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Buckwheat: A Summer Soil Boost

Buckwheat is a simple plant to grow during the late spring or summer, and doesn’t require heavy care to bring into life. Using buckwheat seeds to grow the plant may be more difficult than beginning with a starter plant; however, it still can be grown relatively easily throughout the most parts of the world. Tips for using buckwheat seeds to help ensure successful germination and growth include soaking the seeds, fertilizing, and proper watering of the plant. Grown and harvested buckwheat plants can be used as a soil amendment to help provide nutrients to other growing plants, whereas the freshly grown buckwheat seeds can be ground into flour and used in baking.

Hulled buckwheat seeds are usually purchased for growing buckwheat; they are tan in color with four irregular pyramid projections extending from each side. Most gardeners, before planting, will take the buckwheat seeds and soak them overnight to increase the rate of germination. This will shorten the time it takes for the plant to sprout above the ground and grow. While this can be helpful, this step isn’t necessarily essential for successful buckwheat plant growth. What is important, however, is having enough moisture within the soil without creating an overly damp environment.

Most soils will grow buckwheat quite easily, yet it is still suggested that a gardener use fertilizer and even compost to ensure the soil has enough nutrients. There are different amounts of fertilizer and compost that are needed to help build a healthy and life giving soil, but this depends on the size of the garden as well as the type of garden soil used. Many gardeners test their soil to find the levels of nutrients available and will substitute the nutrients that are low with soil amendments. The nutrients buckwheat needs for proper growth are nitrogen and phosphorus, and these can be purchased as soil amendments in any gardening store.

Careful watering and plenty of sunlight is needed for buckwheat seeds to emerge and grow into full buckwheat plants. Since this plant requires little care to grow, watering should be done irregularly, perhaps every other day or every two days. During the day, the buckwheat plant will wilt somewhat in the heat and light of the sun, but they will usually recover fully during the evening and dark hours. Buckwheat plants flower after about a month of planting, and the entire plant will mature in double that amount of time.

(Source – http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-best-tips-for-planting-buckwheat-seeds.htm)


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