I've been looking at barrier plants, with the idea of 'fencing' off our future food forest area from kikuyu invasion.

Came across Vetiver ( http://www.vetivernurseries.co.nz/index.php… ) which sounds amazing, might have to give that a go, though to do the whole perimeter at the recommended 5 plants per meter could be costly unless I get a handful & then get cuttings for the rest.

Would be nice to use some natives as well if possible, perhaps Toetoe?

Anyone have some experience or recommendations? (I'm situated near Raglan in the Waikato)

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The best I found is Caucasian Clover (Trifolium ambiguum) - grows up to 45 cm high, is slow to establish but has a strong and deep (>30cm) root system. For example from here: http://www.specseed.co.nz/

I would make the barrier 2-3m wide.

Please try more than one species at the time and report your experience with them.  I would be interested in both success and failure reports.

50-70 gram Trifolium ambiguum seed per square metre (about 1 seed ever 1 cm).

Hello Nathan, took a tour Robyn and Robert Guyton's food forest in Riverton over the weekend and they grow a lot of Alexanders Smyrnium olusatrum around their trees to smother the couch which has a similar growth habit to kikuyu.  The seeds are available through the SCEC 


I'm not so sure about Smyrnium olusatrum

- A bi-annual. This means permanent (hopefully self-) reseeding is nessary.

  This also means that other (especial C4 carbon fixation) species can outgrow it in its young growing state.

- The foliage look not very dense. I doubt you can create a dense enough population to prevent germination of other seeds.


Its a good Food forest plant, but I wouldn't use a bi-annual as barrier plant.

I have first hand expierence with Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) as a "last resort" ground cover (edible).  I usually not recommend it to people exept if they have the battle for the ground cover already lost (to the wandering jew (Tradescantia fluminensis) for example).

There is no way back once you plant it.

If you are willing to risk a "take over" of your Food Forest ground, a Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) belt of 2-3m will stop your invasive grass for sure.



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