(as of Oct 08,2021 00:54:19 UTC – Details)
Hairy vetch is a hardy, viny, annual or biennial legume, attaining a height of 24 inches when planted alone and higher when planted with a tall companion crop that provides structural support for climbing. Thin, branched stems can reach more than 8 feet long. Compound leaves are made up of 8 to 24 paired, narrow leaflets. Leaves terminate with a tendril used for climbing. Despite its name, stems and leaves can be hairy or smooth. When planted from hairy vetch seeds, it gets a taproot that extends 1 to 3 feet deep. Fall-planted hairy vetch flowers in April and ripens seed in May-June. Hairy vetch tolerates cold well and is more winter-hardy than common vetch. If well-established in fall, it tolerates frozen soils, remaining dormant until spring. Warm spring temperatures bring rapid growth. Hairy vetch seeds can be planted in soils with pH ranging from 4.9 to 8.2, but does best when pH is from 6.0 to 7.0. It can thrive in acid soils where clover and alfalfa do not grow well. Hairy vetch does best on sandy or sandy loam soils but grows on most soil types if drainage is good. It tolerates some temporary flooding. Can withstand being flooded for long periods of time; however, stand quality and growth generally decline if there are long periods of flooding or saturated soils. It is somewhat shade-tolerant and more drought-resistant than the other vetches. We now offer hairy vetch in a coated/inoculated form as well. Approximately 33% of the weight of the seed is the coating/inoculant material.