Continuation of the Buckwheat Saga

Okay, so maybe calling it a saga is a little overboard. I meant to post about incorporating the first bed of buckwheat last week and never got around to it. I’ll go back and show you what we did last week, what we did this week, and what a difference a week makes!

Last week we cut back the buckwheat in bed 2 where we will be planting the broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage next week. I wanted it to have 2 weeks to break down. It was just barely starting to bud out and was about 8-10″ tall. We cut it back with shears/hedge trimmers.

Then we turned it under with a shovel. Obviously, in a non-raised bed we probably would have just used a tiller and moved on from there. The shovel was work, but could have been worse. We were careful not to damage the drip lines.

This is what it looked like 3 days later. You can still see some plant material, but it was decomposing rapidly.

Oh yeah, we got almost 5″ of rain over the weekend, plus another 1″ last night. You can see that there are still signs of the straw in the raised bed and a couple little buckwheat plants, but otherwise you would never know anything was there.

Meanwhile, the other bed with buckwheat was still growing…

And growing and growing and growing…It was in nearly full bloom and had pretty much doubled in size! Yikes! I think it saw the melons across the aisle and wanted to compete.

Here’s after one side was trimmed down. You can see how much more plant material there is this week compared to the bed we did last week. (If you want to see an “action” video of cutting back the buckwheat, you can check it out here.

This time, the “after incorporating” shot looks a lot like the “before incorporating” picture from last week! We will probably have to do another turn next week, rather than just let it go.

Hopefully the buckwheat is going to hold some of those nutrients in the soil while it keeps on raining! Our fall veggies would appreciate it!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on August 7, 2013, in Around the Garden, Working in the Garden and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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