By 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