The Q&A Archives: Planting Crownvetch

Question: I plan on planting crownvetch (Coronilla varia) this spring on a steep slope. There is currently poor grass/weeds on the hill. Do I need to till or clear the weeds on the slope before I plant, or will the crownvetch take over the existing weeds?

Answer: The crownvetch will do best if you can prep the soil first. Tilling a steep hillside sounds pretty dangerous to me! Instead, kill the current growth by covering the area with a piece of black plastic for a few weeks. This probably won't eliminate them, but will make them less competitive! Also, once the crownvetch has sprouted, you can keep weed seeds from germinating by applying WeedzStop. It's just corn gluten, which contains an enzyme that prevents seed germination. Once established, crown vetch will hold its own against other competitors, or can coexist nicely with other attractive native forbs. WeedzStop is available from Gardener's Supply Co., 800/863-1700 or Hope this helps!

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