| Buckwheat can be like bagpipe music:|
enough is enough.
The main invasion of Japanese beetles is over, and the Buckwheat is at full growth, some of it chest high. On Bethany's birthday I cut a perfect Mr. Lincoln rose and brought it inside.
I was returning from errands with Mrs. Ichabod when we spotted several birds on the ground near the large Crepe Myrtle, which is re-blooming. I was not surprised to see a Mourning Dove on the ground. They work the ground all the time for seeds, and plenty of Buckwheat was going to seed.
But we saw a male Cardinal reach for the Buckwheat and tear the seeds off. He was very aggressive and tore away at the plant. We loved seeing the actual harvesting of the seeds. Because of Buckwheat flour and pancakes, people think of the plant as a grain.
Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. Because its seeds are eaten and rich in complex carbohydrates, it is referred to as a pseudocereal.
I have repented of planting so much Buckwheat in the rose garden, because the soil helped it grow taller than the roses. However, the mistake will be erased when cold weather comes. Several gardening friends are also growing it as a cover crop. Buckwheat has a number of excellent qualities:
- Short season crop, rapidly flowering and going to seed.
- Dying off from cold weather, so not a pest.
- Growth and tight root system push out long-term weeds.
- Roots contribute 75% of soil organic matter.
|I may use a lot more Borage as a cover crop.|
The rapidly blooming and seeding flowers attract bees,
and the flowers are good to eat.
|Joe Pye Weed:|
read this before sneering at me.
- Using as many leaves, newspapers, and wood products as possible.
- Gathering as many organic products as possible, from coffee grounds to manure to neighbor's garden cuttings. Mr. Gardener gave me all of his garden trash, placed right in my compost bin. Later he took my extra chicken wire, which was a in the way for me and free for him.
- Avoiding all toxins, including chemical fertilizers.
- Diversifying the plants so that pollinators always have plenty of food.
- Allowing for trashiness, since many creatures need leaf litter, certain weeds, and rotting matter for food and shelter.
- Providing clean water for several bird baths, shallow pans of water for toads and other beneficial creatures.
- Placing logs on the ground, which are great perches for birds and squirrels, and they feed the soil.
- Never tilling. If someone appreciates the enormous power of soil fungi, he will sell his tiller to someone and disturb the soil as little as possible.
The Creating Word had this all worked out at the very beginning. Modern farming in America has depleted the soil through plowing and chemical fertilizers.