Hairy Vetch Growing Guide

Hairy Vetch

Crop Rotation Group

Legumes (Pea and Bean family) 

Soil

Any average, well drained soil.

Position

Full sun to partial afternoon shade.

Frost tolerant

Many varieties are cold hardy to - 29C (-20F) when well rooted in the garden.

Feeding

When using hairy vetch to improve very poor soil, mixing a balanced organic fertiliser into the soil before planting will give better results.

Companions

Rye and Wheat.

Spacing

Single Plants: 10cm (3") each way (minimum)
Rows: 10cm (3") with 10cm (3") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow hairy vetch in late summer so the plants can become established before cold weather comes. Broadcast seed into cultivated soil so that the seeds are about 7 cm (3in) apart and 1 cm (1/2in) deep. No thinning is required.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised 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 green manure to grow before tomatoes.

Harvesting

Take down plants in spring, 3 weeks before the bed is needed for summer vegetables. The easiest method is to slice plants off at the soil line with a sharp hoe. The cut plants can be allowed to dry into a surface mulch.

Troubleshooting

Hairy vetch can become weedy if allowed to produce mature seeds.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Hairy Vetch