In order to speed up the production process in open air conditions, I've come up with an interesting solution to cut down maintenance and fuel costs relative to the first period of establishment of the new plants:
In my opinion, the best moment to set out with a new nursery is winter: the new plants work below the field and develope new roots that sink deep in the soil in order to resist and thrive
in the next hot season, guaranteeing moisture and growing potential to the recently planted rows. Than the spring comes and together with it, rains and mild temperatures that give the go to all the field vegetation, including graminae weeds which tend to choke the new vetiver plantlets.
In the summer period the graminae flower and die down, while the vetiver strikes new tillers from the base of the plants and mantains its green colour throughout the season until the following winter.
If the plants set out in the winter period do not have a sufficient number of tillers to start with, they will not have the strenght to overcome the weeds in their first period of life in the field and they will need several seasons to reach the point in which the graminae in the field will be shaded out and pull back from the vetiver base.
BUT, if the first growing period is conducted under controlled conditions, away from the agricultural site, the first developement will not be stunted by the weeds
in the following spring period and if the final row planting in open field happens in a second moment, when the spring boom is allready finished and the graminae are allready dying down, we will achieve the following results:
- we can produce much more plants starting from tillers instead of planting material of 3-5 tillers,
- we speed up the growth of the new plants by controlling easily their developing
- we save a lot in fuels and labour by not having to free the nurseries from weeds,
- we speed up the following planting in open field.
Naturally, since plants do not sink their roots directly in the field in the winter period, the new rows, set out at the beginning of summer, will not sustain the heat and
thrive through the growing cycle.Will then be necessary provide the new rows with drip lines.
This is how to produce vetiver plants from single tiller instead than 3-5 tillers planting material, cutting on labour and fuel costs:
- In a pvc pipe 120-125 mm diameter, we remove some three cm of it through its length with the help of a circular saw
- we place lids at both ends of the opened pipe
- we place a u shaped metal wire, connected to a metal plate sitting next to a lid, inside the pipe to ease the extraction of the grown plants from the pipe,
- we fill the pipe with soil, sand and slow release nitrogen fertilizer
- we insert a flat drip line in the pipe.
When we are ready to set the plants in open field, after we have prepared the planting site and did a 30 cm deep furrow, we remove the lids and we extract the plants directly into the planting line pulling both the pipe and the metal wire in opposite directions.
We close than the furrow with spare soil using a hoe and set a drip line all along the newly planted row.
The pipes and the wires can be reused a number of times and there is no waste of non recyclable materials.
Another advantage is that we concentrate a very large amount of new plants in small confined, controlled spaces.