Kudzu does not do well on extremely heavy clays, or on poorly drained
soils. Pick a field that has deep, well drained soils. Kudzu is very
tolerant of a wide variety of soils, but obviously the better the soil
the faster the establishment and the better the production.
It must be set in prepared ground with a minimum of competition present.
Liming is necessary, especially on very acid soils. Apply lime during
ground preparation to bring the soil pH to 6.5 to 7.0. Alternately, mix
about 0.4 lbs. ag lime in the soil used to plant each crown.
Fertilization to begin the stand: Broadcast about 500 lbs. 0-20-20 per
acre just prior to planting. Alternately, apply one handfull of 0-20-20
in separate holes about 3-4 inches from each seedling or crown planted.
This prevents the fertilizer from burning the roots. Remember, that the
broadcasting method will also be fertilizing weeds that will compete
with the new kudzu growth. Whichever method is used, repeat each spring
at least until the kudzu is well established. Do not use any nitrogen
fertilizers since the kudzu is a legume and will provide for itself.
Set seedlings or crowns in a hole opened with either a tree planting
bar, mattock, or similar device, about 6' apart. Buds on the crown or
seeling stock should be set at or just below the ground surface. Firm
the soil around the plant. Stand failures frequently result from too
deep or too shallow setting, or from setting plants upside down. After
vines have started propagation can be hastened by placing soil on vine
nodes, which will then cause new crowns to develope.
Do not mulch.
Do not mow kudzu during the growing season during establishment, until
after a killing frost. Annual mowing, hand cutting of runners, grazing
or use of herbicides can control growth of vines into unwanted areas. I
do not know how to harvest kudzu for hay, but an old farm management
textbook might have that info.
With that all said, I would appreciate it if you would not bring up my
name when someone asks "What the devil were you thinking by deliberately
planting this stuff?" ;->
Son of Richard
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