It's Alive!! Now what to do with it?

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by iluvbamboo, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. iluvbamboo

    iluvbamboo Member

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    Hi,
    Last year I transplanted some bamboo root (P. aurea) from a family member. It was bulldozed down, sat out bare root with no moisture for 4-5 days, and then not knowing bamboo didn't like water emersion I soaked it for almost 2 days before planting. Anyway, amazingly they are alive and starting to shoot - this must be the hardiest plant on earth! They are surrounded by grass and I'm finding that keeping weeds from the shoots to be difficult (it's a large area). Any suggestions? What would happen if I just let the area grow up? I'm hoping to establish a grove and for the bamboo to eventually take over.
    Thanks for any info.....
     
  2. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    Umm, with P. Aurea, *wanting* it to take over is a good mindset to have... Without significant effort, it will whether you want it to or not. I grow it potted, and refuse to put it in the ground until I can effectively contain it. It's currently banned in California, though it may just be So. Cal, and, frankly, it really wouldn't hurt my feelings too terribly much if they banned it for sale in Southern Texas... I don't know where 'Morganton' is, but you need to be very, very careful if you're anywhere too far South of the Mason-Dixon line. In a 9+ climate it is virulent, and indestructable short of removing the top 24" of soil within 30' of the furthest culm.
     
  3. iluvbamboo

    iluvbamboo Member

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    I'm in zone 7 at the foothills of North Carolina. It's quite aggressive here also. The family member who had it bulldozed down started with 4 plants and ended up with almost 3 acres of it. I just moved from complete privacy, land which bordered thousands of acres of gamelands where no one would even hear you scream. Now I live by a road and I just can't get used to people starring at me while I'm in my front yard, thus the reason for planting bamboo. I like how it looks also. So you think that I could just let the area grow up and a few years from now there would be nothing but bamboo anyway?
    Thanks!
     
  4. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    Pretty much... On the bright side, though, it has decent quality culms that don't get too terribly large. You need to make sure you only take out naturally dead culms, or wait two to three years to harvest and dry fresh ones. It's unbelieveably spongy when it's fresh growth, and useless for anything other than shredding for paper making. I use it for all that and more! Plant stakes, shakuhachi, knife handle scales, furniture...
     
  5. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    I am with DGuertin. I grow a few varieties of other bamboos, but I refuse to grow golden bamboo (P aurea) in the ground. Looking around people's yards in our area, it seems to be the most invasive bamboo around. You could contain it by installing root barriers.
     
  6. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    That is another very good thing that you can look into, and I think would work very well for your situation. You need to find someone in your area that *really* knows bamboo, though, not just 'someone that's heard something.' For instance, the standard rhizome barrier is about .75 mm plastic (30 mil), buried about 24" deep. That would probably work very well in your area. In my area of Texas, and anywhere further South, it's double the thickness at 60 mil (1.5 mm) and 3' deep. It is *way* too happy here. Sure, I love all kinds of bamboo, and I grow 9 species. I'd love to grow more, even some significantly bigger species, but it still really wouldn't hurt my feelings too much if it wasn't any longer ok to buy runners here...
     
  7. iluvbamboo

    iluvbamboo Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. I'll definetly be installing a root barrier.
     
  8. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    These are the kinds of heresay discussions that give bamboo it's undeserved bad reputation.

    I just wan't to put in a good word for this bamboo, note that all running varieties of bamboo are similar, you can't really blame one particular type as being worse than others. All runners spread by similar methods and you never know if one variety is going to do better (and run more) in your exact circumstances or not so it's not factual to blame a particular variety.

    It's *very* easy to control the spread of bamboo manually with nothing more than a shovel and a little effort once or twice a year once you understand it's growth pattern.

    Bulldozing bamboo is not the way to get rid of it, all you accomplish is getting rid of the visible culms but the rhizomes remain or are shifted around and will grow even more culms.

    With a tiny bit of effort once or twice a year it's easy to ensure bamboo doesn't grow "out of control". When you hear that some bamboo is uncontrollable what you are really hearing is someone didn't take any effort or time to learn about it or control it.

    There is good info here on how to control bamboo:
    http://www.needmorebamboo.com/rhizomecontrol.html
     
  9. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    J,

    Warning people is part of what this thread is about. Of course a runner taking over is born out of ignorance, neglect, or poor planning. That is the major problem in my area; high availability, low intelligence. The vast majority of people know nothing whatsoever of bamboo, other than 'it's cool,' and 'don't they grow that in Japan?'

    Educating people about running v. clumping, the hazards of both, and general usefulness is one of the things I pride myself on. If you read my comments, you'll see that I have relayed both sides of the equation, and left the conclusion to iluvbamboo.
     
  10. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    DGuertin, I'm sure you're hearts in the right place I wasn't aiming at you.

    I think it's important to always make the distinction between runners and clumpers first and foremost so that people that want a carefree bamboo plant are educated in the most important aspect first and can decide whether they have enough interest to bother learning how to manage a running kind.

    As far as calling a particular runner invasive I don't think that's helpful as all runners can be invasive and it leads to a false sense of security, i.e. "A guy on the internet says golden bamboo is the most invasive, that it should be banned, however there is this Moso / Black bamboo / etc for sale at the nursery, since it's not golden bamboo I don't need to worry about it spreading".

    I see a lot of people grouping bamboo in with *truly* invasive plants like Japanese Knotweed (even calling it "mexican bamboo") etc and for us lovers of bamboo it's important to get the facts out clearly and *completely* wherever we see fear, uncertainty and doubt being spread or before you know it there really will be a widespread ban on bamboo.

    It's like a marketing campaign, you have to hit people over the head over and over with the most important facts before it has any hope of sinking in on a widespread level.
     
  11. iluvbamboo

    iluvbamboo Member

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    Thanks for the tips. The faster it invades my yard the better. Almost daily I go out with excitement to see if the new shoots are any taller - I guess I'm weird. Now I'm digging trenches so that I can keep the different species from mixing. I was turned on to bamboo by a family member who purchased a home where the bamboo had literally taken over. Personally, I loved it and would have left every bit, but they had a bulldozer come in to take down the clums. Now there's small shoots everywhere though! I love the plant... an evergreen, fast grower, edible shoots, soooooo many uses, and rated one of the highest plant materials for removing toxins from the air - yes, I have the bamboo bug. Again, thanks for all the advice.
    Jenn
     
  12. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    Cool Jenn, I feel exactly the same way, my wife and I go out and look at the shoots every day.

    There is a site dedicated to bamboo which is very good and has a lot of helpful info on bamboo as well as an excellent message board dedicated only to bamboo which you can find here if you are interested:
    http://www.bambooweb.info/
     
  13. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    Oh now you're in for it Jenn... Start off with one bamboo, wind up with 20! My wife actually enjoyed the first (couple of) bamboo I bought. She's not so supportive now that I'm at 10 for some reason?!? That doesn't include the one that I've gotten since this thread started though, because she doesn't know about that one yet! :-D
     
  14. iluvbamboo

    iluvbamboo Member

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    Yes...it's an addiction. Fortunately my husband loves it too, atleast for now. I started last Nov. with just Golden Bamboo and now have P. Nigra, P. Nigra Henon, P. Nigra Bory, Moso, Psuedosasa Japonica, P. Vivax, P. Vivax Aureocaulis, and Japanese Timber. Oh, almost forgot Rubromarginata and Arundinaria Gigantea. When a package arrives in the mail my 2 & 4 yr old children instinctively say Yea, more bamboo!! I even have some potted inside, which I baby much more than any of my other plants. The bamboo bug has bitten me hard.
     
  15. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    (dripping sarchasm)

    Not at all interested in any large species, are you? ;-)
     

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