August 2009 Newsletter


Killing kudzu in a few days with a farm tractor: Earlier we reported having removed 99% of the kudzu from a level, open field in nine months. We labeled this success “From Kudzu to Community Gardens in Nine Months”. Several of our volunteers are enterprising farm equipment owners with a passion for killing kudzu. In August they reduced the time from kudzu to ready to plant to just nine days. Buddy Waters has written a short and easily readable summary of how he does it. This write up has attracted much interest – even from Dr. Jim Miller. Check out Buddy’s protocol at



Trash pickup at 8 AM on September 12: At 8:00 AM Charles Covert is leading the Spartanburg Men’s Garden Club in one of their regular clean up mornings. The Kudzu Coalition believes strongly in working together with other organizations. We encourage all kudzu volunteers to participate in this event. We’ll meet Charles in the parking lot behind the Chamber of Commerce building.


Big SPACE event on Sept. 12 (Maybe kudzu removal in one day?): The Spartanburg Area Conservancy is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Saturday morning, Sept. 12. Our two organizations work closely in a number of ways. Starting at 11 AM, the Kudzu Coalition will be assisting in this big event by demonstrating at least six different kudzu removal methods. One of the most interesting demos will be the farm equipment volunteers and their first ever attempt to remove 99% of the kudzu in one day. Their goal for this demonstration in this small kudzu patch is: “From kudzu to ready for grass in one day.” The lineup: Paul David Blakeley will lead off on his skid-steer (Kudzilla) at 11 AM, followed at approximately 11:40 AM by Howard Miller plowing with sweeps mounted on his field cultivator, and then about 12:30 PM Buddy Waters will use the tiller attachment on his tractor to finish the kudzu removal. This will be an exciting and perhaps history making event. All of this plus free hot dogs and much more! Everyone is invited to participate in this SPACE shindig by the footbridge over Lawson’s Fork Creek.


Newsletters now posted: Thanks to Lou Adams all recent newsletters are now posted onto www.kokudzu.com. The link on our home page is a great place for newcomers to see what we are all about.


Warning: Kudzu is now rooting: During the early months of the kudzu season, the nodes on the vines do not root. That changes in July. For those who are battling kudzu first hand, be aware that this year’s vines are now rooting. Each node which is in contact with the ground can root. Each of these rooted nodes becomes an autonomous plant. Unless we roll those vines back or bush hog them, the green monster is spreading and capturing additional ground. Information about kudzu’s “Flowering, Fruiting, and Rooting Season” is available at http://kokudzu.com/KudzuKalendar.html. The chart at the bottom comes from 1934 data from N.C. State and is very helpful.


Once again, a great big “Thank you” to all of the 140 plus participating groups and the wonderful people who are supporting this exciting endeavor.