Common Vetch

  • Scientific name: Vicia sativ
  • Adapted to full or partial sun
  • Commonly used as winter fodder for cattle
  • Growth takes place in the cool weather of spring
  • Can reseed itself aggressively
  • Sold in 50 pound bags

Quantity is per pound. Example: 1 = 1 lb, 2 = 2 lbs, 3 = 3lbs, etc. This is pure seed, not a live plant.

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Common vetch (Vicia sativ) is an introduced legume that was first was brought to Finland as winter fodder for cattle. The same is true today. Common vetch (Vicia sativ) is widely used as a cover crop for land development and livestock.  This vetch variety a flowering time between June-August depending on when it was planted and can reach a growth height of 30 in. Most of its growth and development takes place in the cool weather of spring. This vetch adapts to full or partial sun in moist to dry-mesic conditions. It can grow well in a variety of soil types, including those that contain loam and clay-loam. The root system can add nitrogen to the soil.  Because this wildflower can reseed itself aggressively, it is rather weedy.

Also named: Tare, Garden Vetch, Spring Vetch, Narrow-leaved Vetch

Is Common Vetch Drought Resistant?

Although the vetches are not drought resistant, this is rarely a problem. The crop is summer-seeded and harvested the following July before the hot, dry conditions of late summer. Vetches grow well on a wide range of soil types, but are best adapted to loamy and sandy soils. It can be grown following any crop harvested before mid- August. Vetch seeded into small grain stubble need not be plowed or disked before sowing. The stubble may provide enough winter protection to overwinter a vetch crop by holding snow on the field. Plowing or heavy disking is essential on heavy soils and firmly packed soils, or where there is heavy weed infestation. Grassy fields should be plowed or thoroughly cultivated during July before planting vetch.

***Click on the “Quick Plant Facts” tab for more information or visit: University of California Fact Sheet

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Great Basin Seed is a seed company that specializes in seed sales and consultation for home, ranch, farm, range and reclamation. We have been a leader in the seed industry since 1974.

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Right: Company founder Lloyd and his wife Paula Stevens in a wildflower seed production field circa 1977

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Common Name, Garden vetch

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