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Questions on Bamboo!!??

 
Nathan Paris
Posts: 80
Location: http://projectecogrid.com/
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We are wanting to grow a bamboo garden, I do understand they are invasive. With that being said.... any Ideas on where to put the bamboo garden? how to keep control over its growth? How fast does bamboo grow? What type should I be growing? What else can I do with bamboo besides grow it as a privacy fence and decoration? Thank you for your help on this!
 
Alder Burns
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Location: northern California
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In your climate only a few varieties will be hardy, and all of them are runners. The fear of running bamboos as invasives is overrated. All the new shoots come up in a particular season, usually spring in temperate climates. If they are large enough, harvest them to eat. Otherwise mow, cut, or just kick them over. There will be two or three flushes, and then it's done for that year. Anywhere you mow or graze regularly, it cannot invade. Just don't plant it near a wall, fence, sidewalk, building or any thing else like that....the rhizomes will get up next to and under it and you will never be rid of it spreading along that....
 
Paula Edwards
Posts: 411
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We are in a climate were clumping bamboos grow but not that great. You don't think that running bamboo are a nuissance provided I dig the shoots?
I would like to plant some between existing trees, they are decidious and i need a windbreak in winter.
 
R Laurance
Posts: 25
Location: Southern Sweden (zone 7a)
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My first recommendation, if you are truly serious about growing some bamboo is to order David Farrrelly's, 'The Book of Bamboo', quite possibly the most comprehensive book ever written on the subject and a fabulous and entertaining read as well. Amazon.com has used versions starting at $18.61.

Secondly there are ways of controlling the running aspect of those types that like to 'run'.... i.e., 'Bamboo Rhizome Barrier' an effective 60 mil thick x 30" tall high density plastic sheet that keeps the roots contained just as if they were planted in a pot. One supplier of this 'Barrier' is bamboogarden.com in Oregon, but you may be able to find a more local supplier in your area (via internet/Google).

My third thought would be that you shouldn't have any problems finding clump or running bamboo varieties for your area. I live in Sweden and have maintained two varieties of clump bamboo for 10 years...there are many varieties that are quite winter hardy, as Farrelly's book notes. My closest big supplier is a nursery in Denmark that has 12 different varieties consisting of both clump & runners. Again a Google search for 'bamboo & ohio' should turn up many suppliers for your area. One that I noted with a quick search was Bamboo Farm (aka Five Springs Farm, Athens, OH) which has five varieties of 'runners' and two varieties of 'clump' bamboo.

Bamboo, a grass, generally grows vertically for a period of about one month. That being the case, the taller timber bamboos can often grow 12"+ in one 24 hour period, though the climate and soil conditions can affect that as well. Even here in Sweden, as I had noted decades ago in Oregon, the bamboo grows generally in May-June. Leaf growth can continue to happen over the course of most of the warmer months.

If wanting to create a hedging affect for privacy concerns, my recommendation would be more for the clumping varieties as they generally are much thicker, whereas the runners tend to have more space between the 'culms' (vertical stems). If you have good acreage though, I don't believe there is anything more beautiful than a grove of the larger running timber varieties.

On your final query, I would have to add that the best answer is once again my first recommendation of David Farrelly's book. Bamboo is one of the most important plants known and utilized by mankind. Man's thousands of years of noted history with bamboo includes use as food (bamboo shoots), paper making (leaves), and construction of everything from bicycle frames, bridges, scaffolding, plumbing & water pipes, to veneers in making of airplane hulls and more... not to mention the handcraft area of making utility spoons for kitchen use and other three dimensional implements. Today there is also a growing industry of bamboo laminates for the making of flooring, cutting boards and other things. The limitations of the uses of bamboo are it seems, the limitations of our own imaginations. Bamboo fibers were even some of the first items tested by Edison while looking for an element in his first light bulbs.

Hope this information starts you on your journey of becoming acquainted with this wonderful plant, N Harris. Incidentally, if you hadn't noticed, I am a great proponent in support of everybody growing bamboo. The U.S. annually imports nearly 30,000 ton of just bamboo shoots alone, for eating. Additionally, all of the underlined links in this post includes scads more information for you.

This Grass is Great for the Globe!
 
Shawn Harper
Posts: 360
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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My favorite use of bamboo is tripods for climbers.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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from my understanding, though limited, clumping bamboo is generally a little better for cold hardiness but the culms are nowhere near as tasty as culms from spreading bamboo
does anyone have any recommendations for spreading bamboo that can survive weather colder than -15F?

from what ive recently read, bamboo culms and stalks may die with colder weather but the roots may survive, i am honestly ok with the stalks dying on me in the colder winters and regrowing lots of new shoots in the spring, and some of the warmer years surviving the winter and continuing growth the next spring, do you think one that can survive -15F could have rhizomes survive down to -30F? That is how cold it sometime gets here, though i do plan to have a microclimate set up for the bamboo so perhaps it wont get that cold where it is growing?

sorry if i jacked your thread OP, just tryin to figure things out myself, hope it helps you too and wish you luck in your endeavors
 
Lake Bleeker
Posts: 8
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I want to know if their is any variety of bamboo that grows well in minnesota (Twin Cities), or a bamboo substitute that as a material behaves similary to bamboo.

Thanks.
 
Al Senner
Posts: 59
Location: southeast SD (zone 4b/5a)
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http://www.burntridgenursery.com/ornamentals/index_product.asp?dept=99&parent=4

here are some clumping bamboo hardy down to 20 below.
 
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