The Q&A Archives: Replacing Crownvetch

Question: I have crownvetch on my hillside but really dislike it. I would like to replace it with something else that is shorter and stays green longer.

Do you have any suggestions on how best to remove it so I can plant something else?

Answer: Whenever you expose soil on a hillside for any length of time you risk soil erosion, so you might wish to do this in stages rather than all at once. You may also experience great difficulty in establishing a substitute (especially if the slope is steep or the soil is poor), so you may want to give this some serious thought. To remove the vetch, you could try smothering it over time with layers of newspaper or cardboard covered with a thick layer of mulch, or you could kill it with glyphosate carefully applied according to the label instructions. If you use the glyphosate, be aware that it can take some time for it to be translocated to the roots and also that it is a nonselective herbicide and will affect desirable plants as well as the vetch.

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