Vetiver Australia

About Vetiver Grass

Monto Vetiver Grass - (Chrysopogon zizanioides)

  • Waste Water Treatment
  • Engineered Soil Conservation
  • Riverbank and Coastal Erosion

Vetiver system and how it works

Vetiver grass is an alternative to the conventional, engineered soil conservation systems available today. Vetiver grass is widely used in mine rehabilitation and waste water management systems for domestic and commercial properties. It is also widely used to improve agricultural pastoral land. When the Vetiver grass is planted in single rows, the plants will form a hedge which is highly effective in slowing down and spreading run-off water, reducing soil erosion, conserving soil moisture and trapping sediment and farm chemicals. Although other hedges can do that, Vetiver grass has an extraordinary deep and massively thick root system which binds the soil and makes its difficult to be dislodged under strong water flows on riverbanks and flood plains. Its deep and fast growing root system makes it drought tolerant and highly resistant to pests, diseases and fire.

Characteristics of Vetiver Grass

Form and Structure

Vetiver grass does not produce above ground runners, but has a strong and massive root system which is very fast growing and descends to a depth of 2 to 3 meters within the first year. Because the root system is focused below the soil it can reach up to 5 meters in tropical conditions. The depth of the root structure provides the plant with great tolerance to drought. Vetiver grass can penetrate through compacted soil layers which creates efficient infiltration to the soil moisture. The above ground shoots can grow up to 2 meters high when planted close together. These form a solid vegetative barrier that returns water flow which filters trapped sediment and run-off water. Vetiver growth occurs from the crowns which grow and rise relative to the sediment soil build up. It is also resistant to pest, diseases, fire and heavy grazing.

Properties – climate and soil

Vetiver grass is extremely tolerant to climatic variations such as prolonged drought or flood submergence with temperature levels ranging from -14oC to +55oC. Vetiver grass has been found to thrive under rainfall ranging from 300mm to 6000mm per annum. Vetiver grass has the adaptability and tolerance to a wide range of soil pH ranging from 3.3 to 12.5. The grass is also highly efficient in absorbing dissolved nutrients and heavy metals in polluted water and also tolerant to Al, Mn and heavy metals such as As, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, Hg, Se and Zn in the soils. The root system of Vetiver grass has great strength between 40 and 180 MPA with a range of the root diameter between 0.2mm and 2.2 mm. Vetiver grass has great abilities for erosion control in drainage situations of channels in sugarcane paddocks where acid sulphate soils can be a major problem to the environment. Vetiver grass is highly effective at controlling acidic soils and balancing pH levels.

Ecological Usage

Contour hedges can be established to combat land erosion on vertical slopes and to stabilise road banks. Contour banks intercept runoff before it concentrates and starts to cause erosion, then safely channels it into stable grass waterways which re-establishes sustainability of farming and agriculture on steep slopes, riverbanks and water courses.

The planting of Vetiver grass barriers along riverbanks and coastal plains is cost effective. Its fast growing nature quickly assists in preventing water erosion problems on riverbanks and coastal plain areas.

Sugar Cane and General Agriculture

Vetiver grass is beneficial for maintaining structure and cleanliness of runoff cane drains. It also stabilises the acid sulphate soil of drains and preventing erosion of riverbanks and adjoining paddocks.

Stock Feed

Vetiver grasss is drought resistant and also contains adequate amounts of nutrients for live stock requirements and has a capacity to support production

Although Vetiver is very tolerant as a typical tropical grass, it is intolerant to shading. Shading will reduce its growth and therefore Vetiver grows best in an open environment.

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