Buckwheat

(Fagopyrum esculentum) Buckwheat is native to Southwest Asia and is a multipurpose crop that can be grown as a cover crop to improve soil, as a gorgeous flowering ornamental or an alluring pollinator plant -- and of course the seeds are a densely nutritious food that can be cooked and eaten whole or ground into flour. It is a favorite plant of beekeepers as the blooms hold on the plants for extra long. Buckwheat is known as one of the quickest growing grain crops as it matures to seed before all others. That's why it is a popular choice for short season climates. Buckwheat is not cold tolerant, so it is important to wait until any chance of frost has passed. Ideal germination temperature is 65-90F. The seeds are famously quick to germinate; they should pop in just 2-7 days. Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep. Seeds can be hand or mechanically broadcast across field or bed, no need to carefully sow them. Buckwheat is extremely easy to grow and will thrive as a carefree cover crop, but be sure to water in times of drought as the plants will wilt when very thirsty.

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