When you first hear the word, Buckwheat, you may think of “Our Gang” and “The Little Rascals”. Billie Thomas was the actor behind the much loved character. A little know fact is that he was named after a breakfast cereal. This breakfast cereal contained buckwheat.
Buckwheat is a multifunctional crop. It is used in cereal for it's high protein content, however most small farms and urban growers can be rewarded for planting this crop because of it's other benefits.
One such benefit of growing buckwheat is that bee's love this fast growing flower. This small shrub like flower matures in as little as seventy days. This is great, also, because in July, many flowering plants are turning to seed, and stop producing flowers, but the bee's still need to EAT.
Bees are needed to pollinate a vast number of your crops, such as squash, zucchini, pumpkin, watermelon and many many more. If you don't have the bees, your crops will make a small fruit that falls to the ground. No bees, no harvest.
Buckwheat is really easy to plant and will grow in any soil condition. Broadcast seeds in an area in your garden near what you want pollinated. This flowering crop will also keep the weeds out of your garden, as it chokes it out. After broadcasting, cover lightly with soil and water in. Water as needed. It has a beautiful pinkish to whitish flower that will add beauty as well as well as bring in the bees.
As it dies out, don't throw it out. Buckwheat is also beneficial in your compost bin as it has a high nutritional value. After you pull up your old crop, go ahead and plant a new crop. If planting as a large cover crop, you can just till it in.
Buckwheat seeds are just few of the goodies sent in our monthly garden box. Get growing South Carolina and happy gardening.