Removing bamboo rhizomes from large area
After three years and hours and hours of cutting rhizomes and culms, we're finally winning the battle to eradicate a huge stand of running bamboo that was probably planted 30 years ago. There's still some in our neighbor's yard which may yet present a problem, but now it's only growing in a few small patches in our yard that we can probably kill off this year. Although it was a nightmare, we've managed to remove most of the rhizomes from existing plant beds so we can finally garden without the frustration of hitting them every time we put a shovel in the ground or having it shoot up through other plants.
To keep it out of the beds, we had to get rid of it altogether since digging and maintaining a trench to control it would have been impossible because of the size of the stand and our forested lot. The problem now is the large area that used to be a pretty bamboo grove is a bare eyesore. There are so many dead rhizomes and hard stumps that it's impossible to plant anything and digging them out by hand isn't feasible because the area is far too large. It's even dangerous to walk in the area because the stumps are so sharp and the ground is very uneven.
Has anyone had success rehabbing a former grove site? Is our only option to remove the rhizomes to get a bobcat and remove the top 6+ inches of soil as well? We would like to do something with the area this year, but if we waited another year or two, would the rhizomes rot enough for us to preserve the soil and more easily pull the stumps up and maybe just till the area to make it suitable for planting?
Thank you in advance.