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#61 2020-11-24 13:11:54

Evan
Member

Re: Evan's Photos of Vetiver

Those are questions I cannot answer.

Rainfall is below average. We get large storm events that push the yearly rainfall to 1500 but I think the true average is now 800-900 and below (measuring point is not local). Deco, low clay and low nutrient soil so the storm events aren't really held in the soil and flow away quickly. Temps are much higher and higher earlier. Looking at the historical rainfall, the 1940's onward till the early 70's were great regular rains but the climate do be a-changin'. All my Vetiver away from this floodplain area are browner and struggling.

Drainage; I don't think so as if the creek is up (it gains flow from a higher rainfall locality), the paddy can stay full for a long time, even without added local rainfall. That's probably more physics than infiltration benefits, it can't infiltrate if it has nowhere to go. The organic matter increases as well as the breaking up of the soil with the roots would have to do it but that's not something I measured before.

Trees; no, because without rain I don't think the Vetiver could do much. It's been a tough 2 years for growing things and 20 year old trees (riparian species planted in yards) are dying so I think the 2 hot dry Winters/Springs have been enough to finish off misplaced species. The forecast was a La Nina wet Spring, and nope, only had 1 short event. Forecast is still for an above average Summer but that is a wait and see.

The Vetiver looks good in the farm, but the recovery rate from the clumps is not high. I mulch a lot of dead-ish material (with a living crown) because I have enough plants to be picky. Have discussed burning as a reset for the clumps but I prefer the mulch than bare soil so harvesting a ring of actively-growing tillers around each clump is fine by me. I think brushcutting it down would be OK (and I have trialled that before with some good results - https://www.erosionqld.com.au/blog/2019 … wettrial/) but if it filled at the wrong time, there could be a high risk of damage to cut clumps covered with 30cm of water so I think doing nothing bar normal topping maintenance is the best course of action and sometimes the "normal maintenance" is delayed because I don't feel like cutting knee deep in water so the tops stay long which aids shading of the centres of the clumps. Obviously, the clumps planted outside of the paddies do not behave like these ones. I've not really got anything to go on with the flooding area and its idiosyncrasies but the soil is moist whereas everywhere else is dry so that means I don't have to water the bareroots for survival. That's a plus.

Who knows, with the carbon in the air it may mean that 1000 year mega-droughts could be more likely - https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2020 … a-droughts

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#62 2020-11-24 13:17:26

Evan
Member

Re: Evan's Photos of Vetiver

Can't edit my post - https://www.erosionqld.com.au/blog/2019/10/07/wettrial/ - the closing bracket added to the link.

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#63 2020-11-24 19:05:35

admin
Admin

Re: Evan's Photos of Vetiver

In many parts of the world (Sub Sahara Africa, Deccan Plateau of India), 800-900 mm of rainfall is/was the norm and thought to be good until periodic droughts occurred. Now with extreme weather that rainfall comes in just a few events - and much of it is lost. Farming practices that might include vetiver hedges could make sure that that rainfall does not end up off the farm.

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#64 2020-11-25 09:06:37

Evan
Member

Re: Evan's Photos of Vetiver

Oh yeah, definitely not disparaging the amount but the regularity has changed the conditions, coupled with the early high temps and warm Winters, the changes are harder than they need to be. We may end up as subsistence farmers in the future if transport of foodstuffs falls apart.

We actually don't get a lot of runoff but it dries quick. Vetiver over clay could have huge effects in storing rainfall and keeping organic matter high in the landscape. Our soil stays bare, no growth of grass or herbs in the worst spots so Vetiver in that position supplies mulch for the dry periods. Canopy would be best but fire is a risk.

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#65 2020-12-30 07:11:22

Evan
Member

Re: Evan's Photos of Vetiver

Different integration of Kei Apple and Eucalyptus in-between older Vetiver rows. Mulch has been used for the Kei Apples, just chucked into a pile and (surprisingly easy) formed into a circle for planting.

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