Growing Hairy Vetch Cover Crop Garden Seeds
- Latin Name: Vicia villosa
- Common Names: Winter Vetch, Fodder Vetch, Sand Vetch
- Hairy Vetch Hardiness Zones: Perennial to zones 1-7, Annual cover crop
- Days to Maturity: 80-90 days (longer when left to germinate over winter)
- Hairy Vetch Seeding Rate: 1-2 lb per 1000 sq. ft
- Seed Planting Depth: Broadcasting directly and lightly tamp into soil
- Growth Habit: Hairy vetch seeds will quickly mature into a 6-8 foot long vining crop that produces small stalks of tubular dicentra-like blooms
- Hairy Vetch Soil Benefits: Converts nitrogen back into the soil, while roots loosen soil to improve tilth, drainage, and weeds
- Grow Temp Preference: 60-75° F
- Garden Light Preference: Full sun
- Pests/Diseases/Troubleshooting: Non-GMO Vicia villosa is a hardy cover crop with no serious pests or diseases, grown for its especially high tolerance to cold
- Color: Classically light green field greens with lavender and purple tubular blooms
- Hairy Vetch Cover Crop Mow: Annual hairy vetch cover crop is best if mowed down once plant reaches 50% bloom, before vetch goes to seeding
About Hairy Vetch Cover Crop Garden Seeds
Non-GMO hairy vetch is most commonly seeded as an annual cover crop sown in early fall to overwinter and be harvested the following grow season. Open-pollinated hairy vetch seeds are intended for full sun outdoor sowing, broadcast and lightly rake and tamp in loamy, average, well-drained garden soil in full sun. Vetch seeds germinate in 7-14 days and mature into a 6-8 long vining tendril plant. If grown as a cover crop, allow annual hairy vetch seeds to grow without thinning or trellis support. Non-GMO Vicia villosa is a hardy cover crop with no serious pests or diseases and is so tenacious that it is considered an invasive species throughout much of the United States and Europe. Annual hairy vetch cover crop is best if mowed down once plant reaches 50% bloom, before vetch goes to seeding.
The oldest heirloom vetch known, bitter vetch, was found to be cultivated nearly 10,000 years ago in Neolithic sites in Bulgaria and Hungary. Vetch was once harvested and milled into bread, until custom saw it unfit for human consumption and relegated it to be an exclusive livestock fodder. Although still a popular foraging crop, open-pollinated heirloom vetch has recently experienced a resurgence as a vital cover crop and companion plant. Native to most of Europe, more than half of the world's commercial hairy vetch crop still is grown and cultivated in Europe.
Hairy Vetch Benefits
Non-GMO hairy vetch is seeded in the fall to be mulched back into the soil in the spring as an organic green manure. Like many other legumes, hairy vetch is a robust nitrogen-fixing cover crop that converts nitrogen from the atmosphere back into the soil. Hairy vetch seeds grow dense, fibrous roots able to suppress and minimze weeds while breaking up clay and heavy soils in only a single growing season. Not only can hairy vetch be tilled into an organic biomass dense in phosphorus and potassium, but it is known to convert more nitrogen back into the soil than other legumes and cover crop grains. If growing vetch as an ornamental or perennial, consider trellising for support if in a smaller, compact grow space.
Wholesale Hairy Vetch Cover Crop Seeds Per Package:
- 4 g packet - Approximately 175 Seeds
- 1 lb - Wholesale Seeds - Approximately 20,000 Seeds
- 5 lb - Bulk Seeds - Approximately 100,000 Seeds
- 25 lb - Bulk Seeds - Approximately 500,000 Seeds
Non-GMO hairy vetch cover crop seeds are available for Fast Free Shipping on orders over $45.