The Evolution of Bamboo

pcanFebruary 6, 2012

Someone asked me a while back to post how my bamboo does over the winters. So I pulled some photo's of my ph. decora and ph. nigra.

Planted in June 2010

March 2011 right after we installed the bamboo barrier

Today (Feb 2012) the larger plant is the decora, the nigra has stayed green this winter but has not gained nearly the size of the decora. I spent this last weekend composting the bamboo bed. I hauled 10 large wheelbarrows full of compost back to the bed, and freshened all the wood chips on top. Last year I put about an inch layer of compost down and fresh wood chips as well. So I think with the extra compost this year it should do swimmingly come spring :)

And I just found this pic from last June right after installing the pond. It's not of bamboo, but I thought "wow that's a cool pic" so I am posting it for your viewing pleasure :)

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kentuck_8b(__)

Very nice, and even the one without the bamboo!

I really like the rock border that hides the bamboo barrier.

That doesn't look like Utah...what part of Utah are you in?

Kt

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:51PM
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pcan

Thank you!

Salt lake Valley. We are very lucky as we have irrigation water that runs in a ditch through our yard keeping our high desert yard very moist and tropical :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:00PM
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pcan

About the rock barrier. It has a couple purposes, one being hiding the bamboo barrier... But I also have them around every bed out there including the outer perimeter of the small bed around the pond. This is because our irrigation water literally floods the back yard (it looks like a huge pond a couple inches deep when we open the gate). Without the blocks, all the wood chips get washed out all over the grass. The blocks come in handy, enough water gets through without letting the wood chips wash out.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:16PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

Interesting! I also like the rocks in the rock barrier. I have never seen any that shape down here. I really like!

Looks like a double rainbow in the last pic. How tall is the fence? It appears to be taller along the property line and shorter and spaced wider, in between the back yard area.

Once again, very nice bamboo and yard!

Kt

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:33PM
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pcan

The fence is 4 feet high. The edges of the yard are higher so the water fills the yard like a bowl when we irrigate which is why the fence going through the yard looks lower. It sets about 2-4 inches lower than the edges. It separates the main yard from the 60 x 30 foot food garden behind it. I know I have posted this before but here's the before pics when we bought the house back in June 08'. Probably more of what typical Utah looks like. But it's amazing what you can do with some water rights ;)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:17PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

Wow! Now that's more like what I've seen of Utah.

You really have a very nice oasis there! Keep us updated as the bamboo grows.

Thanks for posting the pics.

Kt

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:24PM
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ocimum_nate

Utah is a great place for growing bamboo
[IMG]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d2/Nateabbott/DSC_0662.jpg[/IMG]

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 5:04AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi pcan. What city are you located? I'm southwest of Logan, in the bottom of Cache Valley, where all the cold air flows to. Zone 4. I've seen -45 temperatures at my house. I've got a small clump of Fargesia by my house that does very well. It always keeps it's green leaves through the winter. Other varieties I've tried always winter kills. I wish I had zone 7 temperatures! Can't complain, however. I've got some hardy magnolias, wisteria and other borderline plants to grow successfully here in Cache Valley. I even have 4 outdoor palms that I protect. One is 15 feet tall.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 11:28AM
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pcan

I am in Salt Lake Valley. We used to be zone 5-6 but with the new USDA zone map, we are now 7 and haven't had temps below 0 in 20 years (this year we didn't get below 10 F). I love zone 7, it's a good zone to be :)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 6:03PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Wow. Cache Valley has also been warmer than it was 20 years ago, but it got down to -20 last year and the year before. Enjoy the tropics! This year was great! We got down to about zero, but no lower. I rejoice when it doesn't get below zero. There's a guy in Bountiful that grows about 20 different varieties of bamboo on his lot. He has little groves everywhere in his yard.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 8:18PM
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pcan

Hello Bamboo folks! I thought I would give an update on the evolution of bamboo. This summer it has done swimmingly, finally outgrowing my expectations. It has now been in the ground for 2 years and 3.5 months. I have already pulled about 20' of rhizomes out that have tried to escape the barrier. I am actually now getting a little scared. These rhizomes were thick and hardy, I can't imagine what they will be like when it reaches maximum height 20' - 40 '!!!

Well here it is. My bamboo in all it's glory.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:22PM
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stevelau1911

I know decora is a very fast spreader, but I've never seen it make rhizomes over the3-4ft range. You must have warm summers, and that pond may be fueling that kind of rhizome growth. Many running bamboos will literally grow like clumpers in my climate due to the short and cool growing season. This is why barriers can be pointless here.

You might be able to slow down the rhizomes by thinning out some culms, turning some rhizomes upwards to turn into whip shoots or simply rhizome pruning well before rhizomes reach the barrier. Rhizomes cannot shoot without putting down roots, hardening off, and going through a cool period for vernalization to mature the buds. Severing the connection early should cause the unwanted part to rot away.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:28PM
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pcan

I may have been too good to the bamboo LOL. I put at least 2 inches of compost over the our natural sandy loam and another inch of wood chips. Then it gets water via flood irrigation from our irrigation ditch once a week providing a very deep watering. Our summers are hot but a little shorter than most. I think we had snow around the first of May and may have snow again in October.

Thanks for the tips on slowing these guys down.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:38AM
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stevelau1911

Flood irrigation must work well. One concern I might have is the decora eventually choking out the nigra since it is simply a faster grower. I have both of those species planted and it looks like nigra doesn't run at all. They seem to upsize at about the same rate.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 2:40AM
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pcan

I was surprised to see the nigra out running the decora this year. It really isn't clumping at all while the decora clumps and sends out few runners. But the nigra is not reaching the height of the decora.

Here are a couple pictures taken in late May when we starting running the irrigation for the season.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 2:14PM
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