Planting Vetch in Oklahoma


Vetch is a cool-weather perennial that does well in acid soils, if the soil has good drainage. If hairy vetch is left to fully mature, the plant will self-propagate through reseeding. Vetch also is utilized as a green living mulch in some vegetable gardens. Vetch is aggressive in its vining-type structure of the plant. Control through mowing will keep the vetch from moving into vegetable rows or other crops. Vetch is planted in the early fall, taking advantage of cool-season rains for germination.

Step 1

Conduct a soil test of the area. Dig four or five soil samples from different areas of the vetch planting site. Mix the soil samples together. Allow the soil to completely dry. Take the soil sample to s local agricultural extension service for analysis. Apply the recommended amount and type of amendments based upon the soil test results.

Step 2

Work the materials into the soil using a mechanical cultivator. Turn over smaller areas of the soil with a shovel.

Step 3

Mix the vetch seed with a bacterial legume inoculate to aid in improved germination rates for the vetch seeds. Follow label directions for the amount of bacterial inoculate to use.

Step 4

Broadcast the vetch seed at a rate of 5 lbs. per acre or 2 oz. of seed per 1,000 square feet.

Step 5

Cover the seed with soil, using the tines of a garden rake for small areas. Cover larger areas with a disc cultivator pulled behind a tractor.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test
  • Fertilizer
  • Agricultural lime.
  • Mechanical cultivation (rototiller or plow)
  • Shovel (optional)
  • Vetch seed 5 lbs. per acre
  • Bacterial legume inoculate
  • Seed broadcaster
  • Garden rake
  • Disc cultivator


  • Oklahoma State University: Forage Legumes for Oklahoma (PDF)
  • Oklahoma State University: Cultural Control Practices (PDF)
  • Oklahoma State University: Crown Vetch
Keywords: cover crop, vetch hay production, erosion control

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.