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July 11, 2011

Buckwheat makes a great summer cover crop

Buckwheat is an unusually fast-growing crop with a variety of uses. Most buckwheat is ground into flour and used for a variety of foods, including noodles in Japan and pancakes and breakfast cereals in the U.S. Russians and eastern Europeans make a wide range of foods with buckwheat, most famously, buchwheat groats or kasha.

But for our purposes, buckwheat can be used as a cover crop. It will smother weeds and improve the soil. Buckwheat flowers profusely, making it popular with bee keepers and an attractive crop in the landscape. Its flexibility and wide adaptation led it to be grown on more than a million acres in the U.S. in the late 1800s, even though it is not native to our country. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were two of the first American farmers to grow buckwheat and recognize the benefit to their crop rotations.

You might try it on a bare section of the garden or between the rows.

At Buckwheat Cover Crop

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at July 11, 2011 4:01 PM
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