Buckwheat is warm-season, broad-leafed annual primarily used for weed suppression. Buckwheat is also popular among beekeepers because it produces an abundance of flowers and a dark flavored honey with a distinctive flavor. Buckwheat is a grat addition to spring and summer food plots for quail, doves, turkey, ducks, and deer. The plant produces multiple branches along the stems, heart-shaped leaves, and clusters of small white flowers at the end of the branches. Buckwheat has superficial surface roots, a weak taproot, and reddish stems. Buckwheat seeds are large, dark-colored with triangular shaped sides.
**Buckwheat Seed is Non-GMO**
Buckwheat grows best in soils with light to medium texture, good drainage and will tolerate moderately acidic soils. It is reportedly tolerant of poorly drained soils, but should be avoided on heavy or droughty soils. A well-prepared seedbed is necessary for a quick start for the crop. Most growers do not fertilize buckwheat due to its relatively low value and modest fertility needs. However, for optimum yields, some fertilizer may be needed. Buckwheat is planted in the northeastern states and Canada in the summer, and in the southeastern US, it is typically planted in the early spring or fall. Buckwheat can germinate and grow in temperatures as low as 45 degrees but optimal growth occurs at or above 55 degrees. Buckwheat is frost sensitive and does not survive even light frosts.
Buckwheat should be planted at least 60 days before the first expected frost date or before the hot and dry season. A well-sown buckwheat will out-compete weeds. Buckwheat is also seldom damaged by insects or diseases. For this reason, buckwheat has no registered pesticides or herbicides. Buckwheat can be included in cover crop mixes with cowpeas, soybeans, sunn hemp, or other warm season annuals. Buckwheat will being to flower within 3 to 6 weeks after planting and flower continuously for several weeks. Buckwheat grown for beneficial bugs should be allowed to flower for at least 20 days.
Buckwheat, contrary to its name, is not related to wheat at all, and in fact is not even a grass. The species is actually more closely related to rhubarb, although we do not at all encourage using Hancock's particular variety of Buckwheat for home cooking (especially in pies). Tartary Buckwheat is the related, more bitter species more commonly raised for use as a cereal in Asia, used as a cereal product—despite its non-wheat status—because of its high density of carbohydrates. The crop has been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years, with the oldest recorded instances of Buckwheat being used for agricultural purposes in China more than 8,000 years ago.
As with other grains across the world, an alcohol market has also formed around Buckwheat in other markets (albeit not with the acclaim of U.S. and UK strains). Beer and whiskey can both be produced with Buckwheat, as well as Shochu, a more traditional Japanese beverage that has been consumed for more than 400 years. Buckwheat tea is also a product unique to Japan and South Korea.
It's no secret why Hancock's Buckwheat Seed is so popular. The answer is "because it works"! Here are a few of our favorite reviews from clients who have planted Hancock's Buckwheat Seed:
"What can I say?" asks Karen M. "The seeds were just what I hoped for. Fresh, with even the testing information on the package as to date, percent of cleanliness, and germination percent. Nice! Came quick. Well packaged. Will order again."
"Over the last one-and-a-half years, [have] placed several orders," reports buyer BP. "Fast and accurate service and delivery every time. I have a small two acre hobby farm, was able to hand broadcast the buckwheat and had excellent germination. Good and quick flowering bringing in bees to help pollinate garden. Also used in pasture for extra biomass. Fast growth and fair regrowth after grazing."
"The buckwheat seeds arrived quickly," says Donna M. "The seeds were clean and didn't have trash in them. We just planted them so they haven't had time to emerge yet. But I am confident they will soon. Hancock is a dependable company and I especially like that they support family farms."
"Buckwheat also makes a nice addition to most mixes, including cover crops, food plot, and even flowerbeds! "Everything I purchased was for a trial plot, everything is going great. the Sunn Hemp has already started germination after 2 days," writes Ryan S. "Very impressed by the growth following. Order was filled quickly and shipped in a good time after confirmation number was given."
Buckwheat seed will thrive in any one of the three climate zones, when planted during the Spring or Summer. Seed at a rate of 70 lbs. per acre when broadcasting, or 50 lbs. per acre when drilling, and fertilize at a rate of 250 to 300 lbs. per acre with a suitable fertilizer. Cover seed at a depth of half-an-inch to one inch. Buckwheat performs best when soil is at a pH of 5.0 to 6.5. Be sure to do a soil test before planting and treat accordingly.
Buckwheat Seed will grow for 10 to 12 weeks, and will grow to a height of up to 30 to 50 inches.
Buckwheat produces a white flower, which makes it a reasonable addition to large flowerbeds, for both aesthetic and soil health purposes. The flowers are popular among bees and other beneficial bugs, providing an extra benefit for the local ecosystem when planted.