Once referred to as the “King of the South”, kudzu has become more of a destructive tyrant. Introduced to Pennsylvania in 1976, this invasive vine was originally a gift from the Japanese government to commemorate the 100th birthday of the US. Hailed as a revolutionary erosion control method, this plant became a popular crop with support from the Soil Conservation Corps.
Despite the good intentions, kudzu has become an expensive burden to much of the southwestern United States. Practically invincible, it can take a homeowner up to ten years to eliminate these rapidly spreading vines – provided that surrounding property owners take the same measures!
If You Can’t Beat It – Eat It!
Although seen as a largely useless plant, kudzu is actually quite nutritious and considered a delicacy to areas that have not yet been overrun by smothering tendrils. Kudzu is actually a legume, and the roots, flowers, and young leaves can all be used to make some delicious treats. From blooming tea to crispy fried leaves – this plant is well worth culinary experimentation since it will not be going anywhere any time soon!
Making Killer Compost
Notorious for overtaking beautiful stands of native trees, running over carefully tended gardens like wild fire, and literally climbing up the walls of local homes – it may be surprising to find out that kudzu can be used for good instead of the evil it is so widely known for. Trimming back the vines is necessary for removal anyways, so why not remove the edible parts and compost the rest? If you have a chipper or shredder, this plant will make fine compost that can be used once your garden is finally free of this aggravating weed.
If you’re tired of winning small battles and want to end the war – it may be time to finally give in and call a local tree service or kudzu removal professional. Any southern landscape service worth their salt have the tools, expertise, and trained eye necessary to rid your property of this invasive monster weed once and for all! Every day that the vines are allowed to grow is another chance for the Kudzu to throw down new roots – not a pretty prospect!