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using bamboo?

 
John Remmers
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Has anyone used bamboo to create a hugelkultur pile? Or can anyone think of a reason not to use it?
 
Matthew McCoul
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Location: Southeast Michigan
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Only a few, and they're not deal-breakers.

First, bamboo rots very quickly.
This will make for a bed that gets a lot of carbon and life fast, but also one that will be out of woody matter in a few years., then that great sponge effect from the wood is lost, and you just have a hill of nice soil. Could be worse, could be better.

Second, bamboo whole, unsplit, is hollow and sealed.
It'll be almost like making a hill of balloons. As it rots, the bamboo will collapse and your hill will shrink fast. If it's in a trench instead of a hill, you may end up with a sunken puddle instead of a garden. Splitting the bamboo would keep this from being much of an issue.

Seems like it could work on paper. I'd suggest using tree woods and bamboo, rather than just bamboo, and either splitting it first or using very small culms.
 
Frank Brentwood
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Location: Long Island, NY (Zone 7)
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John Remmers wrote:Has anyone used bamboo to create a hugelkultur pile? Or can anyone think of a reason not to use it?


Along with what Matthew said above:

It would depend on the diameter of the bamboo. Larger stems/trunks would have more air than fiber and would cause a greater shrinking of the hugel as they rotted away.
 
John Remmers
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Thanks gentlemen. I have a robust bamboo grove with 20 - 40, 2+ inch canes that die each year. I have built 8' garden fences, myriad trestles, gates, and even wind chimes. I was just looking for another way to use this yearly surplus. The idea of blending them with some of my ample windfall sounds like a good direction. I will build one this autumn once this Ozarks heat has subsided a bit. I appreciate the input.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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