When a farmer I know mentioned a couple of years ago that he uses buckwheat alongside his crops, I was intrigued; I peppered him with lots of questions. I’d never heard of this tactic, one he claimed would help deter pests. So of course, I had to try it. It’s been awhile since I’ve tried something completely new and had it work so well.
Buckwheat deters pests
Scattered alongside newly sprouted vegetable seeds or starts, buckwheat seed quickly takes root, reaching its 12-15″ height in just a couple of weeks. Flying pests find it difficult to maneuver through the lush growth of buckwheat to reach their intended target. What this has meant in my garden is that cabbage moths can’t lay eggs on my kale plants (image below), giving them a chance to really get established before they outgrow the buckwheat. I’m hoping that similar holds true as my summer squash starts to bloom. If I can prevent the night-flying moths that produce pickleworms from reaching the flowers, I might just have a shot at growing cucumbers and melons, too.
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