Posted on 01 May 2008 by

Why You Should Consider Hairy Vetch Mulch for Your Tomatoes

Hairy Vetch MulchBy Michelle Fabio

If you’re looking for mulch for your tomatoes, hairy vetch just may be the way to go.

According to research by Purdue University’s Avtar Handa, the Italian National Research Agency’s Annalaura Segre, and the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) plant physiologist Autar K. Mattoo, hairy vetch mulch activates the same metabolic pathways and genes that make biotech tomatoes stronger and tastier than regular tomatoes.

Hairy vetch is a legume often used as a cover crop to enrich soil during the winter months. This study, though, used it as a mulch for tomatoes and found that hairy vetch mulch treated tomatoes produced more phytonutrients, organic components such as carotenoids and flavonoids that promote human health.

According to the report of the ARS, the “results testify to the power of organic legume cover crops or mulches like hairy vetch.”

So, in short, hairy vetch mulch can actually make your homegrown tomatoes perform up to the improved nutrient and taste standards of genetically engineered tomatoes–naturally.

Read more about the scientific findings: Hairy Vetch Mulch Activates Genes for Phytonutrients in Tomatoes

3 Responses to “Why You Should Consider Hairy Vetch Mulch for Your Tomatoes”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Sorry, does this mean that you grow hairy vetch under your tomatoes? Or mulch the tomato bed with pulled hairy vetch? Please clarify for an amateur.

  2. michelle Says:

    As best I can tell from the report on the study, they used it as mulch in the bed not under the tomatoes. Best of luck!

  3. Marcus Says:

    I think it means the tomatoes were planted into beds where vetch was planted over the winter. The vetch was cut off at ground level leaving a mat of dead vetch over the beds. The tomato plants were planted into this mat with the dead vetch plants forming a matted mulch around the plants.

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