Does anyone have experience growing cold hardy clumping bamboo in 7a? I would like to plant some bamboo useful for various things around the farm, like trellises, gates, stakes, maybe even fencing. The cold hardy clumping varieties I have looked at don't seem to get very thick in diameter- fargesia scabrida and fargesia robusta - so I am not sure how useful it would be. It also seems slow growing. I don't really want to deal with running bamboo, as it can get out of control pretty quickly from what I have seen. Thoughts?
“All good things are wild, and free.” Henry David Thoreau
I've posted on this before but it's been a long while so I'll put it here too....the fear around running bamboo is overrated. They are very easy to keep in bounds if you have access to the space around which they are planted. Just don't plant them next to a property line or a building. All of the new shoots come up in a particular season, usually spring or the onset of rainy season (in the tropics). Gather these to eat, or kick them over, or mow them off, and you are done for that year. Let sprouts grow up within their designated area, and control any outside of it, and you can keep the stand or clump any size you like.