View Full Version : Any Thoughts on Buckwheat??

04-28-2004, 11:43 PM
Hello all

I'm in northern Minnesota and have had food plots for about 4 years now. I like to experiment with new plants or mixes every year.

This year I'm going to plant a mix of 50% ladino clover, 25% white dutch clover, and and 25% chicory. I'm leaning towards adding some buckwheat to this mix as a nurse crop, but I've never planted buckwheat.

From what I hear, buckwheat comes up quick, and the deer love it when it's young - that's why I'm leaning towards trying it. Does anyone have any opinions or advice about that? Also, what would you suggest for a seeding rate for the buckwheat? I'm really only interested in having the buckwheat as a nurse crop until the clover and chicory gets established, and I'll probably spray Poast later this summer and lose the buckwheat then.

Thanks for yor opinions.

04-29-2004, 07:25 AM
That is what I am going to try also. Buckwheat is a great nurse crop due to the early maturing rate, quick grower. I would like to offer a suggestion on your new plot. I have a similar plot and would have liked to put in some kale here in the spring. The kale is a brassica that is supposed to add protein, puts out alot of tonnage and sticks around till early winter. Just thought that an annual brassica might help out your plot.

04-29-2004, 09:24 AM
Thanks for the reply Thayer.

I plant a bunch of brassicas every year, but since they're annuals I try to keep them out of my clover plots. I don't want to replant my clover every year, so I plant seperate plots of brassicas, or sometimes plant clover in the middle of a plot and brassicas around the outer edge.

Kale has been fantastic for me, and also turnips. I've never had much luck with rape seed. This year I bought a brassica blend that's mostly turnips (a few varieties), a lot of rape seed (couple different varieties) and some sugar beets. I'm pretty excited to see how that mix works (but I'm starting to second-guess my decision to not plant kale this year .... )

04-29-2004, 11:36 AM
I have only planted buckwheat by itself--never in a mix. I would use a light seeding of buckwheat b/c i think i have read somewhere that it is good for choking out weeds on a new plot--if this is true i am sure that it would do the same to your clover and chicory--someone else might know a little better.

As far as the plot that i used it on---it was a first time planting on a new plot and the pH was very low so I wanted to get something planted as the soil became more fertile with the lime that i applied. the buckwheat came up great and did mature very early. I saw very little use from the deer but at the time I had very few deer on my property---it produced a large amount of seed which the turkeys and the dove loved.

Best of luck

04-30-2004, 01:05 AM
I think the seeding rate for buckwheat is something like 50-60 lbs/acre. For the nurse crop in my mix I'm thinking of going with only 5-10 lbs/acre so I don't choke out the clover and chicory. I'm just not sure if 5-10 lbs/acre will be enough to feed the deer until the clover and chicory are ready.

I was also considering oats but decided to go with the buckwheat instead. Anyone have any ideas or comparisons about buckwheat vs. oats??

Thanks again!

04-30-2004, 01:23 AM
I would rethink planting buckwheat as a nurse crop. If the deer don't keep it mowed down you'll have to mow it and worry about getting rid of the clippings. Buckwheat will also suppress your perennials.

Here's a link to some 7 week old buckwheat I planted in the UP of Michigan.

UP buckwheat (http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=11544&password=0&sort=1&cat=500&page=3)

04-30-2004, 07:44 AM
Nice plots luv2hunt, what are your deer densities? Your plots are nice enuf to be advertisements. What are the two kinds of clover in your small handssmileys/smiley17.gif , one looks like ladino?

04-30-2004, 10:39 AM

Thanks for the compliment.

The clover I'm holding is Imperial Whitetail Clover, it grows great in my clay loam soils. I've been told many times my plots look better than what you see advertised.

Deer densities vary on my land with the time of year. It was zero from mid-December until 3 weeks ago due to yarding.

It stabilizes to around 50+ per sq. mile during the summer then increases till the temps start to drastically drop in the fall. Peak numbers are in the fall. smileys/smiley32.gif

We pretty well have the shortest growing season in Michigan but when things get growing they make up for lost time.

05-13-2004, 09:16 AM
Great pics Luv2...thanks for sharing!

05-17-2004, 05:09 PM
Great looking plots......what time of year did you plant the IW clover...is now too late to plant in NE Pa.?

05-17-2004, 07:37 PM
Here's a pic of buckwheat on unfertilized and unlimed ground after weeks:
buckwheat (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4db36b3127ccebec9608c0bde0000001610)

I have some peredovick sunflower, millet and milo mixed in, but I think the buckwheat it he stuff with the pointy leaves.

05-17-2004, 07:43 PM
Thayer---plot looks good--might could use a little nitrogen on those plants---they should be a little deeper green. What and how much fertilizer did you use and did you do a soil test?


05-17-2004, 09:55 PM
Thanks for the photo, Thayer. My buckwheat has been in the ground for a little over 2 weeks, but I couldn't get up there to see it last weekend. Hoping to see some action already.smileys/smiley20.gif

05-17-2004, 09:59 PM
I just barely scraped the ground by hand, threw in some stuff from the bottom of my mulch pile and scattered some seeds and covered them up, no lime, fert or nothing. I just wanted to see what they would do in my backyard. Guess I should try some fert and lime to liven things up, they seem to be growing alittle slow. jeff

05-17-2004, 11:40 PM

Typically speaking I like to plant the last week of July if there is any moisture present in the soil or rain forecast.

Spring is such an iffy thing where I'm at so I've stuck with late summer plantings. We only have about 90 continuous frost free days a year.