mid-to-late season cover crop, consider buckwheat

flowerbug

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it's a very nice plant for bees, has large leaves so it covers well, will flower in 30-45 days and may even be able to ripen seeds before the frosts come... if you have a bare spot in a fenced area it's worth considering.

costs for seeds can be pretty low as it is sold for a few $ a pound at grain elevators and once you get it going it can be perpetuated if you harvest the seeds before the critters find them... :)

the other nice thing about it is that it is also a good nursery crop for things like alfalfa and other pasture forage if you need to cover an area and get it going for the coming years. rake the area to give the seeds someplace to hide, scatter the mix of seeds and then lightly rake again, water a few times a week (if it doesn't rain) and try to keep it weeded as best you can. now is not quite the best time because of the heat to start new things but in a few weeks that starts to moderate and there will still likely be enough time... the shade and windbreak the buckwheat provides is what is meant by nursery crop. :) that it helps hold moisture and protect other sprouts...
 

seedcorn

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Looking for seed, just don’t need quantity they want to sell.
 

flowerbug

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Looking for seed, just don’t need quantity they want to sell.
really? the local grain elevator keeps buckets or partial bags on hand for people to buy it by the quarter or half pound... i am not sure what their minimum is actually. i can get radish seeds, turnip seeds, pasture blends, winter wheat or winter rye, various grasses, trefoil, clovers, etc.
 

baymule

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Buckwheat is toxic to horses. I research everything to death before I plant anything. I thought it was great until I read that.
 

digitS'

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Here's an idea for an early season cover crop. Why I have allowed this idea go by the wayside for so many seasons without a repeat, amazes me o_O.

I'm not much for mulch but this time of year, the squash, cucumbers and such are sprawling and weeding around them becomes very difficult. I wish that I had some, easily at-hand.

In 2013, I planted oats early then pulled and used the plants as a mulch. It worked just fine!

There is another idea for using oats and that is from a late sowing as a winter-kill cover crop. Winter-kill in this area, anyway. One caution, you probably don't want to allow it to mature seed so as to avoid volunteers (weeds).

I could have done this in the "mess" that was unneeded ground this year. Maybe in 2020, I can have a spring cover crop slash summer mulch :). Right now, the bird-seed sunflowers are gonna need some determination to get ahead of the red-root pig weed!

Steve
 

flowerbug

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Buckwheat is toxic to horses. I research everything to death before I plant anything. I thought it was great until I read that.
in large quantities and only to some from what i've read. i don't have horses or eat it so no worries here about those things.
 

flowerbug

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Here's an idea for an early season cover crop. Why I have allowed this idea go by the wayside for so many seasons without a repeat, amazes me o_O.

I'm not much for mulch but this time of year, the squash, cucumbers and such are sprawling and weeding around them becomes very difficult. I wish that I had some, easily at-hand.

In 2013, I planted oats early then pulled and used the plants as a mulch. It worked just fine!

There is another idea for using oats and that is from a late sowing as a winter-kill cover crop. Winter-kill in this area, anyway. One caution, you probably don't want to allow it to mature seed so as to avoid volunteers (weeds).

I could have done this in the "mess" that was unneeded ground this year. Maybe in 2020, I can have a spring cover crop slash summer mulch :). Right now, the bird-seed sunflowers are gonna need some determination to get ahead of the red-root pig weed!

Steve
if you want a great winter cover crop winter wheat or winter rye (the grain not the grass) really do help keep weeds down. it does have to be turned under in the spring early enough that it has time to decompose somewhat before planting, but it is a great help to heavy soils. i would be growing it here in some gardens every winter but Mom objected to how many seeds the chipmunks moved around and planted in various locations. :( wonderful though IMO. not to plant every year but every other year would probably work out well here. too hard to dig that many gardens each spring when we have so many...
 

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