Although vetiver, which is similar to lemon grass and citronella, originally came from the tropical areas of Asia, it is also suitable for planting elsewhere, particularly in drought areas.
This grass is very versatile and easily adapts to various ground structures. Through its fairly-deep root system, the grass can also develop a high resistance to, and adapt to, extreme climate conditions. Long periods of drought, frozen ground, floods and even fires do not hurt the plant’s chances of surviving.
Plan Verde uses vetiver for soil stabilization and erosion control, especially in sandy soil. Both vetiver’s density and the length of its root systems, which can reach a depth of as much as 6 meters (roughly 6½ yards), protect the soil from foreclosure and keep the moisture within the soil. The high salt tolerance of the grass also allows it to be planted by the sea and in saline soils.
To create a hedge on the hillsides that surround wells, to stabilize water channels, and to ensure wind protection against sand drifts, it is necessary to plant the vetiver in dense rows. When vetiver is covered with sand brought by the wind, it forms new blades on the surface, thus ensuring more growth, and loses its effect as wind protection.
Freshly-planted vetiver initially needs regular watering – every 2 days – until the roots have grown strong in the soil.
In this context, it is very satisfying to see how the vetiver the water mass has kept to date after a very strong rainstorm. The sandy soil was washed away within a short time, leaving a gap. Without the vetiver, the damage would have been much worse.
The grass can be cut every 1 – 3 months, depending on growth. The cut grass can be used not only as goat and donkey fodder, but also for fabricating products, arts and crafts, or as bedding for various animal stables.
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