Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bamboo in your yard

We have this beautiful clump of bamboo in the lot nextdoor and I would love to bring some over eventually. The problem is controlling it's growth. We had it in a garden when I was a kid but remember my parents cussing at it after a few years. I've read on the internet you can box it in with metal or cement but may have to go a meter deep. Anyone have experience with it?


Steve Cotton said...

Scott -- You are about to embark on a real love-hate relationship. We had bamboo in our garden in Portland. Fortunately, I was warned in advance.

What I recall. There are at least two types of bamboo: clumping and creeping. Buy the clumping variety.

You already know the next step: you need a corral. Like most grasses, bamboo spreads with long underground tendrils, called rhizomes. The trick is to try to control the rhizome from reaching out to new territory.

We built a wood barrier wide enough to let the bamboo grow. The wood was implanted about 18 or 20 inches into the soil and about 8 inches above. We did not install a "floor." The top of the wood slanted toward the bamboo. The purpose was to train any rhizomes back into the growth area. The best approach is to cut them off.

I have seen concrete, plastic, and metal used for barriers. Some people put the bamboo into large ceramic containers.

This is a temperate zone solution. I have no idea how it would work in the tropics. I suspect the wood would not be a good idea. Maybe the plastic would be best.

sparks_mex said...

Thanks Steve. Got aways to go before starting a garden so I will look to see what nurseries have around here. I was thinking of digging up some of the bamboo next door and containing it

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

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