Vital hairy vetch is winter hardy but will do better when grown with a companion crop or some coverage, including snow or cover crop residues. Preferred moisture conditions are between twelve and thirty-six inches of annual precipitation or irrigation.
Hairy vetch thrives in full sunlight and will tolerate a range of soil types, including more acidic soil than many other forage legumes. Vital Hairy vetch is moderately tolerant to salinity and prefers soils high in available potassium.
Relatively drought and shade-tolerant, poorly drained soils will weaken the plant. Temporary flooding is okay, but hairy vetch will not tolerate waterlogging.
Soil pH: 5.2 – 8.2
Optimum Growth Range: 46°F – 77°F