May 2009 Newsletter


Kudzilla update: Sandra Fergus has posted new pictures at the bottom of the website page for the skid-steer. See for example how it looks with forks painted yellow. Also newly posted is a summary of the estimated cost to equip another skid-steer with the same attachments that Paul David Blakeley now uses on Kudzilla. See



Kudzu Kudos: Speaking of Sandra, a recent Kudzu Kollege grad, Lou Adams, Webmaster Emeritus, is helping her to learn the ropes of our website. She has already posted a number of other new items onto the site. See


where Howard Miller’s field cultivator with attached sweeps are featured. Congratulations and a huge thank you to Sandra.


Winter kill: The above mentioned sweeps literally swept hundreds of kudzu plants to the surface during Howard Miller’s trials. Furthermore, it left many roots exposed. Dr. Gill Newberry, Coalition Board member, suggested that some of these might die during the cold days of winter. Patti Bowers searched the Internet and found a study by Dr. Rowan Sage, from the University of Toronto. His experiments found that kudzu roots are killed when cooled to 23 degrees F. We had several days of low 20’s and sure enough, it works. Our tests indicate that 14 out of the 15 exposed roots in our test have not sprouted and look as dead as doornails. Nice to have Mother Nature helping kill the kudzu exposed by the sweeps treatment!


Participating groups: Check out the updated listing of city and county organizations, schools, colleges, garden clubs, businesses, civic improvement organizations, neighborhoods, non-profit agencies, parks, preserves, etc. with whom the Kudzu Coalition has worked. More than 140 groups … not counting individuals. Please take a look at



Privet: Ed Griffin and Mary Walter have asked Paul Blakeley to use Kudzilla to remove the privet along the SPACE Frisbee golf course by Lawson’s Fork Creek. We do not talk about privet removal much but Paul is getting good at it.


McCracken Junior High: Sheila Sistare’s and Karen Copley’s seventh grade classes are winning their battle with the kudzu directly across the street from McCracken. The improvement is most noticeable. These two classes also won the $100 award at Kudzu Kapers for having the most hours of community service in the kudzu patch this school year.


Spartanburg Garden Council: The Coalition is underway on a joint initiative with the Garden Council to encourage each garden club throughout the city and county to participate in our “Save Our Trees” initiative. Bobbie Schoss is leading this for the Garden Council. Each club was invited to nominate its biggest “spot of embarrassment”, where kudzu is killing trees. See next item.


Old bridge where Reidville Road crosses the Middle Tyger River: Both the Upsy Daisy Garden Club (Kudzu Captain Sallie Pettigrew) and the Reidville Garden Club (Kudzu Captain Marian Jones) identified the same unique site as their choice for attack. The Tyger River Foundation (Kudzu Captain Julian Hankinson) joins in to make this the first three organization, joint kudzu removal project. We start this Saturday, May 16, at 9 AM. A professional filming crew (Mike Parris, Captain) will be taping these activities. Join us for this unique kudzu party.


New site: Earlier this year, the Duncan Park neighborhood team selected the corner of Woodside Lane and East Park Drive for their next worse kudzu eyesore. The work there is almost finished. This is now lovingly known as Peggy’s Patch # 4, named for Peggy Romine, the Kudzu Captain for Duncan Park. Peggy’s patch # 1 was the large infestation along the cove (kudzu now eradicated). Patch # 2 is opposite Duke St. and along West Park Drive (kudzu now eradicated). Patch # 3 is near the dam and between the walking trail and the lake. Paul Savko killed 59 kudzu plants there recently.


Kudzu in cosmetics: Patti Bowers, who is doing literature research for the kudzu krowd discovered that kudzu is being used in cosmetics. See the article on Soapwire: Newswire for the "Natural" Personal Care Products Industry.  Here's the link:

http://www.soap-wire.com/2004/05/new_jersey_comp.html .


Kudzu to community gardens: Samantha Parks and Connie Melton, neighborhood captains for the Hillcrest/Hillview area, have laid out plots for gardens in what was a waist high kudzu patch just nine months ago. This could be big. We will make a talk about this at the May 15 SE-EPPC symposium at Georgetown, SC.


A great big “Thank you” goes out to all of the 140 plus participating groups and the wonderful people who have and are supporting this wild and fun endeavor. These are exciting times.




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