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Growing Kudzu (Michael H. Warfield )
Lanier Network Knitting Circle - Thaumaturgy & Speculums Division


        Photocopies of this have been  kicking around our  office
for  ages.   It  has no author's name attached or any publication
information so I have no idea  where  it  originally  came  from.
This may be a little out of season but from what I guess, you can
plant kuzu any time of the year and enjoy it for  generations  to
come.   For  those of you up north, yes this is a real plant, and
rumor has it that there are odds being  taken,  on  when  Georgia
will disappear under a cover of the stuff.


		Gardening Tips from Down South

		      How to Grow Kudzu

        All you beginning  gardeners  out  there  might  want  to
consider growing kudzu as a fine way to launch out into the great
adventure of gardenning in the south.  Kudzu, for  those  of  you
not  already  familiar  with it, is a hardy perennial that can be
grown quite well by the beginner who observes  these  few  simple

Choosing a Plot:

        Kudzu can be grown almost anywhere, so site selection  is
not  the  problem  it  is  with  some  other  finicky plants like
strawberries.  Although kudzu will grow quite well on cement, for
best  result you should select an area having at least some dirt.
To avoid possible lawsuits, it is advisable to  plant  well  away
from your neighbors house, unless, of course, you don't get along
well with your neighbor anyway.

Preparing the Soil:

        Go out and stomp on the soil for a while just to get  its
attention and to prepare it for kudzu.

Deciding When to Plant:

        Kudzu should always be planted at  night.   If  kudzu  is
planted  during daylight hours, angry neighbors might see you and
begin throwing rocks at you.

Selecting the Proper Fertilizer:

        The best fertilizer I have discovered  for  kudzu  is  40
weight  non-detergent  motor  oil.   Kudzu  actually doesn't need
anything to help it grow, but the  motor  oil  helps  to  prevent
scraping the underside of the tender leaves when the kudzu starts
its rapid growth.  It also cuts down on the friction and  lessens
the  danger of fire when the kudzu really starts to move.  Change
oil once every thousand feet or every two weeks which ever  comes

Mulching the Plants:

        Contrary to what may be told by  the  Extension  Service,
kudzu  can  profit  from a good mulch.  I have found that a heavy
mulch for the young plants produces a  hardier  crop.   For  best
results, as soon as the young shoots begin to appear, cover kudzu
with concrete blocks.  Although this causes a temporary  setback,
your  kudzu will accept this mulch as a challenge and will reward
you with redoubled determination in the long run.

Organic or Chemical Gardenning:

        Kudzu is ideal for either the  organic  gardener  or  for
those  who  prefer  to  use  chemicals  to ward off garden pests.
Kudzu is oblivious to both chemicals and pests.   Therefore,  you
can  grow organically and let the pests get out of the way of the
kudzu as best they can, or you can spray  any  commercial  poison
directly  on  your  crop.   Your decision depends on how much you
enjoy killing bugs.  The kudzu will not mind either way.

Crop Rotation:

        Many gardeners are understandably concerned that  growing
the  same  crop  year  after  year will deplete the soil.  If you
desire to change from kudzu to some other plant next year, now is
the  time  to  begin preparations.  Right now, before the growing
season has reached its peak, you should list your house  and  lot
with a reputable real estate agent and begin making plans to move
elsewhere.  Your chances of selling will be better now than  they
will  be  later  in  the  year,  when  it  may be difficult for a
prospective buyer to realize that  underneath  those  lush  green
vines stands an adorable three-bedroom house.

{ed I didn't know what Kudzu was, so the submitter provided the following

	From "The American Heritage Dictionary":

Kudzu (kood'zoo) n. A vine, Pueraria lobata, native to Japan, having compound
	leaves and clusters of redish purple flowers and grown for fodder
	and foiage.

	Kudzu was introduced to Georgia earlier this century in an attempt
to provide improved fodder for cattle.  It worked ALL TOO WELL.  Cattle
do love kudzu but not nearly as much as kudzu loves Georgia.  Georgia
provides nearly ideal climate and growing conditions for this rapid growing
and hardy perenial (that's "hardy", as in calling nuclear weapons "explosive").

	People have been known to leave home on vaction down here only to
return a week later to find cars and other LARGE objects buried under it's
lush greener.  It climbs telephone poles and crosses wires.  It's eradication
is a major expense to utility companies.  The City of Atlanta has used
bulldozers to dig up the tubers in vacant lots.  It's resistant to most
"safe" chemicals although 2,4,D has some effect if used frequently enough.
It's sometimes call "yard-a-night" down here because that's how fast it
seems to grow.  The only question seems to be whether the "yard" referred
to is that of "3 feet" or that of "front and back".  Rumor has it that some
of the roads in the more rural areas don't get enough traffic and will be
covered by kudzu after a long holiday weekend.

	It is a very pretty vine in early spring and summer.  It's broad
leaves and flowers are quite attractive until you start to realize that
the dead stick, that it's sunning itself on, use to be a hugh pine tree.
In the winter, the first hard frost turns kudzu into tons of ugly brown
leaves and thick vines.  It becomes a real eyesore and possibly a fire
hazard although I haven't heard of any actual kudzu fires.  The plant regrows
new vines from the ground up every year, so you can see it's growth rate must
be phenominal.

	I understand that the Japanese make a highly regarded form of tofu
from kudzu tubers.  It is supposed to be prized for it's nutty flavor (soy
tofu is rather bland).  The Japanese cannot produce enough to meet their
own demand and think we're NUTS for trying to eliminate it.  I haven't
been able to confirm this use for kudzu, but, if true, they may well be right.
We've got plenty of hungery people and LOTS of kudzu!

	The existance of kuzu in a neigborhood has been known to, adversely,
affect property values.  The threat of planting kudzu in someone's yard is
generally considered an extreme case of "fight'en words", potentially followed
by "justifiable homicide".  Regardless, you can still obtain kudzu seeds
from several major seed companies who list it as a "hardy ornamental
perenial".  If understatement was a crime they'd be history.

	If you didn't retain the original article (I would imagine you
get tons of stuff you don't keep track of), here it is again.

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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