The Q&A Archives: Planting Crownvetch

Question: I am planing on planting emerald crownvetch and was told to inoculate it with appropiate legume bacteria before sowing. What is this, how do I get some, and how do I plant it?

Answer: Vetch is a commonly grown cover crop. It helps prevent soil erosion, crowds out weeds, and because it's a legume it helps fix nitrogen in the soil. Legumes can only do their job if there is sufficient populations of rhizobial bacteria available. This bacteria is made available through the use of inoculant, which is added to the seed prior to planting. Once dusted with inoculant, sow seeds by broadcasting over the area at 1-2 pounds per 1000 square feet. Rake lightly, and water well. Inoculant is available from many garden stores and through various catalogs, including Territorial Seed Company, PO Box 157, Cottage Grove, OR 97424-0061. Phone (541) 942-9547.

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