How to Plant Crown Vetch

Overview

With its clusters of pink-and-white blooms, crown vetch can make a beautiful addition to many landscapes. But because this legume can become invasive once its root system has become established, crowding out all other vegetation, it is important to plant it in areas where it won't pose a problem. Often used to control erosion, crown vetch offers hardy ground cover that is extremely drought-resistant and provides a habitat for ground birds, such as quail, and food for deer, rabbits and other wildlife.

Step 1

Plant crown vetch in early spring, after all danger of frost has passed.

Step 2

Work the soil with a rototiller, if possible, before dispersing the seed with a hand-held seed spreader. Crown vetch can be broadcast over the surface of extremely infertile soil and can even be broadcast over existing shrubbery. Disperse 20 pounds of crown vetch seed per acre, broadcasting the seed as evenly as possible.

Step 3

Water the area thoroughly. Keep the ground moist but not saturated for one to two growing seasons.

Step 4

Be patient. Crown vetch can take up to two growing seasons to become established. Once it is established, however, crown vetch can spread quickly and is virtually unstoppable. Crown vetch can even jump roads.

Tips and Warnings

  • Because crown vetch is considered an invasive species in many areas, consult your state's Cooperative Extension agent before planting it. For a list of state Cooperative Extension agents, please see the Resources section below.

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller
  • Crown vetch seeds
  • Hand-held seed broadcaster
  • Well-drained soil

References

  • Wildlife Seeds: Crown Vetch as a Wildlife Food Source

Who Can Help

  • State Cooperative Extension Agents
Keywords: plant crown vetch, grow crown vetch, propagate crown vetch, crown vetch ground cover, crown vetch erosion control

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.