Solarization for the control of Pueraria montana (kudzu)
Newton C; Nelson L; DeWalt S; Mikhailova E; Post C; Schlautman M; Cox S; Bridgest W; Hall K
Summary The effects of translucent polyethylene sheeting as a thermal covering to eradicate Pueraria montana (kudzu) were investigated at Clemson South Carolina on a clay loam. In 2005 the highest reduction of live root crowns was observed where P. montana was covered for the entire growing season (May‚ÄìOctober) with a reduction of 42% of live root crowns compared with the control plots. Where P. montana was covered for alternate weeks throughout the growing season live root crowns were reduced by 35%. Covering P. montana for one week and then uncovering for four weeks repeatedly through the season killed 24% of root crowns. In 2006 the second year of treatment to the same plots the three solarization treatments had similar efficacy of about 97%. The use of polyethylene sheeting appears not to be cost-effective for general control of large P. montana infestations but may be useful for small patches.