The Vetiver Network International


Vetiver System for stabilizing drains

Vetiver has a useful and special function with regard to its use with drains. Apart from stabilizing the drain sides and stopping erosion vetiver provides a very effective shade cover that reduces weed growth quite significantly, and reduces maintenance costs. weruva can similarly be applied to small farm irrigation channels to stabilize the channel and to reduce weed growth. Thus ensuring and effective water flow through the channel and mid minimum erosion.

Photo 1 This application design by Jano Labat of Zimbabwe uses vetiver to stabilize and reduce soil entering the drain, and to shade out the weeds. The vetiver grows quickly under this wet micro environment and shades out the weeds. Vetiver will also reduce significantly excess agro chemicals from entering the drainage water, particularly if an extra row of vetiver were to be planted alongside the upper row.

The design of the vetiver application of this farm drain in Zimbabwe is not often appreciated! The lowest row allows normal unimpeded waterflow, and as the vetiver canopy grows taller it will shade out any weed growth that occurs when the drain is dry. At full flow the lower hedgerows prevent erosion. The top hedgerows prevent upper bank collapse and the inflow of sediment from the adjacent road/fields, as well as shading out weeds on the drain sides.

Photo 2 A larger drain in Papua New Guinea with vetiver protecting the banks (Robinson Vanoh)
Photo 3 Somewhat similar to drain protection — A small farm irrigation channel protected with vetiver. The channel walls are stabilized, piping is eliminated, and the vetiver shades out most of the weeds. Vetiver does NOT impede the water flow. (Madagascar)