Jupiter has progressed to Aquarius in my chart. Clearly, I’m an oddball in my new neighborhood, the South. I’m a Yankee, I guess. I do know I said I was from Arizona and local man called that “up north”. I like people here so much, I just laughed.
My new hair salon has sign on the wall; something about stress being great because it makes you blonder. I got a kick out of that.
Today, I started fighting the kudzu. I don’t really know how to fight kudzu, but I do plan to prevail.
I scanned the internet and you really have two choices. Cut it back or spray it. Either way it comes back, unless you dig it up. It’s a horrible task. I took this to mean I should get started.
I started cutting it and ripping it off whatever was underneath. I don’t know what was underneath. Iris, I recognize? But the other? Weeds? Blackberries. A couple trees? My idea was to uncover whatever was underneath the kudzu, identify it and decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
What I want is flowers I can pick or food I can eat. So I had a plan, see? I got to work.
My hands and arms were bloody, quickly. I could have gotten gloves but I was too pissed, see? Mars Mercury, blood hands. So I cut a bunch of it, using a (dull) pruner which I think is called a “lopper”. I drug the cut vines out from what they were tangled in. I had piles of the vines strewn along the ridge when I went inside for a break…and called my husband.
He said the cut vines would root. I’d read this on the internet. “Today?” I asked. I was bit defensive. “They will not root, because I’m going to put them in the truck…and take them to the dump!”
He told me several times it would be better to wait until winter. I am not one to wait for anything, but not only that the way these vines are growing, if I wait for winter, everything underneath will be killed. I told him I was going with my truck idea. It’s WAR, see? There is now was I am going to let these vines root in my just mowed grass. Better educated at this point, I went back outside with a tree saw. This is because I intended to but the woody stalks…I felt I was prepping for whatever came next.
In the end, I filled up the truck with cut vines….and I mean, they’re rolled up, piled up to the top of the cab. The dump is very close. A few hours later, my neighbor knocked on the door. The front door, which he’s never done.
He was standing there with produce. Okra, tomatoes, a giant butternut squash. He said he gave his sister a butternut squash and she threw it away. He said he tried it with some sugar…it was okay.
I told him it was better, “savory”. I sort of offered to make him some, but I think he’s done with my food experiments at this point. “We like different food,” I offered.
“Beans and taters are what I like,” he said, agreeing with me. I called my husband.
“They think I’m weird around here.”
“Yes, they do.”
“Why is that?” I asked. He laughed. “‘Cause I like butternut squash? I asked him about the kudzu. He said he saw I had a truck load of it.” My husband laughed again.
“Well that’s why they think it. You have a truckload of kudzu.”
“Am I bothering anyone?”
“Am I getting in anyone’s business?”
“No you’re not.”
“And I’m getting rid of kudzu, the scourge of the area. Seems good to me. The way I see it, they can talk their weirdo neighbor and the interesting things she’s doing on a daily basis. Don’t you think they like talking about me?”
“I do think they like talking about you.”
“Good. Then everyone is happy.”
LOL, this is great. Great good luck to you with the kudzu. Don’t plant wisteria in its place!
It’s hard to tell from the picture, but that looks sort of like ivy? I’m curious to know if in the end you and I are fighting the same plant, as I don’t know what kudzu is. I live on Vancouver Island (across from Seattle) and we have a lot of invasive species. I spent my weekend cutting back blackberry bushes and some morning glory looking vine plant that seem intent on infesting my hard fought for garden and I’m having *none* of it. Yes to the bloody hands and dull utensils. Finally broke down and bought a good bush wacker and wacked the Sh!t out of it all. Looks great now 🙂
Here’s to being weird and wacky and minding our own business. Tawanda!
It grows over houses and cars. Kills everything. Google pics and see the horror.
You are definitely in our south. Your neighbors will just look at you and scratch their heads. When the neighbor said, “Beans and taters.” that could of been here in East KY. And I don’t doubt the truck full of kudzu. But it is no joke, it grows fast and it is difficult to be rid of.
I can picture you fighting that stuff and ripping it up. That is a heck of a battle.
My truckload was a dent only, and we’re not horribly infested. Well the area is, but this house is mild considering what I see driving here.
No kidding. I’ve seen it cover cliff sides and mountains in North Carolina.
It’s hanging off the telephone wires here. 🙁
You are Capricorn Rising and I was just thinking about my grandmother. She was a Scorpio with Capricorn Rising and oh boy! When she got an idea to get rid of something like kudzu, she went into full battle mode too. She would tear it up and get scratches as well.
I have seen some areas that are completely over run with that stuff. It looks like a vine when it hangs from trees and wires. It is very invasive and spreads like crazy.
It’s like that here. Horrible. “The vine that ate the South.”
Must be something in the air, spent the morning in my backyard pulling out vines and wildflowers that I had let take over the past year. A big pile of dead stuff that I will load up in the morning, but not kudzu, that stuff is deadly!
And yes, I bet they do find you very entertaining and I am glad people in your neck of the woods are happy!
Oh, your experience sounds a lot like mine when I moved here! That was three and a half years ago, and actually it’s still going on, and getting better as people get to know me.
Sounds to me like they don’t just like talking about you…they like *you*. 🙂
Cheerful, honest, hardworking, kind — these qualities you’ve been demonstrating make your differentness interesting to your local folks rather than offputting.
Ain’t it sweet?
Yeah, I think they do like me. They bring me presents and invite places, pretty much every day.
I don’t think anyone thought I could take care of this property. I wondered myself! But as it turns out, I’ve exceeded all expectations!
I did tell I could do a lot more than it seems. And I also tell them when I have no hope of doing something, like getting my mower stuck, three times and counting.
But basically, I like to work and I like to cook. These things are obvious.
It’s a bit like being a Frito Girl back in the day. I would sing at the top of my lungs in my truck…dance around, oblivious. I really can’t help myself, I’m from the desert.
“I don’t understand humidity,” I say, “though I do enjoy it.”
“I don’t understand your seasons here. I can’t believe you’re plowing under your garden at this time. But I understand it now that you’ve explained it to me. It’s all pretty interesting. I will figure it out, eventually. I am sorry to bother you with all these questions, by the way. But there was another thing I was going to ask you about…”
So I’m sort of disastrous…but maybe not.
You like to work and you like to cook…well, shoot, you’ll be welcome anywhere! ;^)
Local folks seem to love to get chances to share the knowledge they’ve built up over a lifetime. A friendly, respectful, curious new neighbor is a gift to them just as they and their wisdom are gifts to you.
Also, I was told that if you can catch the road crew on the highway, you can get them to drive their tractor onto your lawn and bush hog it all down. “You may have to give ’em twenty dollars or sumpthin’…”
I can relate! I’ve got natal Jupiter in Aquarius. Love it when you write about one of my natal aspects, it helps me understand myself a little bit more. Thanks! It’s in the 7th house though. I’m not comfortable being the weird one. ….but I have hope that I will be.
I’m an expat… and I’m also… weird in general, but being in another country REALLY highlights this.
I tired hard to assimilate the first five years… but now I’m at a place where I just can’t see how that’s going to work anymore. I’m going to work harder at integrating this part of me and being comfortable with it. Hello self worth issues…
I bet this is also tied with Chiron in the 11th! Food for thought.
Good luck and may the force be with you as you go to war with the kudzu!!!
Goats will eat kudzu – that is how some communities control it
Elsa, love your approach. As I read this, it struck me that I find you comforting as you remind me of my mother. She was all about being full of ‘piss and vinegar’–a term of endearmment. She had a tight T-square…Mars late Capricorn, Pluto in Leo, and Saturn in Taurus. She was a Scorp rising…Virgo Sun. When Pluto went through her 12th, that T-square lit up like a pinball machine. It wasn’t easy…that’s for sure. She was magical as are you!
When I moved to Maryland 5 years ago I immediately noticed the massive vines hanging off everything from majestic trees to utility wires. Ugly too when exposed in the winter. Now I know what they are! Thank you. — Enjoy Jupiter in Aquarius, Elsa. My natal Jupiter is there (in the 12th, the handle to a bucket-pattern chart): I’m nothing if not original, independent and strong-willed, with a bucket’s-half-full kinda nature and more tolerant than I think I really should be most times. Oddball? I can relate. But we’re good oddballs. 😉
It’s worth saying here that the kudzu is the invasive species here. It isn’t you. You are an exotic species but not invasive. Everyone should be non-invasive in their relations with others.
Wow. I googled Kudzu. Never seen anything like it (living in Canada… which really IS up North!)
It says it is native to Japan and China. I am wondering if this is where kudzu root comes from… very nutritious and medicinal as well.
Do any of your neighbors have a goat or two they would let you “borrow” for a few days, or on a regular schedule? There are actually people who run businesses taking goats around to eat kudzu (esp under utility lines in steep terrain) – good luck!
I’ve been sawing more today. Sawed my thumb. Bloody affair.
More info. Apparently it grows directionally…so I can throw it over the edge of the property…it will grown down onto the highway where they come by and mow?
I’m going to kind of do everything. Cut it, saw it, poison it and throw it over. 🙂
After this I have to deal with the kudzu by the barn. I’ve not messed with that yet.
Day two. No doubt about it, this Yankee ain’t playin’! It looks like a kudzu war zone out there and I’m winnin’!
People always wait for me to fall or give up. Riiiiiiiight.
I will fight this shit to my dying day. You ought to see the beautiful things I’m uncovering. It’s marvelous!
Yeah, whoever bet on the kudzu is sweatin’ it by now. They didn’t know I was crazy. 🙂
Also, I am going to hire someone to make the bushes out front, pretty. But when it comes to murder, I’ve got it handled. 🙂
“…A kudzu vine can grow as much as a foot per day and sixty feet during a growing season. The roots of kudzu are large and fleshy, with a tap root that can be more than seven inches in diameter and more than six feet long. As many as thirty vines will spread from one kudzu root crown.
The roots of an established kudzu vine can weigh as much as 400 pounds, making kudzu difficult to eradicate by digging it up. In addition, the plants will spread by sending out runners, and vines can take root wherever a node touches the ground…”
You said you were from Arizona and a local man called that “up north.” That’s funny.
And they keep asking me over and over. “Where did you come from again?”
I’m like a spaceship, landed.
Kudzu is a vine. Under the right growing conditions, it spreads easily, covering virtually everything that doesn’t move out of its path. Kudzu was introduced in North America in 1876 in the southeastern U.S. to prevent soil erosion. But kudzu spread quickly and overtook farms and buildings, leading some to call to kudzu “the vine that ate the South.”
Kudzu’s root, flower, and leaf are used to make medicine. It has been used in Chinese medicine since at least 200 BC. As early as 600 AD, it was used to treat alcoholism.
There’s more at
Learn something new every day! Mercury conjunction Jupiter !
I’ve used kudzu root. It’s like corn starch or arrowroot… used as a thickener and chock full of minerals. You could market it!!
Marketing it sounds like a much better idea than poisoning it to me, but then what do I know, with natal Jupiter in Aquarius and Aquarius rising, anything I say probably sounds off the wall to most. Truth be told, it made for a very difficult childhood being so difficult, but now I so love that “difference”. Thank the Lord for weird mercies!
I recovered about 3 feet of yard along the whole front of the property…and then planted 16 perennial flowers of different types, here and there.
All the plants are half price so good timing. People honk when they go by…no telling why, lol.
I ignore them but assume good things.
PS, I sing “Kudzu Fighting” out there to the tune of Kung Fu Fighting. The original…
“…funky Chinamen from funky Chinatown…”
I don’t need a bush hog. I *am* a bush hog. 🙂
I can picture you singing that as you battle that stuff & I can’t help but giggle. Way to go, Elsa! 😉
Turns out I can’t bring it to the dump. I have to burn it. For some reason people around here don’t compost to speak of. I have read if you mulch this stuff it is magnificent to compost.
In whatever case, it’s continues to die in the back of my truck.
Yesterday, my husband and I were going south to Wise, Virginia and I told him about you singing the Kudzu fighting while battling the stuff. We were seeing it on hillsides and he breaks out singing, “Everyone was kudzu fighting, the vines were growing fast as lightning and it was a little bit frightening…” He told me that it was brought over here from Japan and planted on hillsides to keep them from sliding off and it took over. And in these areas, people have to buy their own chippers and make their own mulch. Most people burn their trash and plants in the late evenings, to keep the risk of wild fires down.
You can burn here in the winter…which is what the trash man suggested I do.
My husband is going to take care of this for me…though I’d not mind having a chipper, lol.
I might end up with it. If you keep your eyes peeled and ears open, there is a deal on everything (used) that pops up eventually.
Yes, and hopefully you will get a good deal on one and be able to make your mulch for your flowers and vegetables. 🙂
I’m back in from checking progress. No kidding, 70% of the kudzu in front of my house is dead and/or dying. This from pure cutting of vines. No chemicals.
Overgrown ornamentals have been uncovered as well as some small trees and larger bushes. I told my neighbor I planted a bunch of perennials in it’s place. He does not think they will grow well in the clay.
I didn’t it was clay until I went to plant the stuff. They must have brought in topsoil for the grass and garden areas? I don’t know.
He may be wrong and I hope he is. There other things growing up there…some day lillies and lots of Queen Anne’s lace. There is a grown cover all over…I don’t know what it is, I’m waiting for someone (my husband) to tell me. Also, blackberries, I think. Again, I am waiting to find out. But there is definitely dead kudzu everywhere.
There is also a pile of wood chips in the back so someone either has one, or maybe the took a tree down and someone did that for them. I’ll have to ask. But I am slowly getting a handle on this and as of now, if you bet on kudzu over the Yankee from the West, you lost. 🙂
There is energy medicine now to help harmonize all plants with their ecosystems, thus naturally reducing ‘pests’. See Dr. Jim , Tree healing on the web.
I can’t tell you happy I am to hear that you are winning the battle of the kudzu and not using any toxic products in the process. Congratulations! It’s hard work and will probably continue being so for a long time but it’s another way to measure how well you are recovering healthwise! Double congrats!
When my partner and I bought our new house 2 years ago, we were so proud, we did a garden with lots of original flowers, things unseen around here. We are now sick of watching things die or spending hours watering plants that aren’t designed for the area. My advice is stick with what works in your area. Most of all: good luck!