Updated: Nov 15
In June, we started the expansion of the vetiver nursery at the Huasteca Regenerative Agriculture Center.
We started by trimming the plants in our existing beds to 30 cm.It is recommended that the plants be cut back like this, two to three times within the first year of growth to increase thickness of the cluster, promote side growth, and increase the quantity of tillers that we can later separate.
We decide that it is more efficient to plant in ground rows rather than in beds, as the beds are an extra, unnecessary complication and expense that could be avoided if we properly prepare the soil in our new area first.
We started by adding some sand and cachasa (sugar cane waste similar to compost) to the area, and then we ripped and disced it in with the tractor. Ultimately our final soil mixture was roughly 50% existing heavy clay soil, 20% sand, and 30% cachasa.
Once the soil was properly mixed, we then planted 800 tillers in one area, and 200 in another for a clean total expansion of 1000 tillers total. In all of our nursery areas, the plants are spaced 30 cm apart to promote tiller growth, but also shade out the soil enough to suppress weed growth.
We will continue to add updates to this post as we expand our nursery more.