If you've spent any time in the southern U.S., you're already familiar with kudzu, the vine that seems to leap, not creep. The invasive plant is sometimes known as the "plant that ate the South," because of how fast it can cover trees, buildings, and even roads. Unfortunately for the northern U.S., states like Ohio are also seeing patches of kudzu cropping up. That means a lot of people who are unfamiliar with the plant are now faced with trying to remove it before it takes over their property. If you find a patch of kudzu on your land, here are some methods for eradicating it.
1.) Using Herbicides
Using commercial herbicides is one of the first methods that people usually try when faced with a patch of kudzu. However, it's important to know whether or not the herbicide you're using is one that kills on contact or a systemic poison. If you pick the former, you'll have to reapply the herbicide regularly, probably over several seasons, in order to be effective. A systemic herbicide like glyphosate can be more effective in a single season.
2.) Cutting It Out
If you don't want to resort to chemicals, cutting the kudzu out can be effective as long as you go about it in the right manner. The vines need to be chopped back and mowed down as much as possible before you attack the root crown of the plant. This is the part of the plant where it actually goes into the soil. You may need to follow the vines carefully in order to identify all the root crowns in your system. Once they've been identified, pull them out of the ground.
3.) Employing Livestock
In some areas, there are companies that use sheep to clear out kudzu. Even if your area doesn't have an annual program like this, you may be able to make arrangements with a local farm to borrow sheep, goats, or cattle for a while in order to let them graze the kudzu into submission. The plant is actually a member of the legume family and was once purposefully planted for the benefit of livestock.
4.) Hiring A Land Clearing Service
You can also turn the whole process over to a professional. Kudzu might not be something that your average landscaping company wants to deal with, however, because they may need specialty brush mulching equipment in order to deal with the volume of vines. Consider contacting a land clearing service instead—they also have the advantage of having the type of heavy equipment that can dig out the root crowns with ease, saving you from the back-breaking work.
As kudzu moves further north, your chances of encountering a patch on your property are going to increase. If you suspect you have a kudzu patch, you'll have a better shot of getting it eradicated if you attack it while it's still relatively small, so pick a method of attack and don't delay action.
For assistance with land clearing, talk to a professional like Global Fabrication Inc.
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