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Hairy vetch smothers Bramuda grass

 
Jeff R Hodgins
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Extra Hairy vetch smothers bramuda grass in Puebla Mexico. Dense patches of thick stem bramuda grass smothered, direct seeded no till no mulch. Cut the vetch high at about 1 foot for successive croping.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hi Jeff - where did this information come from? Do you have a link you could share?
 
Jeff R Hodgins
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No sorry no link, I am speaking from experience, I planted Vicia cracca in a patch of dense grass and the grass was suppressed. I also planted it it a patch of strawberries that was very weedy and was not producing fruit. After the vetch had shaded out the weeds I cut the vetch and shortly after the strawberries started to grow fruit again. With no mulch added and no manure just vetch. The patch is weedy again now but not as bad as it was. Fall is coming and the vetch is creeping up again. I expect an even better stand of strawberries next year.
 
Denis Huel
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Jeff R Hodgins wrote:No sorry no link, I am speaking from experience, I planted Vicia cracca in a patch of dense grass and the grass was suppressed. I also planted it it a patch of strawberries that was very weedy and was not producing fruit. After the vetch had shaded out the weeds I cut the vetch and shortly after the strawberries started to grow fruit again. With no mulch added and no manure just vetch. The patch is weedy again now but not as bad as it was. Fall is coming and the vetch is creeping up again. I expect an even better stand of strawberries next year.


Vicia cracca (Tufted vetch) showed up in my area 10 years ago or so. I know of a half dozen local colonies and have been keeping an eye on them. Smooth brome is a common forage grass planted here but it is also aggressively invading all types of habitats. I consider smooth brome my most serious problem with respect to establishing tree and shrubs. Most of the Vicia locally is growing in areas with smooth brome present and seems to suppress the brome to a considerable degree. Likely the vining growth habit and nitrogen fixing capability allow it to gain the upper hand in competition for light. I have been collecting seed of Vicia cracca for a couple of years and I intend to try and establish it as an understory in some of my tree plantings. I realize Tufted vetch is considered to be invasive in some areas but for me it would be preferable to smooth brome with fewer detrimental and likely even beneficial effects on tree growth. I also suspect that if growth gets a little too rampant, grazing would quickly bring it back in line.
 
Diogenese simpson
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wow thanks ! i have a 1 acre garden made from pasture that was bermuda I ploughed 6 times during summer to kill it well it was partialy efective BUT I have been diging patches out ever since , man that stuff takes some killing,I have ploughed it rototilled it poured boiling water on it covered it in black plastic and it just comes up around the edges , thanks for the information , Where did you get the vetch seed ?
 
Tim Southwell
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Location: Hamilton, MT
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bee chicken forest garden
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I have seen similar results with our Hairy Vetch planted as part of our N-fixer seed mix under new fruit trees. I am pleased with the N-fixation going on as we chop and drop regularly. However, if you miss a turn, the vetch grows and smothers out anything in its pass. I like it as a cover crop on newly worked landscapes, as a means to minimize unwanted weed seeds from taking over. It can be aggressive, so make sure you want it where you plant it. My boys just harvested 1000 seed pods off the vines yesterday, so that is another ~6000 seeds to disperse over the next few months. Good stuff!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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