Crown vetch Coronilla varia
IDENTIFICATION — Crown vetch grows up to 2 ft. tall. It has a dense, sprawling habit with stems that can be 5 to 6 ft. long. Pink flowers are followed by 3-in.-long seed pods. Although it’s still being sold and planted, you do not want this near your garden. It can spread quickly with seeds, root and stem pieces, and it’s tough to get rid of.
FAVORITE CONDITIONS — You’ll find this pest in full sun to part shade in rocky or rich soil. Once used to control erosion along roadways, this weed escaped and is forcing out native plants.
CONTROL — Dig crown vetch out of established gardens or use a selective herbicide in turf areas. It’s a perennial, so for the best control, apply herbicide in fall, before the leaves go dormant, and again in spring as the leaves emerge. Repeated mowing also keeps this weeds from producing seeds.
When you’re tackling crown vetch and other weeds with tough roots, a good weeding tool, such as our Soil Knife, really comes in handy.