What Is It? Wednesday – Vetch

A hand holding a plant Description automatically generated

Common vetch (Vicia sativa).
Justin Ballew, ©2023, Clemson Extension

Common vetch (Vicia sativa) is starting to show up in vegetable fields. Vetch is a cool-season weed that begins germinating in the fall and begins blooming in the winter, peaking in the spring. Vetch is in the legume family, making it capable of fixing nitrogen in the soil. For this reason, vetches are sometimes used as a component of multi-species cover crops. Vetch can be particularly problematic in crops like strawberries as it comes up in the planting holes in the plastic, competing with the young strawberry transplants for water and nutrients. This competition can significantly slow down the development of the strawberries, reducing their yield in the spring.

For more information, see:

NC Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox Vicia sativa
HGIC Narrowleaf Vetch, Common Vetch

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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