Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Buckwheat > Green Manure

When we were up at the family farm, we discussed with the hubs dad, (the farmer) our frustrations with how badly our garden crops grew this summer.  We had a really hard time with plants taking off, mostly because the soil was crap!  The hub's dad recommended that we add some amendments to the soil, "green manure" he said.  He gave us a huge bag of buckwheat seeds to take home with us.  Growing cover crops to add some nutrients to the ground is an easy way to add plant "food" to the soil. We spread seeds all over the raised beds we built. Before the buckwheat goes to seed, we will chop down the buckwheat and till it into the ground.  That's it!  So easy!  Buckwheat grows really fast, and decomposes pretty fast too!  He also recommended that we should get some hairy vetch seeds and also comfrey.  He had hairy vetch, comfrey, and buckwheat cover crops growing all over his farm, where ever he pulled the crops, in went cover crop seeds.  This is so great, so much faster and easier than waiting for compost to be ready from our compost bin!


  1. I went to the local garden centre to buy some green manures. The first bloke I asked didn't know what I was talking about. The second one went off to find out if they had any and didn't come back. The third one just pointed in the general direction of the seeds and grunted something.

    I left, complaining loudly about how pathetic a garden centre is when it doesn't stock green manure but does have about 500 acres of Christmas crap in the middle of October.

    Oh well, I'll buy some on-line!

  2. I've always wanted to try planting a winter crop of something to till in-but haven't. I can't wait to see how yours works out.

  3. I've heard about this. I'm sure it will help a lot.

  4. Thanks for your visit and comments at my semi-abandoned blog. I have always wanted to try cover crops, but am stingy about my tiny amount of space and always want to have something there in the winter. I know I should let the soil "rest" and tilling in nutrients in this way seems so right. I hope it works for you, and maybe I'll do it next year! Already have all my winter veggies planted this time around...

  5. We did a winter cover crop this year as well on boxes that don't have a winter crop. We settled on an annual clover to minimize self-seeding issues and will till it into the soil in the Spring.

  6. Im going to see if I can get my hands on some buckwheat and try to plant it this weekend! Thanks for the tip! Im following your blog now, its great!!!!


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