Thatch Galore

Thatch & Reed

THATCH GRASS AND REED – The most commonly used South African grasses with their main geographical locations are listed below:

  • Hyparrhenia hirta (generally known as common thatching grass) – Natal Berg area, in abundance;
  • Hyperphilia dissoluta (commonly known as yellow thatching grass) – Northern Province, Mpumalanga, Northern KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland;
  • Hyparrhenia dregeana – Natal midlands and Berg area; Hyparrhenia filipendula (commonly known as fine thatching grass) – KwaZuluNatal, Zululand coastal regions;
  • Thamnochortus insignis (or Cape thatching reed, commonly known as “dekriet”,) – Albertinia and Riversdale districts of the Cape.

The thatching grass must be of a type that has a history of successful use as a roof covering in the relevant geographical locations and it has to be harvested at the time when growth has stopped, or the seed has ripened and dispersed.

After the grass has been cut and loosely bundled, each bundle is shaken vigorously to dislodge all loose material. The bundles are then cleaned by passing a sickle through them, working from top to bottom. Grass bundles are between 75 and 100 mm in diameter. These bundles are each tied with a thong of twisted grass or with twine and packed in heaps.

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