How to Plant

HOW TO PLANT VETIVER

Planting  bareroot slips at the field application site

Vetiver grass can be planted under different special configurations and on different media (soil/water), the most common by far is a conservation hedgerow

Photo 1 A mature hedge row in a farmer’s field, notice that the hedge is solid with no gaps in it because it was planted using the correct spacing between transplants which is 10-15 cm maximum. Planting them more than 10-15 cm apart will create clumps that never grow together creating gaps in the hedge which defeats the purpose of the hedgerow. The following three photos show clumps within a hedgerow (after 24 months of growth) with the original spacing between transplants of 15 cm, 30 cm and 60 cm. Gaps do not exist at 15 cm, gaps do exist at the bottom of the clumps at 30 cm and gaps are very visible at 60 cm.

 

An effective hedge is one that is sufficiently dense to redistribute concentrated rainfall runoff, spreading it along the upper side of the hedge where the sediment load is deposited, and then slowly and evenly, passing through the hedge to the lower part of the conserved area. To maximize the speed and effectiveness of a new hedge’s establishment, vetiver slips must be planted closely together (10-15 cm).

Photo 2 & 3 Gap comparison at 24 months at plant spacings of 15, 30 and 60 cm
Photo 4 Over head view of 24 month vetiver hedge with spacing from left to right at 15, 30, 60 cm.
Photo 5 This demonstrates the what the planting objective should be 18 months —a fully formed gap free hedge planted at 15 cm spacing.

How to achieve this? How to plant.

Photo 6 Digging planting furrow or holes
Photo 7 Laying out planting material
Photo 8 Soaking slips in manure slurry prior to transplanting.
This is a good practice particularly when planting on poor and infertile sites

Fertilizer/manure recommendation:

Vetiver will establish better if about 100 kg of farm-yard manure (FYM) is applied per 100 running meters of hedgerow at planting. If FYM is not available di-ammonium phosphate should be applied at about 10 kg per 100 meters. Note one of the advantages of FYM is that it helps to improve moisture availability to the young vetiver plant at time of establishment. FYM and/or DAP should be applied liberally to nursery sites prior to planting of material for multiplication. The use of slow release NPK nuggets for containerized plant material, though not essential, optimizes growth rates. There is no need to use fertilizer for maintenance purposes once the hedges have been established. Local conditions vary as do specific fertilizer doses.

Photo 9 Recommended spacing is 10-15 cm between plants.
Photo 10 Covering up transplants, do not plant too deep, the crown
should be below the surface
Photo 11 Newly planted hedge

Watering:

Water the hedge if no rain is immediately forecast as it helps the soil settle in the pore spaces and around the crown of the slip to encourage it to establish faster. Irrigate enough to keep the soil moist for at least 2-3 weeks while the slips send out new roots from the crown. If planted in the dry season, before the rainy season watering every 10 day or so is recommended.

Photo 12. Planted on steep highway fill slope at 2m vertical interval. 100% survival rate
Photo 13. A properly planted hedge – good spacing and watered
Photo 14 Machine planting of vetiver is a useful operation in high priced labor markets (Australia – Truong)

Spacing between hedges is important and if correctly planned will be effective and will save costs. Spacing depends on slope steepness. Normally it is found that planting hedgerows at 2m vertical interval (VI) will optimize erosion control and costs. This table helps to estimate hedge distances relating to slope%

<td”>6.4

Table to Estimate Vertical Interval between Vetiver Hedgerows based on Slope, Gradient and Surface Run
 
Slope Degrees Slope % Gradient % Surface Run a
1 1.7 1 in 57.3 57.3
2 3.5 1 in  28.6 28.7
3 5.3 1 in  19.1 19.1
4 7.0 1 in  14.3 14.3
5 8.8 1 in  11.4 11.5
6 10.5 1 in    9.5 9.6
7 12.3 1 in     8.1 8.2
8 14.0 1 in     7.1 7.2
9 16.0 1 in    6.3 6.4
10 17.6 1 in     5.7 5.8
11 19.4 1 in    5.1 5.2
12 21.3 1 in    4.7 4.8
13 23.1 1 in    4.3 4.5
14 25.0 1 in    4.0 4.1
15 27.0 1 in    3.7 4.0
16 28.7 1 in     3.5 3.6
17 30.6 1 in     3.3 3.4
18 32.5 1 in     3.1 3.2
19 34.4 1 in     3.0 3.1
20 36.4 1 in     2.8 3.0
21 38.4 1 in     2.6 2.8
22 40.4 1  in    2.5 2.7
23 42.5 1 in     2.4 2.6
24 44.5 1 in     2.3 2.5
25 46.6 1 in     2.1 2.4
26 48.0 1 in    2.0 2.3
27 51.0 1 in    2.0 2.2
28 53.2 1 in    1.9 2.1
29 55.4 1 in    1.8 2.1
30 57.7 1 in    1.7 2.0
31 60.1 1 in    1.7 2.0
32 62.5 1 in     1.6 1.9
33 65.0 1 in     1.5 1.8
34 67.5 1 in     1.5 1.8
35 70.0 1 in     1.4 1.7
36 72.7 1 in      1.4 1.7
37 75.4 1 in     1.3 1.7
38 78.1 1 in     1.3 1.6
39 80.1 1 in    1.2 1.6
40 84.0 1 in    1.2 1.6
41 87.0 1 in  1.2 1.5
42 90.0 1 in   1.1 1.5
43 93.0 1 in    1.1 1.5
44 96.6 1 in    1.0 1.4
45 100.0 1 in   1.0 1.4

a The figures for the surface run are based on a vertical  interval (VI) of 1 meter.  To use  this table, multiply the surface run by the VI: For example,  with a VI of 2 meters on a 70 percent  slope, the surface distance between vegetative barriers = 2 x 1.7 = 3.4 m

Further reading and references on Vetiver basics

Vetiver System – Propagation & Planting

Vetiver Grass — The Hedge against Erosion  —  pages 19-22

Vetiver Planting Guide — Australia

The Vetiver System Vetiver Grass – Plant Propagation

A Look See at Vetiver — Malaysia

Techniques of Vetiver Propagation with Special Reference to Thailand

Vetiver Grass Propagation – Vietnam — pages 19-44