For those cursed with Kudzu.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We are luckily free of Kudzu on our land in NC but it is VERY prevalent in areas up there.
    It is amazing to see ACRES covered with it,even 'drowning' the trees.

    Be VERY thankful you do not have this plant on your land.

    www.progressivefarmer.com/farmer/print/article/0,24829,1111412,00.html

    Kudzu Killers

    by By John Leidner

    Small ruminants are natural lawn mowers.


    Near pastures and timber at the University of Georgia's Griffin campus, portable electric fence netting confines a flock of sheep in a patch of kudzu. Or at least it was kudzu. In just one and a half days, these animals have completely destroyed it.
    Here and at other universities, researchers continue to see great potential for the use of sheep and goats to control unwanted vegetation such as kudzu, privet and brambles. They are a good alternative to herbicides and mowing.

    At North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus, for instance, goats are being used in a multiyear project to control kudzu.

    Will Getz, an animal scientist at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, points to Dick Henry of Concord, N.H., as one of the leaders in the use of small ruminants for weed control. Henry's firm, Bellwether Solutions, provides the sheep that have successfully cleared vegetation for utility companies in New Hampshire and Tallahassee, Fla.

    Henry charges by the acre for vegetation control, and the price generally goes down as the amount of land to be cleared increases, explains Getz.

    Officials with Public Service of New Hampshire say Henry's sheep are natural lawn mowers and were effective on leaves of young maple, oak, cherry and birch, which grow on the utility's rights-of-way.

    Getz believes sheep and goats put to such use also will need access to permanent pastures as a safety valve should the targeted vegetation become short.

    Sheep are good for clearing vegetation such as broadleaf weeds, legumes and grasses. But Getz says goats would be the choice if the invasive brush includes multiflora roses, briars and brambles.

    To suppress or eradicate vegetation, Getz says the stocking rate needs to be high-as many as 200 to 300 sheep or goats per acre. He notes that the animals may be hungry for a day or two as they completely defoliate the vegetation before being moved to a new patch of weeds. Portable electric fencing and solar-powered fence chargers make this type of vegetation control possible in remote locations.
     
  2. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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  3. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    its like some mutant alien creature from a horror movie.



    you know that's proof positive that the earth will rebound from us. without the constant attack on the vegetation that keeps it in check this world will be entirely green within a year of humanities demise :D
     
  4. 1/4acre

    1/4acre Well-Known Member

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    .. I've seen this stuff, those should be some FAT sheep and goats the way that kudzu grows.
     
  5. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Up in NC it is all dying back fromt eh cold-if anything it looks WORSE...

    It is funny how it will totally take over one piece of land but the neighboring land is untouched.

    I wonder if you could make a living clearing land with goats???
     
  6. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

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    People do Oz...They rent out herds to people wanting to clear underbrush and fields of kudzu. The article say 200 head per acre...they ain't ever seen a goat in action. I've given some thought bout renting out a herd. Would be kind of cool but probably a pain in the tail.
     
  7. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's why I'm putting in a few goats once the fences are built. If the darn stuff wasn't so invasive, it could be a blessing. The greens don't taste that bad and the tubers make an excellent flour (I've read but not tried). The blooms smell just like grape Kool Aid.
     
  8. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    The Kudzu-ate-the-world story is, ecologically speaking, a myth. Gosh, people love hype and scare today. If you don't plant it you won't get it.

    Don't worry, avian flu or global warming will kill us all first because eating Kudzu will protect us against radiation posioning from the fallout of the coming nuclear holocaust.

    Kudzu has already been touted, debunked, and reproclaimed in a previous thread.
     
  9. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The blooms can be used to make excellent jelly too and is more nutritional for livestock than alfalfa.

    The banks of our diversion ditch and creek were planted in kudzu many years ago by the Corp of Engineers. We don't think of it as a terrible thing...it keeps the banks from eroding and we keep it bush-hogged in place. If we didn't do that for a year or so kudzu would be the only thing growing on this place.

    It just takes a little effort to keep it in check.
     
  10. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well it certainly has been 'planted' a lot in our area of NC...

    Of course it could have been spread inadvertantly...perhaps when someone bush hogged it and spread it elsewhere?
     
  11. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Can I get some to plant on my property in Kansas? My goats could use some better brush to chomp on. Don't know that I've seen it in Kansas.
     
  12. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    Nope, it has to be planted. It has hardly any capacity for dispersal other than with man's aid.

    It was planted very extensively in the south for erosion control as Ravenlost has noted its utility.
     
  13. Ed in S. AL

    Ed in S. AL Well-Known Member

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    I'll trade you this sorry Jap grass for Kudzu any day. This stuff will grow through tire rubber.
     
  14. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    wow so kudzu is good human food too?

    i wonder if anyone has done a nutrition analysis per acre vs something you need to help to grow like corn.

    if the tubers are like a potato, the flowers like a jam, the leaves like a lettuce, i mean, this might be an awesome survival sort of food right?

    we need to look into this more!
     
  15. SDjulieinSC

    SDjulieinSC Well-Known Member

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    If you can get to SC I'll dig and load it up for you....all you want. My yard is a mess from it!!!!!!!!!!! I'd even pitch in for gas!!!!!!!!! I HATE KUDZU!!!
     
  16. POULTRYWAGON

    POULTRYWAGON Active Member

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    Very true about the jelly... I made some this year for the first time, and it's a lovely dark pink, and very tasty. :) The flowers are so fragrant...

    I didn't pick the flowers on our property; thankfully we don't have any here yet.....just honeysuckle.

    Which, by the way, I made honeysuckle jelly this year too. Might as well use it for something!

    There are areas right down the road from us, where all the trees are completely covered with kudzu.... I thought about trying some of the leaves for food, as I read that they taste like green beans.
    True?
     
  17. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Found that it is considered a noxious weed in Kansas. If they find it on your land, they can force you to spray it, or they will come and spray it for you. So glad that my government knows what is best to have on my land. It appears to me that most of the noxious weeds in Kansas are plants that are simply not good for the cattlemen, and if you want to raise some other livestock, you're on your own. I get really annoyed at the government controlling everything I do on my own land.
     
  18. Terrabus

    Terrabus Middle-Aged Delinquent

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    just throw the seeds and run!
     
  19. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The leaves can be cooked like spinach too. It's a very nutritious food and my son says if the end of civilization occurs the state of Mississippi will survive just fine on kudzu.
     
  20. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i like kudzu too.

    you gotta live with a while before you learn to like it. it can be controlled, and the rent a goat has been discussed at length on here.

    if you think about it, kudzu these days mainly grows on places that would STILL be eroding, if the kudzu was removed.

    in our community, we are deciding to leave it as it is. after all, appalachia wouldn't be the same without kudzu draped over junk cars.

    we are beginning to think of it as a tourist attraction.