• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

all things bamboo

 
gani et se
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anybody growing bamboo? Anybody eating it? What sizes? Varieties, if you know?

I have a little bamboo just planted this fall. The stalks are 3" diameter, and the guy I got it from had most of it lopped off at about 20 feet tall. It was ALL over his tiny city lot. Told me it had stayed in one place only, but the neighbors redid their lot, and all their water, including when they water their lawn, now drains on his land, and it took off! He let me dig up a bit for $20. Don't know the variety at all. We'll see if it survives. I put it in a place where it will be dry in summer, so no guarantee that it will survive. I'll water it to get it established, then starve it of water if it looks too well fed, i.e. about to take over. We have 20 acres, so room enough for bamboo.

Thought I'd have to wait for years to get some canes to work with, but lucky me, someone I know is thinning a grove! Got 40 canes at 12+ feet, plus a bunch of smaller ones, and the tops/leaves to use as mulch. Felt like a real hippy rolling down the freeway with 12 foot bamboo tied to the car rack. Some of it is black bamboo - so beautiful. Any tips on drying my bounty? Comments on getting shaping canes?

My friend with the grove says, to control her running bamboo, she eats the shoots. Says black isn't the most tasty...

What else?

Gani


 
Philip Hyndman
Posts: 27
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
gani et se wrote:... Felt like a real hippy rolling down the freeway with 12 foot bamboo tied to the car rack.



Cool. Bamboo is a plant from the angels i reckon. never used it, but would love too. I would be wary of the running bamboo though, Ive seen its work in the warmth and it can really get a going that I doubt eating the shoots of will control. That's all.
 
Jason Matthew
Posts: 66
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I currently have 8 species of running bamboo in the ground. These are all good species for poles and shoots. I have Phyllostachys aurea (Golden Bamboo), P. bambusoides (Madake) P. makinoi, P. vivax, P. edulis (Moso), P. nigra henon (Gray Bamboo), P. viridis Robert Young, and P. rubromarginata. Golden bamboo is the most common in the US. In your area, I believe Henon is the most common. You mentioned that the poles are black, which would indicate you have Phyllostachys nigra (Black Bamboo). Black bamboo is a very ornamental bamboo. It produces a hard wood and is used in making furniture.

Most of my bamboo are small one gallon plants that are about 2 years old. They are putting up new shoots right now, and I may add to them as money permits. The Golden Bamboo I have is an old mature grove. I will be harvesting shoots from it this year.

Of the varieties I have planted all are edible, but some may require boiling first. The Robert Young, rubromarginata, bambusoides, Golden, makinoi, edulis, and henon will all produce good quality poles (in about 10 years). The Golden, Robert Young, and Vivax will produce shoots that are good enough to eat raw. The others will require boiling to remove the bitterness.

I am thinking about putting in P. bambusoides "Slender Crookneck" in addition to my other bamboos. It is more cold hardy, and grows faster than the parent variety, with the same good wood quality.

You may want to look at containment if you are in an urban setting. A bamboo nursery can sell you a tough plastic barrier material that is placed 20 or 30 inches into the ground around your planting. Otherwise, I would just put an 18 inch trench around the area where you want to keep the bamboo contained. You fill the trench with mulch or sand. You then drag a pick through the trench in March and September and cut off any rhizomes that are trying to escape your containment.
 
gani et se
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jason, thanks for the mention of what is edible raw! One of my longer term plans (for world domination) is to provide local chinese restaurants with bamboo shoots and water chestnuts (if that proves feasible), so very helpful to know which species to plant. I'll research their suitability for my location. Which is on 20 acres, so not urban.
Philip, we usually have a 60 - 90 day dry spell in the summer. That will completely dry out the 18 inches of clay the bamboo has before it hits rock. It's planted in an area where the ground is not especially soggy even now, and the creeks are pretty darn full. We've approached flood stage recently. That's by design, as a control.
Gani
 
Matt Smith
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Found a lady with a bunch of established timber bamboo on Craigslist who has agreed to share some for free. Also got some bamboo seeds (from a reputable source) and looking forward to starting those.

Talk about a multipurpose plant!
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a listing of some of the varieties hardy to USDA zones 5-6.

http://www.bamboogarden.com/cold%20hardy%20bamboo.html

 
              
Posts: 31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howdy Matt,

could you please share your reliable source of seeds?

toan


Matt Smith wrote:Found a lady with a bunch of established timber bamboo on Craigslist who has agreed to share some for free. Also got some bamboo seeds (from a reputable source) and looking forward to starting those.

Talk about a multipurpose plant!
 
Jason Matthew
Posts: 66
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most timber bamboos are propagated from rhizome cuttings or from culms cut and dug from the parent grove. Smaller bamboos may go to seed more frequently, but timber bamboo seed occurs in 30, 60, or 100+ year intervals. Moso is the most recent timber bamboo to flower and produce seed, and it did so several years ago. Most bamboo seed will not be viable beyond a few years, unless kept in a freezer.

 
Matt Smith
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jason Matthew wrote:Most timber bamboos are propagated from rhizome cuttings or from culms cut and dug from the parent grove. Smaller bamboos may go to seed more frequently, but timber bamboo seed occurs in 30, 60, or 100+ year intervals. Moso is the most recent timber bamboo to flower and produce seed, and it did so several years ago. Most bamboo seed will not be viable beyond a few years, unless kept in a freezer.



The seed I have is from Moso. Is this to say that all bamboo of one variety flowers and produces seed simultaneously everywhere, regardless of the individual organisms?
 
gani et se
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yep. All flowers the same time! My friend said someone told her she had about a hundred years before the black bamboo flowers again.
 
Matt Smith
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
gani et se wrote:Yep. All flowers the same time! My friend said someone told her she had about a hundred years before the black bamboo flowers again.


That is utterly mind boggling. And kind of inspiring. If anybody has any links to articles/texts on this phenomenon, I'm beyond curious.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic