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Hairy Vetch


COMMON NAME: Hairy Vetch


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Vicia villosa


Hairy vetch is a cool season legume cover crop that is used often by vegetable gardeners. It can be planted in the fall to grow and fix nitrogen all winter. In the spring it is mowed or cut down and the vegetables are planted right into the undisturbed roots of the vetch. University research has shown that this method gives great increases in production without using fertilizer.



Learn more about Hairy Vetch from the Alternative Field Crops Manual


USDA/NRCS Plant Fact Sheet: Hairy Vetch 


And the Rodale Institute published It's (Almost) Never Too Late to Plant Hairy Vetch.



NOTE: Don't confuse this beneficial groundcover with the invasive weed Crown Vetch (below). The invasive plant has a more compact head and blooms spring and summer. 

Crown Vetch (don't plant)





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