Buckwheat Lettuce

Whole Buckwheat In Hull for Growing Greens Very tender thin shoots with cute, and outrageously tender leaves and attractive red tinged stems. Our Buckwheat comes from a source which is certified organic.

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Soak 1/4 cup of seed in cool water for 8-12 hours.

Drain off soak water. Never Soak them again.

Rinse thoroughly.

Drain thoroughly.

Rinse and Drain with cool water every 8-12 hours - until your seeds have the tiniest root showing.

Plant on a thoroughly moistened medium.

Cover your crop with another tray or plate, to keep light out and moisture in.

Keep your medium moist by watering lightly as needed. Don't drench!

When your plants have begun to show leaves, remove cover and move your crop to a well lit location.

Harvest when the leaves are open and most of them are green.

Cut just above the medium, with a scissors or sharp knife.

How much seed you Soak depends on the area you are planting.
Yields vary depending on method used, climate and technique, but are roughly 1 pound of Greens per pound of seed planted.

Pre-Sprout

When growing these Greens: You really MUST Pre-Sprout before planting.

Put seed into a jar, bowl or your Sprouter.
Fill that which you are using with cool (60-70 degree) water.

Allow your seeds to Soak for 8-12 hours.

Empty the seeds into your Sprouter (if necessary).
Drain off the soak water.
You may water plants with it if you like - it has nutrients in it.

Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water.
Drain thoroughly.

Set your Sprouter anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses.
This is where your sprouts do their growing. We use a counter top - in the corner of our kitchen, but where the sprouter won't get knocked over by cats, dogs, kids or us. We don't mind the indirect sunlight or the 150 watts of room light, because light just does not matter much. A plant can only perform photosynthesis when it has leaves. Until then light has little if any effect. Sprouts also happen to like air-circulation, so don't hide your sprouts.
We'll get to the light later, after planting our Greens.

Rinse and Drain again in 8-12 hours.
And, perhaps one more...
Rinse and Drain in 8-12 hours.
And, conceivably one more...
Rinse and Drain in 8-12 hours.

When most of the seeds have sprouted tiny (1/8-1/4 inch) roots, or even better, when they are just showing the hint of a root, it is time to plant. This is typically after just 2-3 Rinse and Drain cycles.

Planting and Growing

Coconut Coir is our all-time favorite growing medium. It holds moisture better than any medium we've ever worked with. It releases nutrients as the plants grow. It's less messy than soil - though it feels like the loveliest, loamiest soil you can imagine. The only trick to Coir is getting the medium properly moist. Saturated is perfect. Puddles is too much. We mix Earthworm castings in. 75% Coir + 25% Castings. We fill our tray ¾ full. We LOVE this mix!

Baby Blanket: Prepare the pad: Cut it to fit your Tray if necessary. Soak it in water or better yet, Kelp Fertilizer enriched water (You don't NEED fertilizer, but we use it when we grow without soil.) until thoroughly saturated. Spread the wet pad across the bottom of your tray. Proceed...

Spread seeds evenly on thoroughly moistened medium.
Though some literature will tell you that your seeds should not ever lay atop each other, we have found from years of experience and thousands of pounds of Greens grown that that is bunk! You will learn for yourself that some Greens (like these) produce a plant that takes up less room than the seed, and so, to maximize your yield, your seeds must lay atop each other to some degree. The thing to watch is this: If you find mold or fungal problems in your Greens, lessen the amount of seed you plant. The hotter/more humid your climate is the more of an issue the mold/fungus is. As always, you need to adapt to your own climate and seasonal conditions. And learn as you go - this is really easy and fun stuff to learn, and what is better than learning?!

Cover the planted tray with an inverted tray (the Cover Tray) - to keep light out and moisture in. Your covering tray should have holes or slits in it to allow air circulation.

Place in a low-light, room temperature location.
70° is always optimal but these Greens will grow very well in cooler or slightly warmer temperatures also.

Water lightly once or twice a day.
The goal is to keep the sprouts moist until their roots bury themselves in the medium - at which point your goal is to keep the medium moist. Spraying the sprouts is best - if you use a sprayer in your sink or a hand sprayer - just try to make sure that every sprout gets rinsed and quenched until they bury their roots.
Baby Blanket: You will have a much tastier crop when you include Kelp Fertilizer.

Once the roots are buried all you need to do is keep the medium moist - the plants will get the moisture they need through their roots.

Baby Blanket users, here is another watering method...
Use the Drip Tray to hold some water. The roots will actually sit in this, so don't go crazy - too much can drown your plants and/or lead to fungal or mold problems. Just leave as much water as the Greens can drink in a day and then add more the following day. The amount is dependant on the size of your tray and the climate (humidity especially) you're growing in, so you'll have to learn this for yourself. As an example, if you are using our 1 Crop Tray Set - which is 10 inches x 20 inches - start with 1-2 cups in the Drip Tray. Lift the Planting Tray to see how much is left after 4, 8 and 12 hours. If the Drip Tray is dry add more water - if there is still water 24 hours later then cut back the next time you add water. Pretty simple really, basically common sense eh? It is really a time saver and produces happy healthy Greens.

Once again, we do recommend Kelp Fertilizer enriched water for Baby Blanket growers. Coconut Coir growers may use it too of course, but if you are using nitrogen rich Earthworm Castings in your medium, you can easily skip the kelp.

Greening your Sunnys

Uncover your Greens in 3-4 days, or when they are about an inch tall, or when they push the covering tray up! They really will do that!

Move your crop to a well lit location. Direct sunlight is a very good idea for Greens. Keep your medium moist. The bigger your plants grows the more quickly they drink water.Watch them grow.

Harvest

Harvesting your crop is just a matter of cutting the plants when they are about 2-4 inches tall and have green leaves. Cut the plants just above the mediums surface.

Harvest should occur BEFORE "true leaves" begin to show. They are leaves which will appear from the center of the first 2 leaves. If you see a few Greens with these tiny leaves forming then get your scissors out - the Greens get less tasty (a bit bitter) if let go too long.

Shells: Buckwheat Lettuce will shed its shells as its leaves unfurl, but there are always some that are slow to shed. We remove the loose ones like this: Hold the tray at a steep angle and brush your hand back and forth over the top of the Greens. Some leaves won't shed their shells - you will either need to peel the shells off of those, or do as you will.

Refrigerate
If you are going to store your crop, you want your Greens to be as dry as possible, to the touch before refrigerating. So, don't water too close to harvest time.

Transfer your crop to a plastic bag - or better yet try our excellent Produce Storage Bag (they actually extend the shelf life of produce - we use them in our home). Whatever sealed container you choose - put them in your refrigerator.

Buckwheat to start with:

1/4 - 1/3 cup for a 5" square Tray.
1 - 1 1/2 cup for an 10" square Tray.
2 - 3 Cups for an 10 inch x 20 inch Tray.

There are about 2 1/2 cups of Buckwheat seed per pound.

The surest way to know what amount of seed to use: Spread dry seed on the bottom of that in which you will be growing (i.e. your tray) so that the seed is spread evenly but densely.

One more time: We use a lot of Seeds and though some literature will tell you that your seeds should not ever lay atop each other, we have found from years of experience and thousands of pounds of Greens grown that that is bunk! The thing to watch is this: If you find mold or fungal problems in your Greens then lessen the amount of seed you plant next time. The hotter/more humid your climate is the more of an issue the mold/fungus is. As always, you need to adapt to your own climate and seasonal conditions. And learn as you go - this is really easy and fun stuff to learn!

Dry Buckwheat awaits Soaking.

8 - 12 hours later... Soaked. Ready to be Rinsed and Drained. You'll treat your seeds to another Rinse/Drain cycle or 2 after this as well. When you see the roots beginning to emerge, even on just a few seeds - plant.

These seeds have been pre-sprouting for a couple days. spread atop the thoroughly moistened medium of our choosing - soil in this instance.

24 hours later....

24 hours later....

24 hours later....

24 hours later....

24 hours later....

24 hours later....

24 hours later....

24 hours later....

24 hours later....

Measuring up. It's harvest time.

Cut close to the medium.

Whole. In Hull. These Greens which are often called Buckwheat Lettuce, produce very tender thin shoots with cute, and outrageously tender leaves and red tinged stems. Very easy to grow. Buckwheat Lettuce is a staple of Ann Wigmore's living sprout kitchen.

Read the information/disclaimer regarding Buckwheat Lettuce, under the Notes Tab, before purchasing.

If there is anything unique about our current seed, we will tell you about it here.

Seed Shelf Life: 2 years. Store in cool, dark, dry spot. Store in freezer to extend shelf life.

Special Note

Some years ago a person wrote an article stating that consuming huge quantities of buckwheat greens juice, as he had done, could cause skin sensitivity to the sun. After reading his article we agree that consuming such large amounts is not recommended. We have always promoted moderation in food consumption and that applies here. Buckwheat in small quantities can promote health. Although some people may be sensitive to even small quantities of buckwheat lettuce, for most people it is a healthy addition to their diet.  It contains rutin, a bioflavinoid not found in beans or grains, that can help strengthen blood vessels.   The author of the article makes this statement near the end: "I would like to make the disclaimer that I am not advising people to stop eating buckwheat. The Latin expression dosis sola facet venenum (the dose makes the poison) attributed to the ancient Romans could be applied here. A small quantity of buckwheat greens (or buckwheat lettuce as it is often called) in an individual diet could allow for healthy nutritional benefits without the negative effects of large amounts......" Fear spreads.  Please be careful not to take just anyone's claims at face value.  Use your common sense.  Avoid Dogma.  Read the article - thoroughly - and make your own decision.


Planting Density

The more densely you plant the seed the less air circulates around the individual plants. This can cause some fungal growth - we call it “fuzzies”. This is not a problem, except that it is unattractive. Some crops will have mold or rot issues. That is a problem. If you get brown pockets at the soil level, where the plants just die, you are probably in need of more air circulation, so plant fewer seeds next time. If you do encounter rot spots like that, scoop them out - if you're growing on a fluffy medium, and try to nurse your crop to completion. In summer we grow our Greens outside (from the point when we uncover the tray) for optimal air circulation.

Planting Medium

We have grown Greens - on soil - in Trays, for almost 2 decades. But, we now have options. We have multiple Soilless Mediums (including Baby Blanket and Vermiculite), and organic liquid Kelp Fertilizer to provide your plants some nutrients to draw upon as they grow. Baby Blanket is a thin organic material that you soak before planting upon. It holds moisture and is the least messy and compact medium we know of. Vermiculite is a mineral which holds moisture supremely, dispenses added nutrients over time and in general acts much like soil. We think you should try all of them if you can - there are differences and though they are minimal you may prefer one method over the other.

Instructions are pretty much the same, regardless of what medium you use, but we have specified differences where they exist. We may be offering other, or different Mediums (products are always coming and going) then when we wrote these instructions, or you might be using one you got somewhere else. Please follow our instructions that refer to Baby Blanket for other thin mediums (i.e. STG Pads). Consider Perlite, Potting Soil or other such fluffy mediums to be the same as Vermiculite, and so follow directions labeled for Vermiculite. There may be some small differences, but they're likely to be minor.

Soil Notes

Virtually any soil will do for Greens. We used sterile composted cow manure for the tens of thousands of Trays we grew during our days as professional growers, but any sterile bagged soil will do, and should be available at any garden center, and be inexpensive (depending on the general cost of living where you are of course). You can use expensive soil if you prefer - we might even be selling some - it is your choice - always. The deal is this - Greens (garden greens anyway) are aided by the presence of the nutrient Nitrogen, in the soil. Nitrogen is the nutrient responsible for plant growth (a very good thing when growing lettuce, spinach, collards or other leafy crops, but too much nitrogen is bad if growing peppers or tomatoes or any plant where the fruit is what we eat). Manures contain varrying amounts of nitrogen depending on the animal that originally produced it. Too much nitrogen will burn plants - almost literally burn them - hence the word HOT is used in reference to nitrogen. The higher the nitrogen content the HOTTER the manure (or fertilizer) is considered. Cow manure is the least hot - it was perfect for our needs - it supplies the growing plants with a little extra boost. Chicken, other bird manures and Bat Guano (another word for manure) are much hotter, and Earthworm castings are hotter still (castings is yet another word for manure). The catch is this: Greens, Grass and Sprouts are theoretically all too young to benefit from nitrogen and other nutrients. It is written that every seed has, within itself, all the nutrients it needs to grow to the cotyledon stage. That's as far as we grow any of our seeds (with the sometimes exception of Micro-Greens). So - though it is contradictory, it is our experience that nitrogen does help Greens in some cases (most obviously when growing Sunflower Greens). Like we always say - EXPERIMENT FOR YOURSELF. Draw your own conclusions. If you are familiar with our rap on Dogma, you'll agree with us when we say; Just because it is written does not mean that it's so. Whatever the reality - a little nitrogen can't hurt. Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could get our teenagers to use the words Guano or Castings instead of %&$# when they get ticked off?;-D

Hydroponic Greens

We do not grow hydroponic Greens. We have tried but have never gotten the yields we get with soil, and the flavor of the crops is nowhere near as fine. They taste watered down. Now that we have a soilless alternatives (Baby Blanket, Vermiculite, etc.) we are even less interested in hydroponic Greens growing. But, if you want to try - go to Val at Go Green/Green Smoothie - she is the queen of home hydroponics. Tell her us Sproutpeople sent you!

Tray Note

Your Planting Tray (the one with the soil or medium in it) MUST have drainage holes or slits! Nothing will grow in a medium that can not drain - that condition is commonly called "flooded". When using Baby Blanket or Vermiculite your Planting Tray must also have drainage, but we do use the Drip Tray to hold some water at times in the growing process. (You'll see the TIP in our instructions, above.)

As I've said time and time again on the site, we hate dogma, so take my dogma with a grain of salt. You can grow in trays without drainage (the amazing people at the Hippocrates Health Institute have long done so), but you do have to be able to drain excess water away. Tipping is a possibility, but we think it risky - especially for the novice grower, hence my dogma.

Re-Growing Your Crop

Greens can produce a 2nd - so you may continue to water after you cut your first crop. The 2nd and crop will not be as tender, and it may have fungal problems, but it is good to try growing a 2nd crop. Decide for yourself if it is worth it! Vermiculite is the best medium, as far as water retention is concerned - which is a very big deal if you want to go for multiple cuttings, but soil enriched with Earthworm Castings is perhaps a better choice as it gives the Greens nutrients to draw upon. Soil enriched with Earthworm Castings and with about 10-20% Vermiculite might be perfect. Funny that never occurred to me before.... Whatever you use, it's worth a try if only for the experience and the knowledge gained.

Reviews

4 Reviews Total

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Diane

Verified Purchase

Very happy with my buckwheat lettuce! Wonderful flavor. Easy to grow. (The only nuisance is having to remove about half the hulls so the leaves can finish emerging.) My cat kept stealing my buckwheat lettuce so now I plant a small tray just for her. When I give her the fresh tray she meows when she sees it coming and goes after it like candy!! I think you should consider adding buckwheat to the Kat Grass mix.

Note: I find removing the hulls is nuch easier if you cover the sprouts with plastic or an up-side-down tray at bedtime (after watering) and in the morning the hulls are nice and moist and easily slip off.

Virginia J

Verified Purchase

I have been ordering from sproutpeople.org for several years and have great success with all their seeds. For some reason my buckwheat lettuce seeds are not producing I ordered them last year and generally I'm able to keep the buckwheat seeds for a couple years but this crop this order the seeds seem to have died. Only 1/3 of the sprouted seeds develop into the microgreens that I plant. This is just a disappointment on my part but I will always continue ordering from sproutpeople.org they're the best supplier of organic seeds in actuality I love their consciousness

L.C.

Verified Purchase

Plain and simple,these are really cool looking sprouts! Not only are the seeds an interesting triangle shape, but the leaves are awesome looking too.

I originally purchased these to grow into buckwheat lettuce, but they didn't make it that far because I couldn't wait to try them since this sprout as part of my first crop. (I am brand new to sprouting.)

As the reviewer above says, the hulls take a great deal of patience to work with. Especially (as in my case) if you aren't willing or able to let these little guys grow up into micro-greens to try them.

I did find however that removing them is relatively easy once the sprouts are about an inch long; but you have to pull them off individually to make it work.

On a positive note, the taste of buckwheat sprouts is worth the trade off of the labor involved to get them hull free prior to lunch.

Greg

Buckwheat lettuce tastes great! It has a little tart flavor. It is easy to grow. I try to wait as long as I can before harvest so there are not so many hulls to assist at getting off. The hulls in the under growth take the most patience, however I have recently been planting a little less seeds and it seems to make it easier for more of the hulls to come off on their own. The red tinged stems also look great in a salad.