The roots of this hardy annual extend deeply into the soil, improving porosity and drainage, and fixing nitrogen as they grow. The tops are lanky and sprawling, and can be cut in spring to provide an excellent mulch. Continue reading below for information on how to grow Hairy Vetch from seed.

Vicia villosa
Family: Fabaceae

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Sow vetch as early as the ground can be worked, and on into late spring. Sow again in late summer for a fall crop.

Sow seeds 5-10mm (¼-½") deep.

For nitrogen fixation, allow plants to reach the flowering stage. We recommend cutting the abundant vegetation and leaving it on the soil as a mulch against weeds, to retain moisture, and provide insect habitat. Otherwise, work the long vines and their roots into the soil with a garden fork.