clay soil a problem?

mwilk42(7)October 6, 2006

I don't know anything about bamboo, so I was trying to find out some things before I invested time and money if it was not a good idea. I have very tight clay soil, and am afraid that the bamboo would not do well. I want it for a screen along a county road. It is very far from my house so I don't really have a means to water it much. We had a terrible drought this summer, and I had to water a lot of things. Should I try to think of some other type of screen? any other suggestions?

thanks in advance

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jochen(EdinUK)

Hey, I am not a specialist on Bamboo, but I have a number of them in my garden
(P. vivax 'Aureocaulis', Fargesia murieliae Jumbo, P. aurea (Golden Bamboo), P. dulcis and P. bissetii)
all of them are in clay soil and they are doing very well. Although being in Scotland I have no problem with water shortage.
I know that P. nigra 'Henon' is drought tolerant.
Not sure if you ever have been in touch with http://www.bamboogarden.com I would get in touch with them and have a look what they have to say. Very nice people. And they have masses of bamboo Hope this helps.
Jochen

Here is a link that might be useful: bamboogarden

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 2:36AM
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bambooo(6 CT USA)

Clay soil is no problem at all.
Drainage is a problem.
If your clay soil has standing water a day or two after a rain then it is a problem.
If you dig a foot deep hole and it fills with water that is a problem.
Clay soil that drains is actually a benefit as it holds moisture and nutrients very well.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 11:59AM
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mersiepoo(6)

Very true, clay soil is not a problem. We have a main gas transmission pipeline running in front of our house, so we can't plant trees on it (we have a main road next to the pipeline and we want some privacy-people are so nosy in the country). So I planted bamboo. It gets lots of sun and has good drainage. The soil is SO bad, because it's the rocks and shale from when they dug the gas pipeline and the stuff below it is solid rock. I had dug out a shallow grave-sized hole and amended the soil for the bamboo. Seems like it likes the clay soil better! It's spreading everywhere (except where I put good soil). Give it a few years and you'll be digging up the new culms and transplanting them, or mowing them with the lawnmower.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 3:10PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

In tests going back decades, using other kinds of trees and shrubs, on both sandy and clay soils, using various kinds of amendments, response has been best from control subjects planted in unamended backfill.

You want the same texture throughout the rooting area. Pockets of soil with different texture (amending makes a soil coarser textured) may receive and collect water during wet conditions and shed it during dry.

Undisturbed potting soil root balls have the same problems. Bare rooting at planting is beginning to be advocated, where roots can be kept moist. I wouldn't bareroot a bamboo as their roots dry rapidly with exposure to air and look quite unhappy, although I have never tested this assumption.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 3:42PM
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socalboo

clay is tough to drain

but clay has lots of nutrients

i live in clay and rock laden soil in san diego, and have my fair share of tropical clumpers in the ground. once they get to decent size, tough to overwater them. even though the clay is thick and rather inpenetrable, doesn't seem to affect drainage enough to where I have to be concerned about overwatering much.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 5:48PM
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