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Discussion in 'Plants: Conservation' started by Daniel Mosquin, Oct 17, 2007.
From the Oct. 13 Toronto Star:
Vine that ate the South is creeping northward
It is one nasty weed! It grows about a foot a day.
Googled it so that I would know what to look out for and suggest that others who are unfamiliar with the weed should do the same and that if it does come north it would be unwise to stand still near it for too long!!!
Many years ago my parents bough some land in Tennesse. When I first saw it a was dismayed at the blanket of Kudzo that covered nearly three acres. Some had grown over the tops of mature Poplar trees in excess of one hundred feet. They spent the first few years trying everything to keep it from spreading but nothing worked very well. Then they bought the cows! In just a few years the cows had cleared it all. I actually saw one grab a vine with its mouth and walk backwards to pull it from a tree. By the time my parents got to old to care for cows, the cows had cleared the land of the kudzo completely by eating every sprout that even tried to grow.
Moral of the story is: Be as diligent as a cow!
Goats also will eat kudzu and are used to clear the land from it as well.
Yes, goats eat it,cows eat it and maybe even deer. But the best defense is to keep it out of Canada. You don't have enough goats or cows. This year in Alabama we had a late frost, very severe drought (about thirty inches below normal). and water rationing.
My snowball bush is dead, and a couple of trees. The grass was so dry it was like walking on peanut shells, but the kudzu is doing fine.
Yes, deer also - this is why it is often harder to find in the middle of the woods and grows mainly on the edges near the roads and on steep terrain. Last year I was trying to find it in the woods in Tennessee. I hiked for about 7 miles and never saw any despite the stuff growing all along the roadside on my trip to the park.
People can eat it too - the leaves are edible raw as are the young shoots (unless they are doused in herbicide thanks to the government). Supposedly it has little flavor and makes a good salad green. I have seen recipes for fried kudzu leaves that supposedly taste like potato chips. I have never tried kudzu since I have yet to find a source I trust (i.e. not sprayed) but I would like to out of curiousity.
What amazes me most about this plant is that the U.S. government once paid farmers money to plant this stuff by the acre for erosion control. Now it is illegal to intentionally plant it.
Many wetlands here are choked with canary reedgrass, another one dispersed and promoted by the government for erosion control. On one formerly intertidal, managed site recently improved for public access and use I've visited there was a plaque explaining that salt water was being re-admitted in the hope of clearing out the grass.
Does the cow solution work for ivy as well? I would love an excuse to have a little cow or goat.
Ivy seems pretty noxious. I doubt cows would touch it.
Another "erosion control" plant was crown vetch. A cultivated variety called "Penngift" was planted all over Pennsylvania. Turned out it didn't hold the soil well at all and, worse, it displaced native species that would.
Goats will eat ivy if my lot are normal goats :))
Might be more trouble than it is worth however. Tethering can be dangerous and they do need other food beside the ivy.
Looks like we have Kudzu in Queensland. They are working very hard to control and get rid of it. Apparently it has good nitrogen fixing properties. It looks like it may have been introduced as a fodder plant. Belongs to the legumes. Also used as a medicinal herb Sounds like a bit of a monster