Using Vetiver in the Kitchen Garden

Here's a look-see of how my renovated kitchen garden has come together. The core layout plan rests on planted Vetiver clumps rather than hedges, with all vegetable plantings within a 1.5 metre zone around each clump. No beds. No paths. Just mulched ground with Vetiver here and there and plants in between.

 It needs more work of course but the template is clear.


As for the chains: they're from an aluminium curtain and so far they are working great. Just the right presentation for climbers like beans to attach. For tomatoes, it's an easy wind on without fear of slashing their stems.

After my success with my milkcrate garden I'm finding that growing some vegetables in containers is good business. When I water the container, any water that drains through enters the soil below. As the weather shifts, I can move these containers around to full sun or part shade to suit their disposition.

My hack is that I use my own soil to fill my containers so that presumes I make my own -- which I  do.(Soil + Manure + Wood chips) And all that mulching and Vetiver growing makes great soil. That and the chooks with their scratching about and pooing.

As you see I also use wood chips. There is cardboard under all that chippery and there is no better material than wood chips to hold the cardboard down. Any weed breakthrough is dealt with by laying over a patching of cardboard and more mulch.

Over time the main mulch cover will be cut Vetiver grass, but I reckon a layer of wood chips at least annually is a good idea.

This garden is bore-water fed, although I hand water the pots.I usually turn the bore water sprinklers on once per week.


To plant seedlings into this garden, either use an augur or a stabbing tool. I made one by attaching a very short star post to the end of a short broomstick. You just want a hole of a size  to accommodate a seedling in a tight fit.

Once planted, I mark every seedling with a bamboo stake.

  1. So I can find it
  2. So neither I or the dogs will step on it.

It's remarkable. I may have to scoop some wood chips out of the hole to make room for the seedling, but I have not lost one seedling -- not one!

At present, I'm planting seedlings in groups while I explore various patterns. Sometimes I like to divide the plantings into two separate locations in case one spot prove inhospitable. If shade, part shade or no shade is involved, your planted seedlings will mature to harvest at different rates. That will give you a staggered supply. That way you will avoid gluts.

Compared to the way I gardened before, this layout seems ever so neat. Well it isn't neat so much as navigable as before I was losing produce in the jungle because I could not find it when foraging for food.

This openness is much appreciated by the dogs. For my part, I find walking about the garden between the plnats brings out the peasant in me.




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  • Olena Uutai  is a genre unto herself. Sort of professional shaman. Very popular in Russia. Sort of jawharp  -- Eurovision style.

    Back to the good earth: I'm just about to do a trim run outback because this wet weather has been so verdant making.The chains are performing wonderfully.

    As a reminder: they are lifted from an aluminium chain door curtain which is usually sold as a barrier against flies. Sells for around $70 new. I got mine for $7.

    But the features that matter are (1) it's light and (2) it's a chain -- which give better purchase for the plant as it climbs or is wrapped and twirled  on.

    Twine cuts. Jute rots. Plastic rope is not attachment friendly. Wire is too rigid. Mesh requires you to weave stems in and out such that you can easily break them.In fact: always.

  • I'll just leave this here


  • I used to play harmonica -- way back in the day -- but I had a bad habit of blowing out too many reeds. So I wanted to put something in my mouth that was el cheapo and easy to play. Now, the jawharp industry in Eastern Europe and Russia is very artisan and harps can be expensive if credited to standalone craftsman, but if you ca256597340_10159840044523185_9058296323538211156_n.jpg?profile=RESIZE_400xn get a DanMoi you will get change from $20. Since it is played between the lips -- as against, between the teeth -- it is a very versatile instrument. This is my current collection:

    Very different design from a regular jawharp but played the same way. The little barrels are storage cases...and the string pulls the harps back int them for cartage about.

    In Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Malaysia they are made from bamboo -- but the keenest jawharpers are probably the Siberians where it is traditionally a shaman's instrument. So if you want your plants to grow play 'em a tune on the olde harp --and throqw in some throat singing.

    FYI: my long time jawharp muse is a young Dutch guy who uses it as in beatbox...and I began with his recordings as background for videos I made. You gotta as YouTube is such a  copyright Big Brother they will easily mute your whole video if they even suspect there is infringement.

    My daughter is a successful  'YouTube influencer' and it is a long term problem.

  • Ah!  I thought so, I haven't heard one for a while but recognized it.  You are a man with many skills. Well done.

  • Yes -- ' tis I on my Dan moi (Vietnamese Hmong) jawharp. Composing for films -- mine -- is my only public outlet. Other times I just play it to amuse myself. It is very meditative.

  • Dave, your vetiver suggestion for Andrews rubble garden was a success as we could see at the GV.   I like the chains for climbing plants, hope they work for you.  Were you playing a Jew's Harp in the background of your video.

  • Excellent!

  • Yes. Next video I intend to shoot will be division DIY.

  • Well Mr Riley.  You have taken me to your dark Vetiver side.  This Laird of the Manor doth humbly beseech ye for a video on seperating the vetiver clumps - or even just cutting off the odd pup or two.  I'm sure mine are well ready to be split.  

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