“Southerners must close their windows at night to
keep the kudzu out…”
Quote from The Amazing Story of Kudzu
I can remember when we were growing up, just about every weekend we made a trip from our house in Jackson, MS to Grandma Carley's & Pumpkin's house in Yazoo City. As soon as you got into Yazoo County, the Kudzu was everywhere. We would jump out of the car and head out into the woods to play as kids. The rolling hills were covered in kudzu. We loved going to visit. When my girls were growing up, I would take them to visit some the same areas we played as kids.
Carley on a swing over one of the dried up creek beds. See the Kudzu in the back ground?
Doodle took her turn. When we were younger, that creek would have been filled with water. Oh those were some great times we had as kids.
My sweet Grandma Carley, late in life, when her stories were true in her own mind, told Scott, the first time she meet him, that she brought Kudzu with her when she moved to Yazoo City from Kansas as a young girl.
Did you know that Kudzu was once planted as a decorative ornamental? It was introduced to the US in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, and promoted for use as a decorative plant in gardens, and as a way to control erosion on slopes. Kudzu blooms mostly in July and August, and has very long clusters of dark purple, very sweet smelling flowers. When in bloom, the grape-like smell is very strong and pleasant.
The south has near perfect conditions for kudzu– hot summers, mild winters with few hard freezes, high humidity and normally high amounts of rainfall, and no natural predators. In fact, it grows much better here in the south than it does in it’s native land of Japan. As a result, this vine now covers more than 7 million acres in the southern US, and has destroyed much forest and farm land, both public and private. Here, it grows at the unbelievable rate of a foot (a FOOT!) a day during spring and summer, up to 60 ft per season, completely covering trees and roadsides, power poles, fences, yards, houses, absolutely everything in it’s path. It can spread for many miles, it’s roots go as deep as twelve feet in the ground, and it can take up to 10 years of specific herbicide use to get rid of it.
This is not ornamental!!!! This is an EVIL plant!!! The neighbor cleaned off this fence about 2 months ago and now it has come back and this time, it is on our side of the fence. We have tried a few home-made concoctions, but with no luck. I guess we will have to get some Round-up. Does anyone else have any suggestions of something we can try?
I would love to hear some ideas from some of you.