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Rank newbie question about composting bamboo :)  RSS feed

 
Haleigh Lynn
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Location: East Texas
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We are getting a large trailer load of bamboo dropped off at our place - cut but not trimmed - we're using the canes for a woven fence to keep critters out of the gardens. What I need to know is whether we can chop up the bamboo leaves and small branches and compost them, or if I'm just asking for trouble. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer.
 
John Elliott
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Just the usual set of problems -- seeds in the leaf litter that are going to germinate into more bamboo plants. If that would be a problem, you may want to hot compost it so that any seeds would be killed. If you are OK with a volunteer bamboo appearing where it's least expected, then you don't even have to bother with the hot compost.
 
R Scott
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Does bamboo propagate from cuttings?

That scene from Mickey Mouse and the Sorcerer's Apprentice pops to mind...
 
Matu Collins
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There are many kinds of bamboo, do you know what kind you're getting?
 
John Elliott
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R Scott wrote:Does bamboo propagate from cuttings?

That scene from Mickey Mouse and the Sorcerer's Apprentice pops to mind...


Bamboo is a big grass plant, not a willow. All the propagating bits of the plant (except for the seeds) are underground. And bamboo relies more on underground propagation than it does on seeds. Although downwind of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden they do have an impressive assortment of escaped 'volunteers'.
 
Matu Collins
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I'm a newbie to when it comes to bamboo. Because of infestations I've seen on other people's property I have never introduced it to my property except for the kind that you grow in water in a glass. That stuff seems to grow from a cut end if you put it in water.

I do enjoy my neighbor's bamboo poles! They grow so fast for him that he has plenty to give me and they are quite strong.
 
Cj Sloane
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Haleigh Lynn wrote:...we're using the canes for a woven fence to keep critters out of the gardens.


What kind of critters? Most livestock will eat bamboo.
 
Haleigh Lynn
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Location: East Texas
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Thank you for all of your responses.

John Elliot: really not sure - that's why I'm asking. I know very little about the problems we might run into.
R Scott: It's Golden Bamboo, if that helps.
Matu Collins: We processed the whole trailer load today, and there are a lot of seeds. We plan to use them along the perimeter of the property, and hopefully begin a live fencing system. As far as the critters go, we're trying to keep deer, rabbits, and stray dogs from eating our plants and/or tromping the garden plots.
 
Cj Sloane
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I think the deer & rabbit will want to eat the bamboo, but if there's enough for them to eat, they may stay on the other side of the fence. Make the bamboo the outer layer and a 2nd layer of things they they will not find palatable or it too thick/spiky for them to bother with.
 
Leila Rich
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Bamboo leaves and very fine stems will compost fine, but in my experience anything thicker than say, a pencil, takes a really, really long time to break down, even in hot compost.
From what I understand, bamboo seeds very rarely, and I've never seen a stake grow roots.
Thank goodness
Bamboo's an amazing plant, but 'runners' (like yours) definitely have plans for world-domination!
 
Haleigh Lynn
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Location: East Texas
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Thanks again, everyone.

CJ - I hope that's not the case, as we've already put up part of the fence. Since the leaves/branches have been stripped, and only the canes are being used, I'm hoping that the critters won't find it "snackable". We've shredded the small stems and leaves and are going to hot compost them - I appreciate the input, Leila!

I'll let everyone know how it goes and post some photos once we've completed the fencing.
 
Cj Sloane
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Leila Rich wrote:... and I've never seen a stake grow roots.


This has happened to us on numerous occasions if the stake was recently a tree. I'm not sure they ever made it to year 2 but lots of stakes have put out leaves for us.
 
Cj Sloane
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Haleigh Lynn wrote:
CJ - I hope that's not the case, as we've already put up part of the fence. Since the leaves/branches have been stripped, and only the canes are being used, I'm hoping that the critters won't find it "snackable".


Critters will eat the bark off a fence if they like that wood, but if there's no bark and no re-growth I guess your good to go.

You'll have to keep us posted.
 
Leila Rich
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Cj Verde wrote:
Leila Rich wrote:... and I've never seen a stake grow roots.


This has happened to us on numerous occasions if the stake was recently a tree. I'm not sure they ever made it to year 2 but lots of stakes have put out leaves for us.

Cj, I wasn't clear in my reply- I was only referring to bamboo.
Have you had bamboo stakes 'take'?
 
Cj Sloane
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Leila Rich wrote:
Have you had bamboo stakes 'take'?


Nope, never used bamboo but I plant to plant the clumping kind this year. Good fodder for cows & sheep.
 
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