UK Grown Vetiver
UK Grown Vetiver
UK grown Vetiver has in its first full season shown promise. All the plants have significantly increased in size and biomass. The average increase in biomass is an extraordinary 2500-3000%. The roots have tripled in length, whilst the leaves have doubled in length. Both the leaves and roots have also substantially bulked up.
Growing Vetiver in the UK
The Vetiver slips were planted at the end of April, at our nursery in Wiltshire. They were planted approximately 25cm apart and in rows similarly distanced. The site is protected and south facing, receiving maximum exposure to the sun. The land had previously been used to grow organic vegetables, on a no dig basis. Organic matter had been incorporated into the soil over several years. No additional feed or fertiliser was used during the season.
The plants were watered three times a week, throughout the summer, except when torrential rain did the job for us. The beds were kept weed free by hand, until the plants became so dense there was little need to weed.
The plants will now be overwintered, using a variety of methods. These trials will form part of the PhD Research project being conducted by Vetiver Grass UK’s founder Sue Rodgers.
Using Vetiver in the UK
Vetiver is used around the world to protect and restore the environment. It is used to conserve soil and water; stabilise slopes; Phyto-remediate contaminated land and water. Field trials in the UK are assessing how effective Vetiver will be at removing excess nutrients from the soil. The trials will also look at the ability of Vetiver to reduce runoff and soil erosion, that also cause pollution.
To benefit from the incredible properties of Vetiver, it will have to be carefully managed. As a tropical grass, Vetiver will only successfully grow in the south of England, including southern Wales.