growing Kudzu

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by catfishcookin, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. catfishcookin

    catfishcookin Active Member

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    We live in the mountains...rocks everywhere and much of the terrain is steeper than "rolling". As we clear out dead pines and junk trees off, can we plant Kudzu to control erosion while at the same time feeding our goats with it? Will the goats keep it under control? Where can you buy it to plant? If it does get out of control, we can pasture our hogs in it and they will uproot all of it. What do you think?
     
  2. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Catfishcookin, I had similar questions, and wondered about growing it where I live, in the dry eastern plains of Colorado. Read an article about a couple who use it for cattle feed, chickens, pigs, and every other stock they own, and claim their cows gave more milk than any other cows in the country while on this for feed. If you've seen how it has overtaken parts of the South, you'll have to think this over carefully. Don't know what part of the country you live in, but since it was imported originally from Asia, it should be able to be grown in cooler climates without overrunning the entire place. I HOPE! Now, finding some to plant might be another story. I wondered if in an area such as mine, if it could be kept under control by limited watering, and cutting it back to be fed as a supplement to hay for our goats and sheep. Maybe there is someone who lives in another area of the country who has done so and will give us some info. Jan in CO
     

  3. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    Best check your laws before you do that. It's illegal to plant in MANY places because it is impossible to control. We have it here (AL/TN) and where you see kudzu, it overtakes things quickly.

    I believe folks have experimented with cows and goats and other things eating kudzu, but I can't tell you whether it worked or not. Maybe a google search would turn up information. If I remember correctly, a kind of starchy flour can be made from the roots by cruching them, washing them, drying them, etc. Not sure of its quality or edibility.

    Think REALLY seriously before you introduce this stuff. There are lots of southerners that wish it had never been brought into the States.

    Regards,
    Darren
     
  4. catfishcookin

    catfishcookin Active Member

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    I live between Tn and Ky. Is it illegal to plant here?
     
  5. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    PLEASE do not try growing this stuff. I do not know for certain whether it is illegal here in TN (or KY, for that matter.) You should contact your county extension agent or your state dept of natural resources, etc. if you really want to know. Seriously-- people have tried growing this stuff for various reasons, and folks have tried to control it. To my knowledge, it cannot be controlled by any means short of napalm. For all the harm it causes, I wish it were gone off the face of the planet.

    I've seen places were tens and hundreds of acres were covered in nothing but kudzu. I've seen where it's smothered out hundred-year-old oak trees-- trees eighty feet tall. This stuff is REALLY a bad idea. Please do not try it. We've got enough of this junk here in the south already.
     
  6. Tater'sPa

    Tater'sPa Well-Known Member

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    It won't be long before the entire south will be covered with it. :eek: :)
    Here in NC it's taking over rapidly. It can grow nearly a foot in a days time.
    Before you consider planting it in TN check with the state.
    This site may help
    Exotic Pest Plant Council
    http://www.se-eppc.org/states/tennessee.cfm
     
  7. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have a friend in the mountains of VA on the WV border who planted kudzu. Controlled his erosion fine but now he spends more time trying to control the kudzu than he ever did the erosion.

    Since I am moving to that area and have chickens I'd like to know what plant of the plant they'll eat. I could have a non stop supply of feed from his place.

    Liz
     
  8. catfishcookin

    catfishcookin Active Member

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    Well...I'm from the North and I am still bitter about the Civil War...couldn't I plant Kudzu as a form of retaliation? Or did someone already beat me to it?
     
  9. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

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    Catfishcooking, I've been thinking about trying some Kudzu myself. I live in MS and have seen what it can do if not controlled, it can be some bad stuff but there are some good qualities other than erosion control. They use it in Japan like corn starch and it has medicinal properties as well. I've heard you can feed this to an alcoholic and he will stop drinking. I was thinking about getting some cuttings and planting them in a steel barrel or something to contain the roots and use the folage for compost, I read where records were set using this as an organic fertilizer. I've noticed a lot of plants with good qualities can easily get out of control. We have serious problems with Chinese Privet hedge and more recently a grass from Africa has moved in (Cogon), now this is some really bad stuff.
    Here's some info from Richter's.
    KUDZU

    Pueraria lobata (P. thunbergiana)

    Tender Perennial Uses: medicinal Sow No:15
    (Ge Gen) Chinese vine used to relieve thirst, fevers, flu, and vomitting. Its long use in China to treat alcoholism was backed up in recent animal studies at Harvard: injections of daidzin, an active principle of the root, reduced alcohol consumption by more than 50%. Cannot be shipped to the U.S. where it has become a serious weed in the south.
    Due to USDA regulations, this item can not be shipped to the USA.
     
  10. Tater'sPa

    Tater'sPa Well-Known Member

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    :haha: Y'all won the first round..why ya bitter? hehe
    I think some yank brought it over here in the late 1800's :haha: .
    The flowers sure are pretty and make a great jelly and yes there are alot of medicinal properties of the weed.
    I've heard the best way to start it is from a root pod, cuttings are difficult to grow.
    :) T
     
  11. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

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    i know - there are supposedly good points about kudzu - but, whenever i hear someone ask "how can i grow kudzu", i get the same feeling as if they asked "how can i increase the size of my tumor" -
    catfish - you've got me stumped - there's not a whole lot of room between TN and KY that i'm aware of -
    good luck with the erosion - try your local road departments and find out what they seed on bare ground after new construction - its obviously something suited to your specific area
     
  12. catfishcookin

    catfishcookin Active Member

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    If we planted it and had a herd of, say 20-30 goats and some cattle, wouldn't they keep it under control...I saw a documentary that said those animals love it and it is good for them. What other fast growing ground cover is good for pasturing these animals on...something that grows fast and hearty year after year?
     
  13. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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  14. Tater'sPa

    Tater'sPa Well-Known Member

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    :haha: :haha:
    No need to feed kudzu, just drop it and run.
     
  15. cowman

    cowman Well-Known Member

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    Did some reading on this and the best I remember it is great for cattle but you have to do control grazing because cattle will kill it if you let them graze it close.