Buckwheat

     Kathy planted buckwheat in one area of her garden.  She did this for two reasons:  to provide a cover to keep weeds out of an area she currently wasn't planting and to till the buckwheat under before it went to seed to help replenish nutrients in the soil.  She tilled it in once already, and this is a second growth.
    It's really quite a lovely cover plant, full of blossoms.  She had planned to till this in again until we noticed how many of our honey bees are on it.  We have about 3 acres of land, with many plants growing and blossoming, including prairie plots, the vegetable garden, orchard--but never have we seen the bees take to any of our plants like they have to the buckwheat.  There are hundreds on this little plot.
     Buckwheat is known to produce a dark, almost black honey that has, according to World of Honey.com,  a  "pleasant hay-like, earthy smell, and an unforgettable malty, rich, molasses flavor which is not over-sweet."  Additionally, there are a number of purported medicinal benefits of buckwheat honey, some of which  are described on that web site.
     At any rate, given the fact that the bees really seem to love it, we plan to put a section out by the back prairie into buckwheat next year.  Since it is a low-growth plant, we probably will stick our pumpkin plants out in the middle of it and let them spread there.  We had little late season honey flow last year and perhaps this will help boost that a bit. I don't think we can plant enough to make a big difference, but it's fun to see them working on it, anyway.

Comments

  1. Lovely ground cover. We should plant some of this. We have tons of areas that could use ground cover and i am sure the bees would love it just like yours do.

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