This annual pea family cover crop (Vicia benghalensis, sometimes referred to as Vicia atropurpurea) can be grown in fall and spring in most climates, and even during the winter in warmer climates. Vetch roots fix nitrogen in the soil and begin to draw it away as the plant flowers and seeds. Plants also generate substantial biomass, good for increasing soil organic matter and suppressing weeds. Bees love the gorgeous purple flowers, making vetch an excellent honey plant. Crops grown following a properly managed vetch cover crop should have ample nitrogen and not require any external additions to the soil. Corn or tomatoes are common crops planted following vetch cover crops. Vetch can also be companion planted with oats and other grains, which will act as a trellis for the plants to climb and generate even denser stands of biomatter. Consider investing in a seed inoculant (Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viceae) to improve nitrogen fixation in the soil.
90-250 days to establishment, depending upon season and desired use. Annual. Seeds are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.