can't get bamboo to grow

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Paul Wheaton, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    Two or three years ago I planted to bamboo plants near a swampy spot on my property. Five feet away is tons of cattails.

    I worked the soil a bit. Planted the bamboo. Mulched with a couple inches of hay and then sat back to think about 30 foot tall bamboo that I would harvest and make stuff out of.

    Both plants now look about exactly the same size as when I planted them. They still have leaves. Although I would prefer the leaves would be a darker green this time of year.

    Does bamboo have special needs?
     
  2. mtfarmchick

    mtfarmchick Well-Known Member

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    When I lived in Arizona we had bamboo. It was planted into a rocky hillside and we didn't water it often. It was the 30' tall stuff you're talking about.
     

  3. jassytoo

    jassytoo Well-Known Member Supporter

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  4. ckncrazy

    ckncrazy Well-Known Member

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    Be glad it hasnt grown. Bamboo is an irratating invasive weed. you will never be able to get rid of it. I hate the stuff. Just my opinion.

    JAKE
     
  5. danielbrown

    danielbrown Active Member

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    we had it once and we got rid of it... with a bulldozer.
     
  6. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    I'm not worried about it becoming invasive. It's surrounded by very dry soil.

    Plus, I have one thing known to kill bamboo: pigs! They think it's tasty!
     
  7. HarleysMom

    HarleysMom Well-Known Member

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    I live in the desert and have bamboo. I don't water it that much and my donkeys love it and keep it thinned out.
     
  8. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    Bamboo does not like afternoon sun. We had some for years that just sat doing nothing. Then we added on to the storage shed and that blocked the afternoon sun and wham-o. We had bamboo everywhere.

    We brought some with us and have it on our property down by the creek. It has morning sun and partial shade the rest of the day and it is going great.
     
  9. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    There is some on the north side of the family farm house. Uncle has dumped round up on it. The bottle said round up anyway, it acted like miracle grow! He digs it up each year and this year took the back blade and pulled about 6 inches of dirt of the top area. That seemed to work a little, as the thousands of bamboo shoots are only 4ft tall right now instead of 6ft!
     
  10. Bamboo is terrible. I had it for years, was unable to get rid of it. It sends out 'creepers' underground, making it impossible to control. It will also creep under foundations and into leach lines. I would advise you to stay away from it, no matter how useful it can be.
     
  11. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    Blanket statements about things such as "Bamboo is invasive" are inaccurate. There are over 1200 types of bamboo that behave (often radically) different than each other. One main differentiating classification of these 1200 bamboos is the root system or rhizome. Bamboos can either be a running or clumping type. The running type is what are often referred to as invasive. Even the running type can be controlled however with barrier methods.

    As for why it is not growing... it would be best to try and identify the variety that you are growing and find out it's particular needs. While one poster above stated theirs took off when given partial shade, other varieties thrive on full sun. You won't know what the particular plant needs until you determine exactly what type you have.

    Best of luck with things. Done correctly bamboo can be a real boon to the farm.

    J
     
  12. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    usally the problem is getting it to stop, so if its not growing somthing is wrong.
     
  13. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    It depends on what type you have planted. If you planted runner bamboo (spreads by runners, often 10's of feet in length) it may just be that it hasn't hit its stride yet. When I planted it, in the 4th year it took off. Be patient might be the answer.

    I will ask you to reconsider if you planted running bamboo. You may not always have pigs who like bamboo (hey, you'll get older) or you won't want to do the work to control it, or want to sell the place and it will be seen as a nuisance. I said MAY in all the above cases, cause there are people who just really like bamboo and don't care about corraling it.

    I will tell you that I am in my fifth year (or is it sixth) of the Bamboo Eradication Project. It was in poor, rocky crummy soil. Grew to 15+ feet high evergreen and was lush and beautiful. I planted it on the advice of a friend who said it would be no trouble. You can read what I said about it in the archives and in past bamboo threads. The runner type has been known to ruin foundations. No barrier (concrete, plastic etc.) made a difference. The roots ran over the top of the ground if they had to, sometimes in a period of 24-48 hours. It sent shoots over 20 feet away into places I did not want it to grow. I found no livestock to eat it, nor would the wild animals. It is persistent and just this week I was out mowing and whacking the area to knock down the foot high stragglers. In past springs I had to mow/whack 2-3 times a week to interrupt its growth.

    It has been a thorn in my side. Don't take a friend's word (!) do the research yourself. Be certain you have a species specific to your purpose and remember you were forewarned. If someone tells you it is no problem find out how long they have been growing it. Many will tell you it is no problem when they have only had it for a few years. It takes 4+ years for it to really show maturity and grow.
     
  14. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

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    Some good advise here about bamboo, everybody I know who has let it get away hates it. My Grandmother had it in her chicken yard years ago, she died and it now covers about 4 acres. If I was going to try the running type, I'd plant it in a barrel. I saw a sign on the door of an old pick-up once that gave the name of the farm and under it it read, bamboo, chinaberries, privet hedge, bitter weeds and poor cows.
     
  15. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    I think it what type of bamboo it is. I planted a clumping bamboo over 4 years ago,, it hasn't grown much, and sure not as much as I would like.
    I know the plants like rich feed, to be well watered but not kept soggy.
    Also tested the bamboo I have.... If you step on a runner on the ground (they so far only have grown a inch from the mother plant), and snap it off.. it doesn't grow back.

    Have seen what both mature running type and clumping types will and can do,, sure would not buy the running type.