Common Vetch


FAMILY: Fabaceae

GENUS: Vicia

SPECIES: villosa

An annual pasture, forage and grain legume, great in a vege garden as a compost crop, alone or in a mix




Weight: approx. 500 grams – enough seed to plant 80-100 square metres

Description: Unavailable in NZ for many years we are super excited to find it here again. Vetch is a wonderful, very cold hardy, easy to grow legume that can be used in many ways. It is part of both of our compost crop collections but it is also very useful by itself as a leguminous groundcover under brassicas for example. You will have to cut it back during the season to ensure it doesn’t grow over them but cutting it back just pulses the brassica growth. It is also a great crop to plant by itself before beds that are going into early Spring crops such as garlic onions that might be wet or difficult to work at that time. All you have to do is cut the plants off at ground level with a garden shark and roll it back off the bed and replant the bed with no bed prep. The bed will be like chocolate cake full of nitrogen nodules to feed the next crop.

Planting Instructions: Plant early Spring or early Autumn. Soak seed for 24 hours before scatter sowing onto bed and chopping in with a rake. Cover with 70% shade cloth until well up then remove cover. Transplant brassicas (if that is your plan) into the bed after vetch seeds are up and growing. You could use vetch as a Spring planted ground cover for corn. Plant vetch first. Plant in early Autumn to roll off beds for early Spring plantings e.g. garlic.