Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

This is the school Vetiver maze after being cut for mulch and trimmed.
Primed for regrowth.
This is the sort of clump height to aspire to when hedging garden beds.
Mulch can be harvested according to need and supply.

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Comment by Dave Riley on August 8, 2019 at 15:13

You could plant Vetiver around your raised beds. And you could crete a raised bed using Vetiver. For access, just keep the clumps trimmed. Would suit a keyhole garden design.

What you could do is: 

  • make a circle or keyhole shape on the ground and plant its outline with Vetiver.
  • throw cuttings and soil bits into the surrounded space and start to build up your raised bed that way.
  • as the Vetiver consolidates add more soil and stuff and keep cutting the Vetiver back for mulch.
  • if any clump gets too high or too wide, just cut it back

Aside from the engineering offered -- a cheap DIY raised bed -- the Vetiver is greatly advantageous to plants grown in its immediate vicinity not only in way of bug control (research push/pull proven), but also as a wicking tool to add moisture to the beds, protect them from wind and offering shade.

Alternative just plant Vetiver in rows like this and plant in between. As long as you have enough path space for a wheel chair, I think it's school kosher. This is a school in Mexico:

The trick in vegetable gardening with Vetiver as a companion plant is to grow and divide the clumps, so that you add more and move hedges around as your needs change and grow.

Grow each clump to <15 tillers and it's an easy dig up, divide and shift.

In way of design, in my experience with primary school kids, I think that being able to walk on mulched beds is a preferable interaction than raising them. Afterall they are closer to the ground than us.

Comment by Valerie on August 8, 2019 at 12:04

That looks awesome. I wish I had enough space to do that at school.

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

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