What is the Vetiver System?
The Vetiver System
Vetiver is a tall, sterile grass that is native to India. It can grow up to 5 feet tall and its root structure can grow over 20 feet in depth. The impressive root structure allows vetiver to hold soil in place on all types of topography – from plains to mountains. The Vetiver System is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way of preventing soil erosion and promoting soil conservation. Soil erosion is a form of soil degradation which ultimately decreases crop yields. When vetiver is planted in a row between crops, these plants form a barrier to slow runoff. This system, named the Vetiver System reduces soil erosion and increases the nutrients in the soil around the crops. While alternative living-plant barriers exist, the extraordinary root system of vetiver makes it highly efficient competition. Not only is it the best-known plant for soil erosion prevention, it has been advocated by the World Bank as a soil erosion technique since the 1990s.
Why Choose the Vetiver System?
Using only vetiver, the Vetiver System is one of the most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solutions to fighting soil erosion. There is no maintenance required and the installation is incredibly easy. Once you have purchased the vetiver and cleared a row in preparation for planting, all you have to do is place each plant along the row, approximately one foot apart. Continue to water your vetiver regularly the first 3 months and you will soon have a full-grown hedge of vetiver, effectively reducing soil erosion with no work necessary for you to do.
Additional Uses and Benefits
Vetiver is highly resistant to pests, diseases, and fire. It is a pest repellent for certain species of ants. Additionally, once you have purchased your initial vetiver plants, these can be propagated, or replanted at a 15:1 ratio every six months. That means that after your initial purchase, you will never have to buy vetiver again. With a purchase of merely 10 plants, you can have 150 plants in as little as six months. Vetiver can be simultaneously used as a cash crop to maximize yields. Multi-functional use of the plant allows for crafting opportunities
Where Can Vetiver Grow?Vetiver is currently found most frequently in Southeast Asia and Haiti. In Haiti it is often used as a cash crop for the essential oils found in the roots. While vetiver is not found in great quantities in Central- or South America, it has the potential to easily grow in these climates. Additionally, vetiver is found in many Sub-Sahara African countries, however the use of the Vetiver System in these areas is not widely adopted. Vetiver is incredibly drought- and flood-resistant, allowing it to survive through monsoons, hurricanes, and droughts.
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