How deep was your layer and what was it exactly? Straw or hay?
More mature the meadow is, longer the hay is. That's what you want with this method.
I was also thinking of using leaves the same way as i did it with hay. At least 20+ cm deep layer of leaves. A nice layer of soil and leaf mold in a year time + leaf mulch.
Also, if you bring leaves or hay on a place full of living plants you win. More soil in less time. Of course you could also add fresh om.
I heard buckwheat grows better in poor soil. Cowpeas being to good to his neighbor?
Sorry it took awhile to get back. The layer left over from the cowpeas and buckwheat was only about an inch/2-3 cm. Roughly chopped by the mower. I estimate it would have been about 4 inches or so if I had a scythe. I spread the leaves on top of that. Then the straw that I bought. I don't know of a good source of hay around here and the straw is good, not chemically killed. I live on a small plot, so I have to do some outsourcing of amendments. At least for the meantime until I get a better system set up. I plan on planting some grains and such. The spent plants in my veggie garden get cut down and left to lie where they fall. Much of what I do is limited due to neighborhood codes, and only 1/4 acre with a house on it..
The soil was poor to begin with, so the buckwheat did fine. I just didn't get to harvest as much as I wanted to because it was rather tedious due to the interplanting. I plan on doing separate plantings in the future.