help with container bamboo project

PoorOwner(Northern CA)July 10, 2008

I have a space about 8' x 1.5' and I would like to build a rectangular trough to grow a container friendly bamboo. It will serve as a screen to hide my shed somewhat.

I am thinking to build this rectangular planter with redwood or cedar, any tips in building it? I will probably use redwood 2x4 for the frame, and cedar planks to cover the outside, 3" deck screws. Is that enough to hold up to certain bamboos?

I am of course also looking for a cultivar that will be ok for container and grow to 5-8' ideally..

Thanks in advance

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fredgpops(z9 N/ CA)

Redwood will rot with dirt touching and regardless of rot will allow the plant to run unless it's 2 to 2 1/2 feet down plus has a poly rhizome barrier. I'd jst purchase a rhizome barrier. Check your local roofing supply company for commercial grade poly to use as a barrier. Rgds

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:27PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Is this to be a "raised bed" or an actual "container" with a closed bottom?

I assumed the latter, and would recommend cedar wood for the building material.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 1:50PM
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PoorOwner(Northern CA)

sorry for not being clear, the project is a standalone container sitting on concrete slab. Potting soil will be used instead of heavy soil.

Does cedar last longer than redwood?

We have put a pot of bamboo in a 15 gallon nursery tub and it grew very well.

What about plywood construction or use plywood as a bottom?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 2:38PM
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You don't need a bottom at all. If it's sitting on a concrete slab, all's you need are sides, like a raised bed.

As for constructin materials, you could used treated wood, or that polymer/wood composite stuff used as decking. Or, you could use those interlocking retaining wall blocks; that's what I use (though a little spendy $$$).


    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:36PM
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On second look, forget the retaining wall blocks; your space is too narrow to accomodate them.

And another thing; your proposal will act like a container rather than a raised bed on top of native soil. As such, there will be no natural wicking action from underlying soil. You will have to pay close attention to your soil constituents to ensure longterm health of the planting. Peat-based commercial soils in containers (which yours will be) will badly compact over time, and drainage will suffer. Accordingly, if it were me, I'd be making my own soil mix. And even then, over time, you will probably find that you will need to remove some soil periodically, and replace with new stuff; kind of like re-potting a container planting.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:42PM
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