Description. Buckwheat is an annual herbaceous plant, the Buckwheat genus (Fagopyrum) of the Polygonaceae family, a nectariferous and cereal plant. Cereal crop refers to pseudocereals, its seeds are used as food for humans (buckwheat) and partly for animal fodder.
The plant has several names: edible buckwheat or buckwheat.
Wild species of buckwheat do not occur. Its homeland is Central Asia, where it was brought to cultivation more than 4000 years ago. The plant appeared later in Western Europe, only in the XV-XVI centuries.
A distinctive feature of buckwheat is its rapid growth - from 0.3-1 m. Its inflorescences are of loose form, in which up to 1500 flowers are concentrated, are white and pink in color. The root system of the plant is main, due to this fact it is able to penetrate into the soil to a depth of 80-100 cm. The fruits of buckwheat are trihedral nuts. The plant has a short vegetation period of 70-85 days.
As a green manure crop buckwheat has an impressive list of advantages: its powerful root system, which loosens and structures the soil. In addition, the plant has small branched roots that can penetrate up to 35 cm into the ground. It is thanks to the root system that buckwheat is used as a green manure crop. The roots secrete citric, oxalic and formic acids, thanks to which it is possible to make difficult soluble phosphorus compounds available for other plants.
After the remains of the plant and roots rot, the soil is saturated with phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. Buckwheat heals the soil, makes its microflora better, especially the effect will be noticeable if it is planted after cereals. All pathogenic microorganisms that are the cause of the disease development of cereals are eliminated from the soil due to this plant. Due to the rapid growth of the root system buckwheat does not allow the development of weeds. As a green manure crop it can be sown between rows in a vineyard or near trees. Useful insects gather around its inflorescences.
The plant can be grown on a poor, subacidic, heavy soil, but it grows best on a loose and well-warmed chernozem. Having openwork white inflorescences, the plant can fit into any flower garden.
Buckwheat can become an excellent predecessor for fruit trees and shrubs, and with its help the yielding capacity of various garden crops and berries, including cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, strawberries increases.
It is better to plant it in mid-May. It will braird much better in warm soil, and already on the 8-10th day the first shoots will occur. Flowering can begin on the 25th day after germination and lasts for 20-40 days. The buckwheat needs to be mowed off exactly at this time. Its biomass is used as a mulch or is embedded into the soil.
It is possible to sow buckwheat before the winter, but the best shoots will be in the case of May sowing.
Application. Buckwheat is a very useful plant. Since ancient times, buckwheat has been and is one of the main cereal crops, because buckwheat and flour has excellent nutritional properties, remarkable palatability, easy digestibility and is used even as a dietary product.
It is considered to be one of the best nectariferous plants. In harvest years, the collection of honey from this crop reaches - 70-90 kg / ha. Buckwheat honey has a dark brown color and a spicy aroma, as well as excellent healing properties.
Buckwheat seeds are eagerly consumed by songbirds.
In agriculture, the crop is used as a green manure crop, as it was written above, it is possible to revive the exhausted earth and to saturate it with useful components thanks to the buckwheat.