Using buckwheat to control weeds.. : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I used hay and the bedding from the sheep and goats on the garden this year-and I am swamped by new weeds! We have had huge amounts of rain this spring and early summer that have prevented us from getting in to weed most of the time (becaue of over the ankle mud) so now I am faced with a dilemma...

We want to have a god fall garden-the kole crops were all attacked by eithr the goats and chickens or bugs, and I have been sick the last few weeks and between those and the rain...well here is my idea:

Till under everythign now-only lose my zucchini plants, but I can replant them anyway, and a few onions (rabbits ate most of them), and the sow buckwheat now inhopes for a good quick stand that we can till under at the end of July, intime for the fall garden planting times (here in sw MO)

Does this sound like it might work? I haveheard that buckwheat grow s fast and helps immensely with weeds control too, not to mention building the soil fast. How long does it take for buckwheat to grow and get to the flowering stage (when you till it in)?

Otherwise I just might till it in anyway and go the chemical route..somethign I woul prefer not to do.

thanks for any help, Sarah

-- Sarah (, June 29, 2001


Sarah, I sowed buckwheat last year in late July/August and still got 2 crops out of it. It is not, by far, too late to sow a cover crop of Buckwheat here in MO (I am in S central MO, Douglas County or Booger county so I am told LOL!)

The second "planting" I didn't really even sow, it sprouted from the scattered seed after I mowed over the first crop. Had it not been for the drought and lack of water I would have gotten a third crop. I have used buckwheat as a cover crop and though there are "better" cover crops (like alfalfa) that (eventually) have a more involved root structure and fix nitrogen to boot, nothing beats buckwheat for speed, hardiness, and self-seeding multiple crops in a single seeding in even the poorest, heaviest clay soils.

There are better cover crops in improved soils if you have the time but nothing I know of beats buckwheat in poor soils or when you need a cover crop fast. And yes, it WILL crowd out the weeds. I scatter seeded by hand and barely raked it in and the stuff just takes off like wildfire.

Hope this helps.

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), June 29, 2001.

Thanks! I talked it over with my husband and he thinks that this might be a good plan. There would still be enough time to plant fall crops, right? I can irigate should it get dry, later this summer (having a hard time imagining *that* this year!)


-- Sarah (, June 29, 2001.

You can plant buckwheat in western NY for a cash crop until mid July.

For a Smother Crop, sew it heavy and mow it down as soon as it blossoms, before the seed set or you may have trouble getting rid of the backwheat.

-- Hendo (, June 30, 2001.

For successive crops (say as green manure) without having to reseed by hand, mow it down AFTER seed has set. It readily self seeds this way.

Buckwheat isn't hard to get rid of, in my experience, especially if you have winter. The seed doesn't seem to overwinter. Either that or the birds eat it all over winter because I've never had it come up in the spring. It's not pernicious like weeds - if it DOES come up where you don't want it just hoeing it down takes it out, it won't keep coming back.

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), June 30, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ