On Sun, Feb 02, 1997 10:45 AM EDT Elfpermacl@aol.com wrote:

****We broadcast buckwheat (we being me and my prison inmate "interns") and
covered it with straw, very lightly, and waited for rain.  As soon as it
blossomed, we broadcast more and cut it back again to cover the seed.  We had
three cycles of this before we made another pass with the rototiller to put
everything in the ground for a winter rye crop.  (Massachusetts, winter rye
is the best cover in cold winter areas, aside from deep mulch, in my
opinion.)  The tiller dropped to the axil on the first pass.  How those
delicate buckwheat roots accomplished that I have no idea.****

Dan, I did a similar thing last summer in a few of my beds that were
compacted. (I am on the Wisconsin/Illinois border in the midwest.) I wasn't
smart enough to plant the second crop, then cut the first and so on like you
did: I lightly turned in the buckwheat at soft blossom with a fork for a week
or so and then replanted. After three rounds, I had the most beautiful,
fluffy tilth I've ever seen. Your tiller dropped to the axel...my arm could
drop to the elbow or above. I put in my fall greens and mustards in that
ground, then undersowed a little later with oats, that would winterkill and
leave me a mulch to plant in this spring. I am looking forward to seeing how
my elbow does come March.

Since buckwheat seed is expensive, it would be helpful to let it go to seed
before replanting--in other words, let it replant itself. What would that do
to the phosphorous mobilization? Other problems? I have a couple of beds
where I let the third crop go to seed then slashed it and now it is under a
mulch and snow. Last time I checked in the fall, the stalks (which as you
know get stiffer at seed) seemed to be breaking down well.