I've messed up in a big way with the buckwheat cover crop. What started out as a soil-improvement plan (it's worked in the past!) has become a major pain in my butt.
Here's the issue. I seeded a huge amount of buckwheat over the summer. Every time a crop was finished and cleared out, I sowed buckwheat, hoping to get some extra tilth before winter planting. But it was so dry here, and so hot, and I was watering (using the drip system) so little, that many of those seeds never germinated. I gave it up for lost and just readied my beds for winter, anyway - planting my scheduled winter crops.
Then, we finally got rain. Two big rains. And guess what happened?
All those little buckwheat seeds were just lying there, deep and warm in the good soil, waiting for moisture. And they've sprung in to action, big time.
I have buckwheat coming up in every bed. It's a complete nuisance.
|The Pea/Kohlrabi bed|
All that green you see there? Well, or 99% of it? That's buckwheat. Every bed looks exactly like this.
Keep in mind I just weeded this bed. I've been weeding constantly, every chance I get. It seems like for every seedling I pull out, another five come up.
And I can't just get in there and hoe it, because I've already seeded my winter crops! So they are all coming up in the same place the buckwheat is coming up. And hand-weeding has to be especially careful because if I'm too impatient I pull out the good stuff along with the buckwheat! ARGH!!!
|peas coming up in the buckwheat |
|spinach coming up in the buckwheat |
I repeat: every bed. Can you tell what I'll be doing over my Thanksgiving break??? Double ARGH.
Lesson learned. Be more judicious with the buckwheat in future. I just assumed it wouldn't germinate if it wasn't super hot outside or in the soil. I was (clearly) wrong.
We've had some crisp nights, with light frost - another chore will be getting the rest of the row covers put up. (They also don't help with my weeding duties - hard to work around.) Meanwhile the leaves are definitely turning.
Afternoons are still sunny and warm. I found this baby lizard on one of my walks with Joe today. He was hanging out on a trail marker.