Can you use a plastic child's pool for containment?

poaky1December 14, 2012

Okay, you're gonna think I'm nuts but here goes..... If you were to use about 4 child's pools together in thickness for a liner with some drainage holes for running bamboo would it work okay? I would like to use some bamboo poles for making fences/gates, and think running bamboo get bigger faster. The running bamboo looks better, but I am afraid to plant it.

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It may be possible to contain them at least until the pool cracks as plastic doesn't last forever.

If you want a big bamboo, but don't want the ones that run rampantly, an very simple solution is to plant the least aggressive running bamboo that you can find that is still hardy enough to grow. Some species simply don't spread more than a few inches each year, and partial shade can further help to hinder their growth. In the northeast, some running bamboos can spread up close to 10ft a year while others typically run less than 1ft.

I never use barriers, but I've been getting rid of species that run rampantly. Here's an example of one of my bamboos that has made it up to 15ft tall, but still hasn't spread much. I haven't done any rhizome pruning either.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture of my 4 year old phyllostachys dulcis- note their may be different cultivators of this

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 7:45AM
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I would do it.
Why not?
it will be thicker than the bamboo barrier that you have to buy.
Try it.
What is the worst case scenerio? It grows a little
out of the pool in about 4 years?
Just cut it back.
I say go for it.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 9:27PM
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I'm not sure how deep these pools are that you are talking about, but 4 pools together are not near as good as one solid pool of the same thicknes, but yes, the more pools you put together the longer or more protection you will get.

You will need holes in the bottom of the pools and if the pools are shallow, then you run the risk of the rhizomes growing out of the bottom of the pool and escaping.

Growing conditions here in Texas are different then each and every place in the USA so your area may me much different but I used the bamboo barrier and after getting somewhat rootbound, the rhizomes escaped under the barrier.

I've seen runners spread over 20 feet in one season here.

I think you might try rhizome pruning twice a year as an alternative, or use the pools but be prepared to prune later.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 9:12AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bamboo barrier is a specialty plastic -- high density polyethylene -- and I guarantee that it is much stronger and much more durable than a kiddie pool. In addition, even with drainage holes, the bamboo is not going to be as healthy in a shallow container that is blocking access to the nutrients in the ground and the free flow of water. If one is going to contain bamboo, it should be done the right way.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 2:29PM
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If you cut the bottom out of a kiddie pool, you will
have a wonderful barrier, even for an aggresive bamboo.
Bamboo nurseries use this method all the time, and the added benefit is if you want to move the bamboo, it is nice and easy to get it all out at once.
Try it, it works.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:50PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I've been to quite a few bamboo nurseries and have yet to see this method employed. If it is used, I would assume it is a temporary method since they rotate stock and take divisions all the time. I'm skeptical that it is a workable, permanent solution for the home gardener. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has actually used this for several years and had no problems with rhizomes breaching the perimeter. I'm still a proponent of doing it right (with regular barrier) the first time. But, if it works for you, great.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 2:44AM
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I 've been too chicken to try running bamboo yet. I have ( I think) 3 types of Fargesias. Robusta Woolong, and the other 2 I can't remember right now. The pool idea isn't a good one. Our dogs pool wasn't durable. I am interested in if there are any large culmed clumpers.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 5:14AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

There are large-culmed clumpers...they just won't survive in your Zone because they are tropical bamboo. You'll have to move to Florida if you want to grow those.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 12:33PM
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if you are that worried about containing it get a watering trough for horses or cows..they come in all sizes and bury it. plant your bamboo in it. its galvanized metal that will last a long time and the rhizomes won't break through. they have them at tractor supply for differant prices. I think your a bit worried over nothing. my "runners" only run a few inchs a year and any bamboo can be kept to a min. with a lawn mower and root pruning.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:27PM
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