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  • Agricultural Improvements
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  • Vetiver plant
  • Erosion Control

Soil Erosion Control

Reduces soil erosion

Retains soil nutrients

Conserves soil moisture

Slows rain run-off

Erosion-Control

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Loss of surface soil and soil nutrients due to excessive rain run-off is a serious problem particularly for farmers across the globe, with the loss of over 50% of the worlds topsoil in the last 150 years.

There is increasing evidence that seasonal rains are becoming more intense, increasing the risk of soil erosion and in the long term making it more difficult to reinstate the land for agriculture.

Vetiver Grass planted in a linear hedge ( 15cm-30cm apart), following the contours of the slope, not only slows rain run-off, causing the rain to spread out more evenly, but also reduces soil and nutrient loss and conserves soil water.

Vetiver plants with their deep roots and strong resilient shoots, allow sediment to build up behind the hedge forming natural terraces, allowing native planting to establish quicker. The action of Vetiver is two-fold, not only do the extensive fibrous roots prevent soil moisture from draining away down the slope, but the strong resilient shoots trap sediment on the surface, preventing soil nutrients also from washing away.

A hedge of Vetiver plants also provides a natural windbreak, reducing windblown soil and nutrient loss, a significant cause of surface soil erosion, particularly in flat and expansive landscapes.

Vetiver Grass is used throughout the globe to conserve soil and soil moisture; including Thailand, India, Australia, China, Central America, Vietnam and many other countries.

Vetiver is a tropical grass and whilst is able to withstand temperatures to -15 oC, it is unlikely to grow in the UK as quickly or robustly as it does in Tropical and Mediterranean regions. Vetiver grass is grown in the south of the UK with some success, but has not been utilised specifically for soil erosion control. Vetiver Grass UK is undertaking extensive trials as part of a PhD Research project to assess the viability of using Vetiver for this purpose. We believe that by planting more mature plants and planting closer together, then Vetiver will still provide some protection to against soil erosion

Vetiver Grass UK supplies plants that are more mature, with a greater root density and more shoots to ensure they establish quicker in the cooler UK climate


Stabilisation of Natural Slopes, Cuttings and Embankments

Stabilisation of Natural Slopes, Cuttings and Embankments

Stabilises slopes

Improve soil strength

Reduces rain run-off

Increases sediment build-up

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Vetiver Grass has an incredible root system, that once established grows to 3-4m deep. Depending where the Vetiver is growing the length of time this will take will vary. In the UK this could well take more than 2 years.

The roots are dense, extensive, fibrous and reinforce the soil against erosion and slippage.

The fibrous roots have a tested tensile strength of around 75MPa that greatly improves the shear strength of the soil, making it an environmentally sustainable solution for slope stabilisation.

The Vetiver root system also removes water from the soil, thus greatly reducing the hydraulic pressure on the slope, decreasing the risk of slippage.

Lines of Vetiver can contour natural slopes, cuttings and filled embankments. The deep roots help stabilise the slope structurally, whilst the shoots disperse rain run-off and help sediment to build up.

Vetiver has been used to stabilise slopes for some 200km along the Hi Chi Minh Highway in Vietnam and has stood the test of time over the last 14 years.

Vetiver is a tropical grass and whilst is able to withstand temperatures to -15 oC, it is unlikely to grow in the UK as quickly or robustly as it does in Tropical and Mediterranean regions. Vetiver grass is grown in the south of the UK with some success, but has not been utilised specifically for slope stabilisation. Vetiver is likely to take longer to reach maturity in the UK and therefore will not provide as much slope stability during that period. Vetiver Grass UK is undertaking extensive trials as part of a PhD Research project to assess the viability of using Vetiver for this purpose. We believe that by planting more mature plants and planting closer together then Vetiver will still provide some protection to slopes, although not to slopes with immediate slippage issues, though it is suitable to use in conjunction with other stabilising materials

Vetiver Grass UK supplies plants that are more mature, with a greater root density and more shoots to ensure that they establish quicker in the cooler UK climate.


Prevention and Management of Contaminated Land

Purifies contaminated soil & water

Absorbs high levels of N&P

Absorbs heavy metals from soil and water

Reduces contaminants from septic tank discharge

Prevention and Management of Contaminated Land

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In addition to their fibrous, fast growing nature, Vetiver roots have a unique ability to not only tolerate many contaminants but also to absorb them, making it an eminently suitable bio-engineering solution, to treat agricultural, septic tank discharge and heavy metal pollution.

In Australia septic tank discharge was found to have reduced levels of N by 99% and P by 85% when planted with 5 rows of Vetiver. (Truong and Hart 2001)

In China, wastewater from pig farms was shown to have an uptake and purification by Vetiver of Cu and Zn >90%; As and N>75%; Pb is between 30% -71% and P is between 15-58%. ( Liao et al 2003).

The phyto-remediation properties of Vetiver Grass allow it to be grown in a wide range of normally hostile soil conditions, including saline, acidic, alkaline and soils polluted with heavy metals, making Vetiver an exceptional natural and cost-effective solution to environmental pollution.

Vetiver Grass UK is embarking upon a series of extensive trials in the UK, to assess the viability of using Vetiver Grass for phyto-remediation purposes. We believe that whilst the phyto-remediation action will only take place during warmer months when the plant is active, the extensive root system potentially can provide phytostabilsation to prevent the mobility of substances in the soil and rhizo-filtration of contaminants during the cooler months, when the pollutants will be adsorbed to the roots.

Vetiver is a tropical grass and whilst is able to withstand temperatures to -15 oC, it is unlikely to grow in the UK as quickly or robustly as it does in Tropical and Mediterranean regions. Vetiver grass is grown in the south of the UK with some success, but has not been utilised specifically to prevent diffuse water pollution or contaminated land. Vetiver will primarily only be active at phytoremediation during the warmer months, but it is hoped that Vetiver will provide some reduction in contaminants through its rhizo-filtration and phyto-stabilsation properties during other periods. Vetiver Grass UK is undertaking extensive trials as part of a PhD Research project to assess the viability of using Vetiver for this purpose. Although we don’t expect to reduce contaminants to the same degree as in the tropics we believe that growing Vetiver in suitable locations in the UK, we can reduce the amount of diffuse water pollution, that at presents costs the UK over £200 million and causes over 1000 incidents annually (EA)

Vetiver Grass UK supplies plants that are more mature, with a greater root density and more shoots to ensure that they establish quicker in the cooler UK climate.


Agricultural-Improvements

Agricultural Improvements

Improves soil structure

Conserves soil moisture

Reduces soil loss and run-off

Improves crop yields

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The Vetiver System greatly improves soil and moisture conservation, improving yields and fertility of the farmland.

Cuttings from the Vetiver can also be used as a mulch to reduce weed growth, and has been used to good effect in Vineyards in South Africa when used as a mulch

Vetiver Grass acts as a windbreak, that not only protects plants and seedlings from the damaging effects of wind, but also prevents surface soil from blowing any distance thus reducing the loss of soil nutrients

Protection of farm infrastructure such as drainage ditches, watercourses is an added bonus of planting Vetiver.

Vetiver is a tropical grass and whilst is able to withstand temperatures to -15 oC, it is unlikely to grow in the UK as quickly or robustly as it does in Tropical and Mediterranean regions. Vetiver grass is grown in the south of the UK with some success, but has not been utilised specifically to provide protection to crops. Vetiver Grass UK is undertaking extensive trials as part of a PhD Research project to assess the viability of using Vetiver for this purpose. If Vetiver is planted using mature plants, planted close together in the spring to allow it to establish over the summer, then it may provide some protection to crops and increase yields

Vetiver Grass UK supplies plants that are more mature, with a greater root density and more shoots to ensure that they establish quicker in the cooler UK climate.


Natural Flood Control

Mitigates flood damage

Tolerates prolonged periods of flooding

Reduces wave action damage on river banks

Protects slopes and river banks

Erosion-Control

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There is evidence that seasonal rains are becoming more intense, increasing the risk of flooding, both in agricultural and urban settings.

Flooding across parts on the UK during the winter of 2016 was the most extreme according experts, causing significant damage to property, infrastructure and land.

Worldwide the Vetiver System has time and again provided mitigation in the prevention of such events and the subsequent rehabilitation.

The robust, stiff shoots of Vetiver can prevent wave run-up along shorelines and river banks by up to 55% ( THE USE OF VETIVERS IN COASTAL ENGINEERING by H.J. Verhagen, D.J. Jaspers Focks, A. Algera and M.A. Vu ).

Vetiver is a tropical grass and whilst is able to withstand temperatures to -15 oC, it is unlikely to grow in the UK as quickly or robustly as it does in Tropical and Mediterranean regions. Vetiver grass is grown in the south of the UK with some success, but has not been utilised specifically to prevent flooding. Vetiver is likely to take longer to reach maturity in the UK, before it can provide significant flooding protection. Vetiver Grass UK is undertaking extensive trials as part of a PhD Research project to assess the viability of using Vetiver for this purpose. If Vetiver is planted in carefully sited locations then it may provide increasing flood protection over a number of years

Vetiver is also able to withstand prolonged periods under water, enabling it to provide stabilisation of banks, slopes for the duration of a flood episode


Other-Applications

Other Applications

Essential Oil made from aromatic roots

Cuttings used as animal fodder and bedding

Natural Insecticide

High grade Handicrafts

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The aromatic roots of Vetiver have been used for years as the basis of the perfume industry. A number of high quality perfumes and aftershave have Vetiver Oil as the main ingredient. Vetiver Essential Oil has antiseptic properties and is used to treat acne and skin sores. The oil is considered to be grounding as well as an aphrodisiac.

The cuttings of Vetiver can be fed as fodder to cattle , goats and sheep although only young shoots have any nutritional value. Mature Vetiver leaves can be used as bedding for pigs, and chickens and have been found to have an insecticidal effect, reducing the instances of mites and worms.

Vetiver is in the same family as Lemon Grass and Citronella and is also a natural insect repellent and can be used in planters on a terrace as a natural and ornamental mosquito repellent. The grass can also be used as an ornamental grass in the garden, producing an attractive head, as the grass is sterile there are no concerns about it becoming invasive.

Around the world, Vetiver has been woven into high grade handicrafts providing a much needed income for many rural communities.