Hairy Vetch Seeds - Legume & Cover Crop Seed

Hairy Vetch Seeds

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Hairy Vetch

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.

Groups of 10 to 40 small, long, blue flowers hang from one side of a long flower stem. Spherical seeds (approximately 28,000/lb) are smaller than common vetch seeds. They develop in small pods and usually are grayish or black. Hairy vetch is hardseeded.

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.


Hairy vetch seeds are planted as a cover crop, green manure, pasture, silage, and hay. It is capable of accumulating large amounts of dry matter and nitrogen. When planted alone as a winter cover crop in annual vegetable rotations, it can provide substantial amounts of nitrogen (N) to a following crop.

It offers excellent spring weed suppression and grows well in mixtures with cereal grains that can provide cool-weather weed suppression, erosion control, and fall N-scavenging.

Hairy vetch seeds are used as a self-seeding cover in orchards, usually as part of a mix. It also has been used in vineyards, but is more likely to climb trellises than is common vetch.

Inoculated Seed - We now offer hairy vetch seed which has been coated with an inoculant for better establishment. Nitrogen fixation is a one of the key values found in legumes and can only occur with the proper inoculation. Although many strains or Rhizobium may be present in the soil, all are not equally beneficial. With Nitro-Coat® each seed is inoculated with the correct Rhizobium strains and coated through a proven process that ensures a very high level of successful inoculation. A key to any successful establishment and early seed development is moisture. Nitro-Coat® is naturally water absorbent and helps attract soil moisture to the seed, getting your stand established quickly. This coating process which Outsidepride utilizes, assures that only the top-performing and crop-specific rhizobia will be applied to ensure your clovers reach maximum nodulation, stand establishment, and yield potential. With Nitro-Coat® each seed is inoculated with the correct Rhizobium strains and coated through a proven process that ensures a very high level of successful inoculation. The weight of the hairy vetch seeds will contain approximately 34% coating material that contains the inoculant and water holding material for better establishment and viability of the seed. There is no difference in the seeding rates between the coated and raw seed due to the increased germination and viability of the bulk hairy vetch seeds that are coated and inoculated. This coating material is not OMRI certified.

40 to 45 lbs per acre. 1 ¼ lbs per 1,000 square feet.