Soil mix for container bamboo

cjurek(7b)March 8, 2012

I'm looking to plant some boo in two large containers in my city backyard. Each container will be about 3' wide, 8' long, and 2' wide and holds approximately 300 gallons.

My question is what is the best soil mix to use to fill this beast? I can't find ingredients like peat moss and perlite in large enough quantities, cheaply enough to use.

I am planning on buying some screened top soil and compost in bulk (by the truckload) but am stuck as to what else I could mix in to reduce compaction and ensure aeration of the roots that the bamboo would be ok with. Should I be looking at masonry sand, or pea gravel, or something else entirely?

Please help!

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alan_l(6)

You'll be fine with topsoil and compost mixed at roughly 50/50. When I build planter boxes for bamboo that's the soil mix I use. If it were a smaller planter or pot then I'd make sure that it had more peat and/or perlite to keep it from compacting, but the bigger planters don't seem to have that problem. Bamboo rhizomes and roots don't seem to mind heavy soil.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 2:20PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bamboo do well in a wide variety of soils. Those I have planted in my yard are in hard, somewhat clay-like soil, and I don't bother to improve it. For those I put in containers, I pick up a load of standard top soil from my local yard materials place. As long as your water drains adequately (i.e., you don't have standing water) you should be fine. I do sometimes throw a handful of slow release fertilizer in the hole before planting the root ball, but that's it.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 2:53PM
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cjurek(7b)

Thanks for the quick responses. I was starting to get the feeling I was over-thinking this. I figure bamboo is pretty hardy and seems to tolerate a variety of soil conditions. I think I'll go the 50/50 topsoil/compost route and just ensure there is adequate drainage in the planter box.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 3:02PM
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