Living on the beachfront can be stressful when high tides and onshore winds cause beach erosion and loss of property frontage.
Recent footage of houses tumbling into the sea on the Central Coast of New South Wales were harrowing pictures for anyone and especially those living on the beachfront.
Beachmere home owners have recently been involved in disputes with Moreton Bay Regional Council when they built rock walls, on their own properties, to mitigate erosion and damage. Rock walls, while protective of the embankment, unfortunately, can sometimes lead to beach sand loss.
Local Beachmere resident Dave Riley has been a “gardener” for many years and has been / was actively involved in the Beachmere State School garden for many years.
Recently Dave developed an interest in foreshore erosion and has been trialling Vetiver grass, which is in the same family as Lemongrass, at the front of several properties on the Beachmere foreshore.
Vetiver grass (Monto Vetiver Grass – Chrysopogon zizanioides) has been used to combat land erosion on vertical slopes, is drought resistant, tolerant to climatic change and fast growing with it’s root system can descend to two metres or three metres within its first year. It can reach up to 2 metres above ground and has been used as stock feed and to stop runoff in cane drains.
“Vetiver grass is a long lived premier anti erosion plant but not often used in foreshore conditions — despite being salt tolerant.” Dave said
“We have been experimenting with plantings at several Beachmere beach front properties and trialling different mulches and management regimes.”
Dave’s interest in local erosion issues and his knowledge of Vetiver grass has led to a business opportunity and, with his son Keir, they have been supplying sterile (non seeding) Vetiver grass to nurseries, farms and home owners around the country.
For more information on Vetiver grass contact Dave Riley on 0499 728 372 or through growvetiver.com.
From left Vetiver grass grower Dave Riley with Gillian Morandy checking on the Vetiver grass stabilising sand dunes on her property.