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Vetiver or something else?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 17
Location: Algarve, Portugal
2
bike duck forest garden greening the desert homestead tiny house wood heat
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So I want to plant something in between my swale and what will be my greenhouse this winter to help prevent the side of the swale from eroding because of the runoff from the greenhouse.
The obvious choice here would be vetiver but I'm a bit disappointed that livestock can't eat it so I'd rather plant something that does the same yet can be eaten by either ducks or guinea pigs.

One alternative that comes to mind is Phalaris arundinacea but I have two worries:
1 doesn't it get way too hot for that here in the South of Portugal (up to 47C in summer)
2 I read that it can be quite invasive but wonder if it isn't too dry for that here anyway


The swale does get flood irrigated once in a while and has about a dozen guava seedlings planted on the berm itself (in between all the sage), some nitrogen fixing trees as well and then a couple more guava's and pomegranates directly below the berm.

Any ideas or other alternatives are welcome.
Swale-greenhouse.jpg
[Thumbnail for Swale-greenhouse.jpg]
The plant will be going a bit to the left of where the orange netting is.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1580
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
35
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My guinea pigs eat vetiver!

You just have to harvest every 3 weeks so that the grass is tender enough.

When you let it grow more, believe me it will give you a super mulch that lasts long! Even for guinea pigs, I still put some old one. They might eat some parts, and the rest keep them dry, and will end up as compost anyway....
 
Martijn Macaopino
Posts: 17
Location: Algarve, Portugal
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I guess I'll just go with vetiver indeed.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1580
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
35
bike forest garden solar tiny house purity wofati
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Martijn Macaopino wrote:I guess I'll just go with vetiver indeed.


I have made a whole thread about my experiment, try to find it! It was not easy to be efficient at the transplant etc at the beginning... Also let it grow enough before cutting for fresh fodder. Plant it very close to another too. We are not tropical, so it will be not nice all winters... If you want some windbreak, let it grow enough to stand dry in winter, it will also be a cold protection. and believe me for this, my minimum is +8ºc! Already cold for vetiver!
 
Posts: 30
Location: outside Brisbane, Australia
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I have an old pony at my place, and she eats the vetiver.

It only started to grow once we fenced her out!
 
Martijn Macaopino
Posts: 17
Location: Algarve, Portugal
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I transplanted some vetiver slips last weekend, hopefully they take. I'll break up another plant or two soon as well and will post a picture then.
 
pollinator
Posts: 349
Location: Redwood Country, Zone 9, 60" rain/yr,
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Assuming you are using plastic as a cover, you could dig a little deeper right at the edge of the greenhouse and bury a bit of the plastic at the edge to function as a gutter. Or put in some weeping tile/4” pipe with slits that absorb and disperse water. You could cut the pipe in half lengthwise and leave it open or bury it whole. If it’s level you will disperse water evenly, if you tilt it you can send it somewhere you want it to go first.
 
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