Growing Organic Buckwheat Cover Crop Garden Seeds
- Latin Name: Fagopyrum esculentum
- Common Names: Common Buckwheat, Beech Wheat
- Buckwheat Hardiness Zones: Perennial to zones 3-10, Annual cover crop
- Days to Maturity: 65-85 days
- Days to Germination: 6-12
- Buckwheat Seeding Rate: 2-3 lb per 1000 sq. ft
- Seed Planting Depth: Broadcasting directly and lightly tamp into soil (1/2")
- Growth Habit: Organic buckwheat seeds mature into a 24-36" tall broadleaf grain-like crop with multiple shallow blooms
- Buckwheat Soil Benefits: Converts nitrogen back into the soil, while minimizing erosion, drainage, and weeds
- Grow Temp Preference: 70-80° F
- Garden Light Preference: Full sun
- Pests/Diseases/Troubleshooting: Non-GMO Fagopyrum esculentum is an organic warm-season cover crop with no serious pests and, in fact, is known to deter pests
- Color: Seasonally light field greens with soft white blooms
- Buckwheat Cover Crop Mow: Annual organic buckwheat cover crop is best mowed down once crop reaches 50% bloom, before goes to seeding
About Organic Buckwheat Cover Crop Garden Seeds
Buckwheat is often counted as grain, though unlike most grains they are not true grasses. Buckwheat is thus not related to true wheat. Buckwheat is a fast-growing, warm-season, succulent, broad-leaved annual attaining a height of 2 to 4 feet. It has one main stem with several smaller branches. Leaf shape is roughly triangular, and flowers are white, pink, or red. Seeds are of two types, depending on the variety: large and dark-colored with triangular-shaped sides, or smaller and gray-colored, with a rounder shape.
FOOD: Most buckwheat is ground into flour and used for a variety of foods, including noodles in Japan and pancakes/breakfast cereals in the U.S. England, Russia and eastern Europeans make a wide range of other foods with buckwheat.
IMPROVE SOIL: Buckwheat has also been used widely as a cover crop to smother weeds and improve the soil. The crop seems to improve soil tilth, and is reported to make phosphorous more available as a soil nutrient, through root-associated mycorrhizae.
HONEY CROP: Buckwheat flowers profusely, making it popular with bee keepers and an attractive crop in the landscape. Reports are that it is not uncommon for a strong colony to glean 10 pounds of honey per day while foraging buckwheat; with one acre (.41 ha) of buckwheat producing up to 150 lb. (65 kg) of honey per growing season. . Buckwheat may fill a special need for the beekeeper since the honey flow comes late in the season when other nectar is scarce. Thus, it may be possible to obtain a crop of buckwheat honey in an area where an earlier flow has been harvested from other sources. The variety Tokyo is reported to produce a lighter colored honey than most buckwheats. Makes a yummy dark honey.
DYE: Brown dye can be made from flowers.
SMOTHER CROP: Buckwheat is a good competitor because it germinates rapidly, and the dense leaf canopy soon shades the soil. This rapid growth soon smothers most weeds.
LIVESTOCK FEED: In the past, buckwheat was often fed to livestock, especially hogs, and it is occasionally still used for livestock. Buckwheat has roughly the feed value of oats when fed to livestock. Buckwheat should be mixed with other grains when fed to livestock; this is especially true for light-skinned hogs, which can develop a rash or other complications after eating large amounts of buckwheat. Dehulled buckwheat may be less likely to cause this reaction.
Organic non-GMO buckwheat seeds are a warm-season cover crop intended to be broadcasted directly in early spring as a summer companion plant for fall tilling. Directly broadcast seed and lightly rake and tamp or, for more traditional garden harvests or perennial sowing, plant 2-3 organic buckwheat cover crop seeds ½” deep and 10-12” apart in average, loamy, and well-drained garden soil in full sun. Buckwheat is a full sun variety, but benefits from shade in long summer months.
Open-pollinated buckwheat is a traditional cover crop thriving in deficient, compacted, and uncultivated soils. Organic annual buckwheat seeds germinate in 3-7 days with no thinning necessary. Non-GMO Fagopyrum esculentum is an organic warm-season cover crop with no serious pests and, in fact, is known to deter insects such as thrips. When seeded as a cover crop, mow non-GMO buckwheat before it goes to seed (about when 50% of crop has bloomed), mulching annual buckwheat back into garden soil as "green manure". Springtime seeding of organic buckwheat will help minimize weeds in the garden and grow space.
Although not a grain, organic Fagopyrum esculentum is often substituted and treated as a grain crop grown as a quickly maturing protein source, which can be harvested in the warmer months for offset harvesting. The oldest domesticated crop of buckwheat is believed to have been cultivated nearly 6,000 years ago in China as both a crop for human and animal consumption. Despite its rising popularity in the last couple decades, open-pollinated buckwheat is still popularly seeded as a forage crop for livestock. Buckwheat is sometimes called "beech wheat" for its unique, triangle-shaped seeds resembling the same unique shape of that of a beech tree seed.
Organic Buckwheat Benefits
Non-GMO heirloom buckwheat blossoms attract essential pollinators while converting vital nitrogen and phopsphorus back into depleted garden soil, feeding your soil for future harvests. Annual buckwheat is primarily grown for its rich nitrogen-fixing bacteria, but also seeded for its ability to minimize erosion, unwanted weeds, and dense clay-heavy soils. When tilling crop in the summer, do not over-till the soil so the buckwheat has a chance to overpower and take root against the weeds. Organic open-pollinated buckwheat seeds are known to mature into an insect-repelling favorite against thrips, mealybugs, and other leafhoppers. Annual non-GMO buckwheat is not winter hardy, which makes it easier to terminate and mulch into "green compost". Buckwheat is often referred to as a pseudocereal, because its kernels are harvested and treeated just like a cereal grain, despite annual buckwheat being more closely related to sorrel and rhubarb.
Making buckwheat pancakes
The buckwheat in photo #1 is still hulled, it must be roasted and dehulled. Picture #2 shows dehulled roasted buckwheat. Picture #3 shows grinding with a stone hand grinder. #4 is of course the final and delicious product. Fresh buckwheat pancakes!!!
Wholesale Organic Buckwheat Cover Crop Seeds Per Package:
- 1 lb - Wholesale Seeds - Approximately 12,000 Seeds
- 5 lb - Bulk Seeds - Approximately 60,000 Seeds
- 25 lb - Bulk Seeds - Approximately 300,000 Seeds
Non-GMO Organic Buckwheat cover crop seeds are available for Fast Free Shipping on orders over $45.