Here’s a quick look at our stand of buckwheat, our first stab at a summer covercrop for soil remediation and enrichment. Part of this area will shortly be replanted to Meyer lemons. Another part of this area will serve as our trial bed for the purple artichokes mentioned a few weeks back. The rest will rotate through some late squash, a winter cover (favas?) and another crop of buckwheat before being replanted next summer.
The rows of buckwheat reflect the hose and sprinkler arrangement for the citrus that will be planted here. The thin areas are the drive rows that will pass between the rows of trees at maturity. Remnants of the winter covercrop of rye are still holding on, despite 10 weeks without water before the new hoses and buckwheat went in. This block also has a little mustard and vetch that survived from the winter covercrop as well. This is a testimony to the water holding properties of a clay soil. Unfortunately, it is too heavy for the citrus trees. We hope that the intensive covercrop program (along with the intensive mechanical ripping, manure and gypsum) will bring this soil back to top form. It is pretty popular with bees. How many can you spot?