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Grass and Bamboo: new to bamboo, 1 by citybusgardener

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In reply to: new to bamboo

Forum: Grass and Bamboo

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citybusgardener wrote:
Bamboo is a grass so a lawn food without weed killer is what most folks use. It would be applied at the same time you normally fertilize lawns in your area. Just remember, more is not better. Follow label directions.

That said, so far I have not been able to convince myself to buy any sort of commercial chemical fertilizer for my various groves, since my garden is pretty close to organic and I haven't wanted to upset the balance I've achieved in the last forty years here.

When first planting a grove, I make sure the spot is at it's peak condition since I will not be digging through there anytime soon. I have developed my own routine over the years. Early spring I sink my spade around the edges of each grove, checking for potential runners. This gives me the summer to deal if needed. I double check these edges in the fall too.

During the summer, after all the shooting is done, I start thinning the groves taking out older culms ... three years old or older. I judge by where I want privacy protection, sunlight for the garden, and enough air /light flow through the culms. At about the same time I remove many of the large culm sheaves as much of the old leaves..all to the compost pile. I then add compost to feed and conserve moisture. I also add some of my basic organic fert since I have a huge many pound stash. It's a Steve Solomon recipe, but darned if I can remember the exact mix right now. It's the basics, feather, bone etc.

I am starting to think it's time for me to up the ferts though since my largest grove and most important one has reached it's maximum space available and without any new ground to grow on at all, I'm pretty sure I need to step in and provide what it was getting as it ever so slowly increased where it is growing. It's over 35 years in this contained space now. After much consideration I think I'm going with some Milorganite. There's no food growing near and never will be. The area does not drain to other parts of the garden, so even though Milorganite is controversial, in this case I think it's probably the best pick given the location, need of the grove and the fact that it is not a chemical fert. I don't want my worms injured. LOL

Here's a picture of the first grove I'm worried about. The light green on the lower edge is the neighbors hedge..at about 9 feet plus right now. It's cold and rainy here, but the first shoot is up and you can see the first old leaves starting to yellow getting ready to drop. The photo showing the culms is shortly before a thing / cleaning out the bulk session.

My bamboos are on the smaller side of their growth ranges due to the amount of shade here from the surrounding trees. Here's a link showing how they would be in a sunny spot. http://www.bamboogarden.com/Phyllostachys vivax.htm But they are doing exactly what I need them to do. Lower the temp of my home in the summer and giving me privacy here in a densely populated area.

This one is Phyllostachys vivax....oh yeah a runner. I stay on top of it. Never had trouble. It's all about the initial set up. Build your bamboo jail BEFORE you bring in the bamboo, make sure you have room on ALL sides to swing a pickax, and never plant on the edge of the property letting your bamboo become the neighbors nightmare.

Bamboo is a wonderful, misunderstood plant with many uses. It's the irresponsible owners that give the rest of us a bad name.

This message was edited May 28, 2013 5:56 PM

This message was edited May 28, 2013 6:08 PM


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