Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 50 - Kudzu

The vine that's trying to take over the world (and doing a darn good job in the south). It will cover anything and everything. When we came back to Alabama in 1990, my farm had been just sitting for almost 30 years. EVERYTHING that was left was covered with kudzu. Several 'outbuildings' - you couldn't see them. If I hadn't known where they were....

The stuff can grow a foot a night (that's 12"). It was imported and planted years ago to help with erosion - and by golly - it does a great job of that.

Fortunately these pictures were NOT taken on my property. The first one is actually a street in town and the one below was the ball field at the Community Center (less than a city block from me). It's kinda scary too, you don't want to try and walk in it. Obviously very long twisty vines.

Mine is gone! That's why we got goats to begin with. They love it. It took them about three years to completely erradicate it, however, it could come back quite easily as it's so close.


Islipian said...

People tell me I'm wrong, but I SWEAR we have kudzu here on Long Island. I have seen many telephone poles and trees smothered in fast-growing green stuff, that *I* think is kudzu (or a pretty near relative). The only reason it wouldn't be MORE prevalant here is that it gets frost killed in the winter...but it starts up all over again in the spring!

Kat Simpson said...

Bettye, I think you are right. I think the stuff is amazingly resilent and tries to grow anywhere. Just the freezes keeps it at bay in the colder climates. Florida has it bad also.

Carole and Chewy said...

I know it's a huge problem - we have it all over too - but I LOVE kudzu. it makes everything look like a Dr. Seuss book, and even the name sounds Seuss-y.

I sold an old gardening catalog from 1951 last winter, and it had an article about the new vine from
Japan, guaranteed to grow 40-50 feet in one season, perfect for stopping erosion - you could order the plants 10 for $1. Yep it was kudzu.

Iris said...

Yup Carole - that's how it got started. Actually, my grandfather ordered 10 sprigs in the 40's - and look where it is now.

It does die back in our winters too - but not the roots. It's one of the first things to start growing in the spring. Not very attractive in the wintertime - I'll get follow up photos when it's all brown.