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how tall does buckwheat grow?

 
Leah Sattler
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is this greatly affected by climate and water availability? how easy is it to pull up once established?
 
jeremiah bailey
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Well, I'm growing it for the first time right now. Its growing knee to thigh high. It just started going to seed the past couple of weeks. My understanding is that mowing after harvest kills it. I don't think height or productivity is very affected by water availability. I have mine planted on a strip that gets lots of run off on one end and the other remains fairly dry. Both ends are about the same. It seems to like its self more than anything. It grows stronger and taller in the middle of a patch, and shorter around the fringe. One note: I co-planted mine with cowpea. Soil prep amounted to no more than mowing the lawn short and broadcasting seed. I mowed again a few days after germination. The cowpea and buckwheat were both already sprouted the next day.
 
paul wheaton
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Joel Hollingsworth
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jeremiah bailey wrote:
It seems to like its self more than anything. It grows stronger and taller in the middle of a patch, and shorter around the fringe.


As I understand it, grasses get tall to compete for light; light doesn't stunt growth per se, but I understand shorter grass (all else being equal) to be a plant content with the energy it's getting.
 
jeremiah bailey
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polyparadigm, that could be too. But its not really out competing itself. There are other areas where it would be doing the trying to out compete thing, but it is just a plant or two among some grass. It seems that the plants like having the support of each other. Buckwheat is also not a grass, but a dicot.
 
                    
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I plant buckwheat in all the harvested areas of the garden as a green manure cover crop. I have done that for several years now.  I notice that the height is not uniform,  in one well manured area it grew fairly tall, then the wind blew it over and it lay flat and then sort of grew tops that reached up to bloom, but the plant could not lift itself up. It provided very good living mulch, killed most weeds and kept the soil moist.  I was thinking of letting the chickens in and feed themselves off the seeds.  I had three patches this year,  two grew big and one did not.  I noticed bees in the flowers.  Harvesting the seeds does not look very encouraging.
 
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