Vetiver : an interlude

A second start, as described here was made in February this year. A site wide trench was dug and connected to the main pond and a row of vetiver was planted in the upland edge of this trench. The idea was to impede runoff from the hills barely 300′ away and to hijack the water to the main pond.

As March to May is the height of our scorching summer, we hosed the line with water at least thrice a week. I was anxious that this row established itself and not only charged water into the pond but also prevented the trench from filling up.

The result of this modest caring is here to see. In just three months the grass has established itself and I have the confidence that before the next big rains in October there will be a sturdy green wall.

I clearly visualised vetiver playing a big part in the restoration work at pointReturn. I imagine it as a farmer’s duct tape. So I must multiply them for deployment everywhere in the 18 acre campus. In planning a nursery I had to reckon with the scarcity of labour and water. Regular readers of this site know that all water for the project comes from a single bore well worked with a wind pump. Water is lifted from 120′ and stored at a height of 12′. The capacity of storage is only 4,000 litres. 1″ dia PVC pipes are buried all over the 3.5 acres so far developed and planted out with about 300 plants.

Our routine is to water the plants as and when the wind blows strong so that the modest tankage doesn’t overflow and waste the pumped water [-it still does that often enough during the nights and a solution is on its way]. Caring for a vetiver nursery needed a new approach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *