Alternative text should describe the visual content of the image.

Winter tares (vetch)

Winter tares rapidly fixes nitrogen

green manures
Winter tares, or vetch, is a useful hardy annual for overwintering. It has heavy foliage which suppresses weeds and is good nitrogen fixer, however it doesn't like acid and dry soils.
Growing calendar
Sow outdoors Mar - May and Jul - Sep
Cut down/dig in Feb - Mar and Jul - Sep

How to grow winter tares (vetch)

Sow winter tares at 16g per square metre by scattering on the surface of your soil then rake and tamp down. If you're following a crop rotation system, winter tares should be grown in the same rotation as other legume plants.

If you have acid or particularly dry soil then we would recommend choosing a different green manure as winter tares won't grow well in these conditions.

Winter tares establishes quickly and suppresses weeds well. It rapidly fixes nitrogen in its roots, feeding the next crop once you've dug it in.

Incorporating winter tares into your soil

Cut down or hoe off the leaves of your winter tares before digging in the whole plants. Winter tares can inhibit the germination of your next crop for up to six weeks after digging in so make sure you dig it in four to six weeks before the soil is needed for your next crop, and/or before flowering.

Tips on growing winter tares

Winter tares, or vetch, is good to grow with Hungarian grazing rye for excellent winter soil care.

Growing notes
Difficulty Easy
Average growing period 8-12 weeks, or overwinter
Equipment needed None
Germination time 7-14 days
Average plant size 50cm tall, 20cm wide
Seed saving notes Annual, self-pollinating
Latin name Vicia sativa
Family group (for rotation systems) Legumes