Growing hairy vetch in gardens provides a number of benefits to home gardeners; vetch and other cover crops prevent runoff and erosion and add organic matter and important nutrients to the soil. Cover crops such as hairy vetch also attract beneficial insects to the garden. Hairy vetch absorbs Author: Mary H. Dyer. Ideally, hairy vetch seed should be planted at a depth of one to two inches. Broadcasting seed followed by light disking and culti-packing is the most common planting method. The Auburn University seeding recommendation for hairy vetch is 20 to 25 pounds of seed per acre if the seed is to be broadcast.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area. Notes. Hairy vetch stays small through winter and makes vigorous growth in spring. It is highly recommended as a cover crop to grow before tomatoes. Harvesting. Take down plants in spring, 3 weeks before the bed is needed for summer vegetables. Harvesting seed. Plant hairy vetch with grains if you intend to harvest the vetch for seed. Use a moderate seeding rate of 10-20 lb./A to keep the stand from getting too rank. Vetch seed pods will grow above the twining vetch vines and use the grain as a trellis, allowing you to run the cutter bar higher to reduce plugging of the combine.
Hairy vetch is a winter annual legume and one of the most productive at nitrogen fixation. There are other types of vetch plants, but hairy vetch is most widely used in farming. It grows slowly in the fall, but its roots grow throughout the winter and by spring, hairy vetch quickly grows into twelve-foot long vines. Hairy vetch is a legume used primarily for soil improvement along roadsides and for bank stabilization. Well-nodulated hairy vetch can enrich the soil with 60 to 120 lb/acre of nitrogen through nitrogen fixation. Later seeded vetch grown as a cover crop for green manure, will supply a smaller amount of N. Vetches are also grown for pasture.
Apr 11, 2010 · I have a 30 acre patch of hairy vetch I planted for a cover crop and due to the expense of the seed and cost of shipping I am considering harvesting it for use this fall. Have any of you harvested vetch? In paricular, can I harvest it with a regular reel type header. Did you dessicate it since the tendrils wrap around everything?