NC State Extension Publications

Description

Common vetch is a trailing winter annual weed that forms large mats of vegetation. It is common to waste areas and roadsides. The leaves of common vetch are very narrow, alternately arranged and compound. Tendrils form on the ends of the leaves. Long stems arise from fibrous roots, and flowers are purple. Late in the season after the flowers drop, seed pods form.

Cultural Control

Winter annual broadleaf weeds germinate in the fall or winter and grow during any warm weather, which may occur in the winter, but otherwise remain somewhat dormant during the winter. They resume growth and produce seed in the spring and die as temperatures increase in late spring and early summer. They quickly invade thin turf areas especially where there is good soil moisture. Shade may also encourage growth. Many have a prostrate growth habit and are not affected by mowing. A dense, vigorous turf is the best way to reduce the encroachment of winter annual weeds. First, select adapted turfgrass cultivars for your area and then properly fertilize, mow, and water to encourage dense growth.

Chemical Control


Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
Preemergence and Postemergence Control
mesotrione, MOA 27 (4 SC) (Tenacity) 0.092 to 0.183 fl oz 4 to 8 fl oz 0.125 to 0.25
Precaution and Remarks: Use on residential turf, golf courses (not greens) and sod farms for pre- and postemergence weed control. Tolerant turfgrasses include St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Add a nonionic surfactant and repeat application after 2 to 3 weeks for improved postemergence control. Tank mix with prodiamine 65 WG for extended preemergence grassy weed control. Can be applied at seeding to all tolerant grasses except fine fescue. After turf germination, wait 4 weeks or until turf has been mowed twice before making a postemergence application. Also controls henbit, chickweed, dandelion, white clover, Florida betony, Florida pusley, ground ivy, oxalis, wild violet, creeping bentgrass, and yellow nutsedge.​
[sulfentrazone + prodiamine], MOA 14 + 3 (4 SC) (Echelon) 0.184 to 0.826 fl oz 0.5 to 2.25 pt 0.25 to 1.125
Precaution and Remarks: For use in residential and institutional lawns, athletic fields, sod farms, golf course fairways and roughs, roadsides, utility right-of-ways, railways, and industrial areas. Apply to turf following a second mowing if a good root system has been established. Apply up to 12 fluid ounces per acre to bentgrass at 0.5 inch or higher, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass. Apply 18 to 24 fluid ounces per acre to perennial bluegrass, tall fescue, and all warm season grasses except St. Augustinegrass (do not apply) and bermudagrass (apply 18 to 36 fluid ounces per acre). For sod production, apply 6 months after establishment, and do not harvest within 3 months. Do not apply with adjuvants or surfactants. [Sulfentrazone + prodiamine should not be applied to cool-season turf with N-containing fertilizers unless some short-term discoloration is tolerable.​
Postemergence Control
clopyralid, MOA 4 (3 EC) (Lontrel T&O) 0.1 to 0.5 fl oz 0.25 to 1.33 pt 0.09 to 0.5
Precaution and Remarks: Do not apply to home lawns. May be used on bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, creeping, red, chewings, sheep and tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, bermudagrass, bahiagrass, buffalograss, centipedegrass, zoysiagrass, and St. Augustinegrass. Do not apply to putting greens and tees. Should be applied in a minimum of 20 gallons of water per acre. Surfactants are not necessary. Do not apply to exposed roots of certain trees and shrubs (legumes such as acacia, locust, mimosa, redbud, or mesquite) or Tilia spp. Do not use treated clippings for mulching and compost during the growing season of application.​

Species Data

Common vetch growth habit.

Figure 1. Common vetch growth habit.

Common vetch growth habit.

Figure 2. Common vetch growth habit.

Common vetch growth habit.

Figure 3. Common vetch growth habit.

Common vetch growth habit.

Figure 4. Common vetch growth habit.

Common Vvtch growth habit.

Figure 5. Common vetch growth habit.

Common vetch growth habit.

Figure 6. Common vetch growth habit.

Common vetch growth habit.

Figure 7. Common vetch growth habit.

Common vetch leaf arrangement.

Figure 8. Common vetch leaf arrangement.

Common vetch leaf arrangement.

Figure 9. Common vetch leaf arrangement.

Common vetch leaf arrangement.

Figure 10. Common vetch leaf arrangement.

Common vetch leaf arrangement.

Figure 11. Common vetch leaf arrangement.

Common vetch leaf arrangement.

Figure 12. Common vetch leaf arrangement.

Common vetch root type.

Figure 13. Common vetch root type.

Common vetch root type.

Figure 14. Common vetch root type.

Common vetch flower color.

Figure 15. Common vetch flower color.

Common vetch flower color.

Figure 16. Common vetch flower color.

Common vetch flower color.

Figure 17. Common vetch flower color.

Common vetch flower color.

Figure 18. Common vetch flower color.

Common vetch flower color.

Figure 19. Common vetch flower color.

Author

Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist
Crop and Soil Sciences

Publication date: Nov. 27, 2017

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