The Q&A Archives: Invasive Crown Vetch

Question: About 15 years ago, when I knew nothing about gardening, I planted some crown vetch - now it is taking over! I tried taking out all the perennials and covering it with black plastic for a year. I just took off the plastic and
there is still crown vetch under it - it also grew around the plastic and is in the cracks of my cement walk. The garden is over the pipe from the well to the house, so I'm not sure that chemicals can be used. It is also in another
garden that is quite full of perennials.

Answer: Oh, oh! Crown Vetch is wonderful stuff where it can be contained and where a thorough ground cover is neccesary. However, as you have found, it is VERY aggressive!

You are right. Using chemicals over your water source would be fool-hardy! Since you don't have anything growing there now, I'd cut back or pull out the remaining vetch and cover it again with plastic. Every few weeks, uncover it and pull out or cut back what you see again. This will be a tough "go", but perhaps the only thing possible without using chemicals. Hopefully, by the end of this growing season, you will have no vetch left.

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