows the arrow head shaped buckwheat leaves. As you see buckwheat can do a fine job of shading out weeds and grass.
    http://www.btinternet.com/~bury_rd/buckwheat.htm
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    well done the buckwheat, plant it every year, must be our soil as its not that great of ground cover

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: planting buckwheat

    I did (or tried) a pasture improvement experiment this spring, flail-mowed off about an acre and a half of a field I have where I am keeping a couple of my new colonies, then ran disc harrows over a couple of times, and broadcast a mix of buckwheat, white clover, alfafa and trefoil. Right after it got pretty dry and emergence/germinaiton was not that great. Overall it has not worked very well. The grass came back and smothered the clover/alfalfa mostly; some buckwheat made it, but is stunted and has not made much of a difference. It's flowering now but apparently not enough of a source for the bees to bother with it. I should have cultivated more aggressively or plowed it -will try again next year. Now I find I have wild parsnip in part of the field and am cutting it before it seeds, a nasty invasive.
    Rob

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