Vetch

Vicia villosa

Hairy Vetch, Fodder, Winter Vetch

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Vetch is part of the legume family that can utilise the unusable Nitrogen in the air and combine it with the help of Rhizobium bacteria to plantfood. It is therefore often sown as a covercrop with the ability to enrich the soil for the following crop.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Spring

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Plough into the field while still green.

Propagation

Seed

Sow seed at start of rainy season.

Special features

Crop rotation

Great to use as cover crop as green manure and to add value to depleted soil.

Special features

Origin

Asia and East Africa

Natural climate

Temperate to cold areas

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Half-Hardy

Uses

Increase soil fertility

Grown as a winter cover crop and in no-till farming, as it is both winter hardy and can fix as much as 200 lb/acre of atmospheric nitrogen.

Personality

Family

Fabaceae

Flower colour

Pink, Purple, Blue, White

Scent

None

Problems

Generally problem free

Companion plants