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Old June 16, 2013   #1
ScottinAtlanta
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Default Kudzu compost - for Southerners

Folks, I have been experimenting with kudzu compost this spring. As you know, kudzu compost is an old Southern secret, which apparently works because kudzu, a bean vine, is high in nitrogen.

Using a machete, I collect a batch of green kudzu, vines and leaves - a couple of bushels - put it through the wood chipper, and end up with a chopped green mulch. It acts like a turbo charge to the compost pile.

24 hours after mixing it with some water into browns (mostly dry mulched leaves and chipped wood), the compost pile is steaming. I can't put my hand into the middle of it, the heat is so high. After a week or so, the browns become a kind of humus, light brown and crumbly. In six weeks, black compost. Amazing!

I now do this every few weeks as the compost pile gets more browns.

Any other experience with kudzu compost?
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Old June 16, 2013   #2
KY Grower
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Will definitely give this a try Scott. There is certainly an unlimted supply of Kudsu.
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Old June 16, 2013   #3
FisherPrice
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Wow Kudzu!...I grew up in South Carolina and now live in Alaska. I have not seen Kudzu in 20 years. Spanish Moss, Kudzu, Mistletoe, and Magnolias. And one can't forget Cicadas, and Fireflies. I really miss the south! Please forgive the ramblings of a displaced southern boy.

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Old June 16, 2013   #4
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I can tell some horror stories about that stuff, hope none of it takes root in your compost pile. That equals big trouble. Growing up in the south I never heard of it being used for compost will give it a shot.


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Old June 16, 2013   #5
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Scott - I've never tried it myself but will based on your post. Sounds like an excellent ingredient for the pile when shredded!
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Old June 16, 2013   #6
kurt
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Default Just be careful handling it.

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Originally Posted by jerryinfla View Post
Scott - I've never tried it myself but will based on your post. Sounds like an excellent ingredient for the pile when shredded!
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...ighlight=kudzu
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Old June 16, 2013   #7
ScottinAtlanta
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Yes, careful mulching is essential. Also, I am harvesting it in early budding season, before seeds. However, I wonder if the composting process would sterilize any seeds in any case?
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Old June 17, 2014   #8
daninpd
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Default Legumes

Just remember that legumes fix nitrogen in the soil because most of the nitrogen in the plant is in the root system. That's the nitrogen fix, plant the beans, next year plant the corn in the same spot. Or plant pole beans around corn. One plant fixes nitrogen the other plant needs a lot of it.

I have seen kudzu at it's worst and I'm not about to plant it here to benefit from it's root system. Never used it, not an kudzu expert but I would plan on it for compost and mulch. I would not expect to find a lot of N in those leaves.
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Old June 18, 2014   #9
ScottinAtlanta
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Just made another batch of kudzu compost. 24 hours after adding the shredded kudzu to mulched oak leaves, the temps have risen to 120 degrees. This stuff is like rocket fuel in the compost pile.
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Old June 18, 2014   #10
budfaux
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Sorry I didn't see this thread before I started mine, Scott!

Believe I'll be trying your compost recipe.
I think I'll also dry a few batches on some old windowscreens and turn it into a moreof a powder form.
It's cool to experiment with the free stuff at our disposal...
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Old June 19, 2014   #11
amideutch
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Here is the guy that put Kudzu on the map with this book. Good information on the subject and how to do it.

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Old May 13, 2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amideutch View Post
Here is the guy that put Kudzu on the map with this book. Good information on the subject and how to do it.

ami
A very good read too. He made me wish that I had some Kudzu around. It sounds like great stuff for the garden.
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Old May 15, 2017   #13
Keiththibodeaux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amideutch View Post
Here is the guy that put Kudzu on the map with this book. Good information on the subject and how to do it.

ami
I read that book years ago. I was wondering how much his Kudzu compost contributed to his amazing success. Alfalfa has similar qualities and is easily available everywhere in various forms. It might make an interesting substitute for those not in Kudzu lands.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #14
MsCowpea
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I have carefully read ‘How to Grow World Record Tomatoes’ by Charles Wilber many times. If kudzu was in my backyard I would love to collect it, chop it up, and cook it into submission in my compost pile. I’d even do it for a measly 100 pounds of tomatoes per plant, far short of Wilber’s 342 pounds. Mr. Wilber does give high nitrogen substitutes if you live in kudzu-free area.

The kudzu compost is just one component of an entire system. He is very exacting in his methods—from producing the compost to setting and growing the plants. Mr Wilber is a stern taskmaster and he gives all his secrets in the hope that his reader can match or surpass his documented achievements (1,368 pounds of tomatoes on 4 plants or a 27 foot tall cherry tomato, etc.).
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Old June 19, 2014   #15
ScottinAtlanta
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Here is how I make kudzu compost.
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...ighlight=kudzu
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