Cover Crop: Buckwheat

This was last spring’s cover crop, buckwheat. I didn’t have a whole lot to start, and the seeds didn’t germinate evenly, so I got pretty sparse coverage. But hopefully it still did a bit to increase the nitrogen available in the soil, which was my goal in planting a cover crop.

I planted it in April, the day before a minor snowstorm, but when the snow melted, it watered my seeds. This low-maintenance crop just came up all on its own when the weather conditions were right.

This picture is from mid-June, before I turned them back into the soil and planted the rest of my garden. My understanding is that if you turn a cover crop back into the soil while it’s flowering, your garden will get the maximum nutritional benefits. This will definitely avoid getting unwanted seeds into your soil if you’re planting a cover crop like alfalfa that has weedy tendencies.

It was a bit hard to say goodbye to these plants after a couple months of growing them, but they seem to have helped my garden — the tomatoes I planted in spots where alfalfa had grown were my most productive and healthy plants.

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