Crown vetch - Penngift is an attractive, perennial, ground cover. Crown vetch can be an invasive plant and should NOT be planted in lawns or crop areas. It is difficult to remove once established. This plant item is intended for use in certain situations such as for erosion control in difficult to access hillsides, certain wildlife plantings, ground cover plantings, etc. You may want to conatact your local Cooperative Extension agent on the advisability of planting crown vetch.
Crown vetch grows best in neutral or slightly acid soil (pH 6.5 - 7.0). Fertilizer should be used before seeding. Up to 1 pound of nitrogen from a fertilizer with a ratio of 5-10-10 is recommended.
During the flowering season, it is a heavy producer of white, pink, and lavender flowers. It is a creeping plant with semi-vining growth habits which produce considerable foliage that grows up to 18 - 24 inches. It is very competitive and will crowd out most weeds with time. It develops an extensive root system to make it drought tolerant. It is used primarily for roadside seedings and for landscaping hillside erosion where a low-growing perennial flower is desired that doesn't need mowed. Crown vetch is also used for wildlife foraging such as a deer food plot. Some people consider this a "ground cover" plant due to the fact it is often used to "cover the ground" for erosion control.
Because crown vetch is slow to establish, a companion crop of creeping red fescue or annual ryegrass at 1 pound per 1,000 square feet provides initial cover. A rough, cloddy seedbed is satisfactory. Protection from erosion is necessary on slopes until the plant is established. The plant turns brown with a killing frost, but turns green when the temperature reaches 50 degrees. Crown vetch is found from Puerto Rico to Canada as a ground cover plant.
20 lbs per acre or 1 lb per 1,000 square feet