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Northern bamboo

Posted by samhain10 5 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 20, 13 at 9:35

Occasionally I have seen listings for a bamboo which is hardy in the north. Anyone have firsthand experience with a bamboo which can survive in Zone 5?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Northern bamboo

I grow bamboo outdoor in Chicago area. It is edible, the runner type, P. Bessiti ( I may have spelled the name wrong). It can survive here but does not grow very tall.
I also know someone grows black bamboo outdoor near my neighborhood.


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Thanks Olympia! If I could ask a few more questions: is it as tall as 6 ft? Does it die back somewhat in the winter and then come up again in the spring? Are the runners very aggressive, or does it spread slowly? Meaning, am I going to have a jungle in a couple of years? For some reason, I had it in my head that it wouldn't grow as fast in our colder climate, but I'm thinking now that reasoning may be flawed! :)


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I overwintered fargesia rufa outside here in Peace River, AB last winter, and am trying to do the same now. While all of the leaves did die, the roots survived, and I was rewarded with new growth by June. My winter protection regimen consists of heaping leaves and snow on top of the plant and takes all of 5 minutes -- and seems to be working. Don't get me wrong -- I'm never going to have a prize-winning plant and will probably have some winterkill again this year -- but it's a real thrill to say that you can grow bamboo, outside, in northern Alberta. I'd definitely recommend it in your zone.


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Wow! That's surprising, David! What about the spreading factor? Should I be considering only putting it in a place that I don't mind having a bamboo forest in a couple of years? Or is it a little more manageable than that? I really love the look of it, but I remember a friend's backyard down in TX - the stuff was VERY hardy there and you could forget about anything else being planted near it!


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Spread is minimal given the adverse growing conditions -- probably in the range of 3 cm/1 inch per year. You would, of course, have much more growth with a longer growing season in zone 5. After my first winter, (and when I realized all foliage had died) I cut down the plant to about 10 cm/4 inches. It had, by late summer, rebounded to about a 20 cm height. I'll give you an update if it survives this winter; it's currently buried under about three feet of snow.


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I'd appreciate it, David! My thought is, based on what you've said, that I could count on some invasiveness in my zone 5, but that as long as I didn't allow a year to pass between root prunings, that I might be able to keep it in some bounds. I will be on the lookout this season for the best location on the property for a bamboo "forest"...


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OK - did some more research and found an excellent site for not only ordering all sorts of hardy bamboo, but very detailed instructions for planting, care and maintenance: Bamboo Garden Nursery. Here's the thing, though, for anyone else who may be considering growing bamboo - it DOES require dedicated maintenance to keep it in check. If I were to grow it, I can see the best way to handle it would be to dig a retaining trench that's back-filled with sand. This would allow for easier pruning of the new rhizomes. If I were 20 years younger (!!), I might consider it, but I don't know that I'm up for the job now. Sigh. Would still be interested, though, to know if your bamboo made it through the winter, David in Calgary, if you happen to read this...


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Why not grow Fargesia nitida . it is rated to Zone 5 and is a clumping bamboo, so you don't need any retaining system at all. But it needs to be in shade, probably best in full shade.


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My bamboo is still buried under two feet of snow...but will likely emerge from the snowmelt in the next two weeks. I'll provide an update in May after growth has resumed. I'm trying to save the foliage this year -- I uncovered the plant too quickly last year (in April) and lost the leaves in a mid-month freeze. The roots did survive, though, and new growth sprouted from that. I'm hoping that, with luck, this will be the case this year. I am, BTW, about 600 km to the NNW of Calgary; I just kept the name after I moved. :)


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Drew - I looked at the pics of the clumping bamboos, and while some of them grow tall, none of them appear to get very large canes, and while I love the look of ornamental grasses, I guess what I was hoping for was something that I could also use the canes for garden supports. Silly me! :) May still go with a clumping variety - one that can tolerate some sun - though I wish I could see something in the flesh, so to speak.
David - good luck with yours this year. Hope to see pics!


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We've had a slow start to spring here and the ground is still snow-covered. The belated thaw has, nonetheless, revealed a bunch of green, wet bamboo leaves, so I'm sure the plant is just fine. I covered the clump right back up with snow, though, as it looks like another cold snap (highs of -8/-10 C by the end of the week) is on its way and I don't want to damage the foliage. This has been the longest winter...


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Well I think you could use the canes! How about
Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida'? I think Nitida would look about the same, yeah not super thick, but useable I bet. Once it reaches full height. Scabrida can take more sun. One zone higher. Zone 6

Both of these I have interest in. But I have so many plants to put in this year, and take care of, not sure I will order it this year? I have some really shady spots that could use someting like these cultivars. Of course all bamboo are grasses, but no doubt when mature both these cultivars look more like trees than grasses. Well small trees, like a 2 year old fruit tree, 3/4 inch diameter is kinda skinny I guess. Nitada only .5 inches.

Check link

Here is a link that might be useful: Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida'

This post was edited by Drew51 on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 22:43


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Drew - wow! That cultivar is beautiful! And it does look like it might make some smaller sized useable canes. Am also "booked-up" plant (and money-wise) already this season, but looks like bamboo may be back in the picture for the future. :)
David - yeah, still winter here, too, though we had a warm day yesterday and I don't think it froze for long last night as the waterdish I leave out for the feral cat colony wasn't frozen. Ah, Spring!


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OK, now I want to order it, yes it is cool looking and would fit my needs. Bamboo Garden sells this cultivar BTW. Sells both I listed. I was thinking of getting both. Luckily you can pretty much plant these anytime during the spring. So I can wait a month and see if I can swing the cost. My zone is 6 so both should be OK here in SE MI.


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We're really Zone 5 here, but there's a sheltered corner I'm thinking of that might do for a bamboo forest. Think I will start preparing the area for possible planting next year.
Drew - let me know how it goes with you if you do get them. Always good to have extra data, especially if I get to ask questions during the process!


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Sam,

Yes, I will keep you updated. I have a very shady spot, and nearby a spot with just a little afternoon sun, so hoping that is about right for these cultivars. Both spots receive some dappled light thoughout the day. Right at the edge of an old growth stand of oaks and maples. It's a high spot too, so should be well drained. I will have to buy the smaller plants because I just don't have loads of bucks for these things. The #1 pot size, about 2-3 ft tall.


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I decided to at least get one bamboo so I ordered Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida' It seemed to be the nicest one. I ordered from Bamboo Gardens. I ordered the smallest they offer 1 gallon for 25.00. I saw this on other sites for more money (30.00) in a 2 1/2 inch pot! BG sounds like the place to get bamboo! They said they had some very nice 1 gallon pots currently.
See link for description from BG

Here is a link that might be useful: Re: Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida'


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Drew - cool! Yeah, that would have to be the way I'd go, too, as I pretty strictly budget what I spend on plants. Mostly I grow my flowers as well as my veggies from seed to get more for the money, but this year I let myself be extravagant and order some perennial plants. Maybe bamboo next year...keep us posted on progress!


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OK, the cultivar Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida' arrived today! Yea!
I will post another photo when it is up at my cottage and in the ground. Then in the fall and spring. so you can see progress if any.


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That's a nice substantial healthy-looking clump! Looking forward to seeing it in its place in the garden. Keep us posted!


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"That's a nice substantial healthy-looking clump! "

It looks bigger than it is, the canes are not pencil thin, but the graphite in the pencil. OK, not that thin! I would definitely highly recommend Bamboo Garden, The culms look orange, and is beautiful. It's going near my variegated purple beech which is just a twig. My dog could step on it and kill it! The bamboo looks like a grass, which it is, it looks it. Anyway it will get to be 12 feet tall, so in a few years it should look very cool. I want it as sort of a hedge. I may add other cultivars and try to make a hedge on one side of my cottage. This is clumping bamboo too, so no worries of it spreading beyond control. All suckers will stay with the clump and not appear 10 feet away from the plant. On the other side I put in a elderberry hedge, and in front of that a currant-gooseberry hedge. In the front of my cottage I put a dogwood (Cornus Mas) hedge. All are just starting so look like nothing at the moment. Here is a photo of my cottage and you can just see the seedling dogwoods in forground. These dogwoods will produce an edible berry too! Photo from last fall. The bamboo will be placed on the right side. I will be putting it in Saturday.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, May 15, 13 at 13:59


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Nice cottage - did you put the redwood siding on yourself? I saw someone else do this with a mobile home and liked the look. I see you have a wood burning stove or fireplace, though, judging by the chimney smoke - that's a great addition.
What kind of trees are the tall ones in the foreground? Looks like oak leaves on the ground.
We've got red osier dogwood around our place; definitely not edible. Just looked up the cornus mas - huh, didn't realize there was an edible dogwood. The red osier grows very fast - very attractive red stems for fall and winter color. The gooseberry will give you fall color, too. We've got both those and elderberry growing wild on the property. Where are you putting the bamboo?


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It is a summer cottage, it is not insulated. The wood is cedar 2x6 tongue and groove. The same boards are on the inside! Yes a modern wood burning stove. I just put a log on otherwise it does not smoke. The trees in front I think are Pin oaks. We have black, red, and white oaks on the island also. Also silver, sugar, and red maples. Most of the ash trees are gone now from the ash borer. Other trees too, ton's of willows etc. The oaks and maples soar to 120 feet. The ones in front are about 80 feet tall. Behind the house on the right side is a red maple. It was 120 feet. The carpenter ants were in it, so I topped it at about 40 feet. it is still alive. it cost $800.00 to trim off the infected wood. Red maple is super hard and great burning wood. As good as the oak! I have about 3 cords currently harvested from the property.
Mostly removed ash trees, and 2 red maples that fell in a storm. Here is a photo of one of the felled trees.

The bamboo will be put on the right at the grass edge to start a border with the woods. The photo is from last year, on the left I cleared the brush and put the elders, and currants there. I'll take photos eventually.


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The reason i choose the dogwoods is one I'm into edible landscapes. I can't wait to one day make jam and syrup with the dogwood cherries. 2nd i saw a hedge, in this garden


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Here is a close up of the hedge, you can see the unripened (still green) berries.


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Those are some old trees, sounds like! No oak here and the few maples are ones I planted. Sorry to hear about the ash; we seem to have escaped that invasion, and interestingly enough, this year I noticed ash trees started all over the place from the seeds of our main three ash trees. Obviously, they have been there for at least 5 years, but were small and I didn't recognize them for what they were. The dogwood hedge looks good in that photo - can't imagine a true hedge of these osier dogwoods - they're mostly scraggly and seem to die off as quick as they grow! Though, as I mentioned, they have beautiful red winter color in what can otherwise be mostly whites, browns, grays and the blue/purple shadows on the snow.


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Sam, you should fill your profile with your zone and location. It helps if asking for advice. i can understand if you don't want to, but I was curious where you're at. Where the ash bore missed? Luckily some young trees are around, and hopefully the borer will move on. It's pretty good burning wood! Because I am on an island, it looked like we were going to escape the ash bore, DNR inspected us and found none, but then a year later they found us. I heard they found a stance of ash trees which were resistant, and were propagating them for replacement trees. So that is cool. A natural genetic mutation of survival for the tree.
I planted the bamboo, but forgot my camera. I will take photo next week. I want to document it's growth, just for fun. I also planted Juliet, and Cupid from the Romance series of tart cherries from U of S. I now have 4 of these trees planted. All small seedlings planted this year. The others are Carmine Jewel and Crimson Passion.


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Drew - oops, sorry - forgot it again. We're Zone 5a, about the middle of MI. Not so sure why the borers have missed us - haven't been hearing about them lately around here either, so maybe they've moved on. Though, interestingly enough, we've also got one of the oldest surviving American elms on the property, too. Apparently it is resistant to disease. All around us are the dead younger elms that get fairly big, then are taken out by Dutch Elm disease. This one is huge - just went out to measure it: it's 9 ft circumference. There's a black walnut by it that's about the same. Haven't a clue how tall they are - am not good at heights. :)


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"Haven't a clue how tall they are - am not good at heights. :)"

I wouldn't know either except the tree trimmer guy told me how high the canopy was on the island.


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BTW - our weather day before yesterday...the quarter gives you an idea of size.


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Holy moly those are huge! Car denting size! Nice photo too!

I'm waiting for the rain here, so dry already! I failed to mention I really like all dogwoods, very cool plants! I would like to add some for ornamental reasons. I recently saw some that had beautiful blooms, I have to find out what they were. Too bad the red stemmed sound and look better than they perform. Yeah I thought those and maybe some contorted plants would make a great winter scape.
The rain has started....

My wife is going to kill me, but I bought another Cornus mas dogwood. A yellow fruited cultivar. Man One Green World is a great nursery. The plant is 4 ft tall, it did cost a lot, but man, I got a lot! I also added a yellow fruited Elderberry as it is so unusual. It's 3 feet tall. One Green World rocks!

https://www.onegreenworld.com/Cornelian Cherry/Yellow8482/477/

Here is a link that might be useful: Yellow Elder

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, May 22, 13 at 10:01


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Yep - they DID dent the car slightly, but as it's a used vehicle and we're not hardcore car people, we weren't especially bummed about it. Happier not to have them hit my head - I was out in the greenhouse at the time, and afraid to leave until it stopped. I was wondering if they were going to break through the old fiberglass roof! One of these days, we need to replace the fiberglass as it's so scratched and weathered, the structure hardly qualifies for a greenhouse - LOL. Here is another reminder, though, why fiberglass is probably a safer bet for us here than the glass which I've occasionally longed for. (Another heavy downpour as I write this, but no hail...yet.)
The yellow elder looks interesting. Am attaching a B&W pic I took some years back of the wild elder here on the property, well, just 'cause I like the pic! :)
Have always wanted to get one of those contorted filberts: Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana) - that what you mean? Two trees I did swap for ages ago were tulip tree and ginkgo. The tulip tree is now grown up, blooming as a 3 or 4 years back. I got it when it was only 2-3 ft tall. The ginkgo is still in a pot, and has been for some years. I can't ever decide to plant it out or to try to bonsai it - not that I'd know how really.


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"Have always wanted to get one of those contorted filberts: Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana) - that what you mean?"

Yes, but I would get the new Contorted Red Dragon which is Eastern Filbert Blight resistant. Also their is a contorted mulberry, and the Contorted Jujube.


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Looked at the images for the Red Dragon - most seemed to have very dark burgundy leaves - too dark for me if they stay like that year round. Though I saw some others that looked more green or a lighter burgundy. That dark burgundy - sort of like "black flowers" - doesn't seem right to me somehow.


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Yeah but the blight is so bad, I could not see taking a chance. As they cost a small fortune. I'll take the red lady.


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Righto! Just went to see what the heck the blight was on these trees, and after seeing that AND that they are susceptible to scale attack, too, I think I will mark that purchase off my list! :)
So sad - I think I am becoming less adventurous in my "old"age - (sigh)...


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Well a good call really, I thought about a hedge of filberts, as they are edibles. Bamboo was an exception, and the shoots might be edible? So I too am practical! I'm into edible landscapes for sure. I want something back from the plants.
I still may find a place for that filbert hedge, Raintree is selling 5 plants for $50.00, 2 cultivars for pollinization.
Then I can add the contorted one and have a pollinizer! (maybe?)
Hey you could add the contorted Mulberry or Jujube!

I try and find plants that are edible, and ornamental, One I recently added was the Tri-color beech. Man is that a terrific looking tree!

Here is a link that might be useful: filbert hedge


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Good photo btw of the elder. Very cool! I love photos! I added two different variegated elders. Both are cool looking. one is almost white, no it is white and green. Here is a photo of it from online. Mine is still puny.


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Here is the other variegated elder. Since I have so much shade, variegated plants work well for me. Their is a variegated Cornus Mas too!

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, May 22, 13 at 23:31


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Those are all great - love the tri-color beech! Are there beech-nuts? Seems like some friends of mine have beech trees and have mentioned that, but not that they eat them. Will have to google it. (An aside: I sort of miss the old days when I would go to my library to look things up, and usually get all sorts of other information in the process. Now I am like most everyone else and just google it.)


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Yes it has nuts. Beechnuts are edible, but have a toxin so you are not supposed to eat over 100 a day. Euro beeches have better tasting nuts. Also more than one type of tri-color. It is a variegated Purple beech. The Purple is a cool tree by itself.
Mine is a seedling 12 inches tall. grafted, unknown rootstock. Mine currently has 6 leaves. Just hoping the dog doesn't step on it!
I want to add others in the future.
I thought it was dead. i planted it left the cottage, next time up I noticed an animal dug it up, probably from my scent. I replanted it but I have no idea how long roots were exposed? The following week it had leaves yeah!


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Hehehe - I've had that happen. I once planted a bunch of rosa rugosa starts around the edge of the property, giving them a little bonemeal boost in the planting hole. I had visions of a hedge of rose hips ringing the property - I've since decided that rosa rugosa is a diabolical fiend sent straight from hell - the rosehips are nice, but the spines are horrendous and the stuff spreads like mint with deep roots like comfrey - but, I digress...
Anyway, the bonemeal was probably the draw - raccoons or possoms dug up every last one of them! Given my further experience with rosa rugosa, I suppose I should say... "THANK YOU"!


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Here is the Bamboo in it's new home at the side of my yard.


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A close up: I'll take another photo in the fall or next spring if I can find this thread!


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One more, you can see my baby tri-color beech!


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I hope you do post some pics - I'd be interested in seeing the progression of everything. I'm still thinking of bamboo for here on the property, but it's easy to set it aside for now as there is so much else to deal with.
My husband and I just yesterday set 1000 shitake mushroom plugs, which involves drilling holes in oak logs, pounding in spore-inoculated wooden pegs, coating them with melted beeswax, and then setting them in a shady spot. Next spring we hopefully will harvest our first crop. We actually did this 8 years back with a much smaller package of pegs, but we weren't using oak as recommended and the instructions back then didn't mention anything about the beeswax seal. The end result was no mushrooms...until last year, when three beautiful big shitakes appeared. This year there were about 2 dozen! That was incentive to give it another go. If you like mushrooms, and don't mind the work of drilling and pounding - which it WAS work and took most of the day to do 1000 (though you can buy smaller quantities), you've got the perfect location for it judging by the pics you've posted: moist and shady.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fungi Perfecti


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Yes, many edible mushrooms grow on the island. At least 4 households pick them. I love mushrooms. My wife does not though. I do most of the cooking, so I add them from time to time. We are near Algonac, and the state park there is a fav spot for mushroom foragers. My dad used to pick them, I know nothing about what is good and what is not, and many species grow on the island. All kinds of them, even in my yard.


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Yeah, we have many here as well, some of them I'm sure are edible, but I'm not so adventurous that I want to try them without verification from someone I REALLY trust in addition to my visual identification using the guide books. The good thing about the shitakes is that we are putting them there ourselves; we know what they look like, and they don't look like any of the other wild mushrooms around here, so we can trust them to be shitakes.


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I would like to do the mushroom thing too, I may. I'm surrounded by oak! I'm planting some corn next week. I have a new bed for strawberries, 8 x 16 ft. I have the strawberries surrounding my blueberries in 3 4x4 beds. In a few years the blueberries will need the whole bed, so the strawberry runners will be moved to the new bed. But for now it is free. After the sweet corn (a new hybrid that is 20% sweeter than current sweet corn SE2 I think it is called? Many cultivars of SE2 I'm growing "Silver Choice" ).in October I will plant garlic after the corn is harvested. This is in the city, not the cottage. I also have besides 3 blueberry bushes, 8 blackberry/blackberry hybrids (boysenberry, loganberry, wyeberry,tayberry, and 4 regular blackberry cultivars). 18 raspberry plants(yellow, red, black, and purple), 24 strawberry plants (18 different cultivars, Pineberries, June, everbearing, day neutral, musk, Virginia, and alpine. Red, white, yellow and purple)
2 peach trees (white and yellow), a white nectarine, The Nectaplum interspecific hybrid, and a 4 in 1 Pluot tree. One grape vine, and 2 red currants I'm growing as cordons. I forgot about the 4 tomato plants, 3 cucumber bushes (not vines), and 2 pepper plants in pots! Oh and "Eastern Prince" the only self fertile Magnolia vine around. it produces edible leaves and berries.
Thanks for the link to the shrooms!

This post was edited by Drew51 on Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 22:23


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If you're wondering what a red currant cordon is. it is a way to grow currants, kinda like grapes. A cordon is a permanent branch. Lee Reich a famous gardener has one in his garden. I always wanted to grow one. I started two of them this year. Here is Lee's Red Currant cordon.


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Here is one of mine, planted this year. Jesse the wonder dog is guarding against any currant thieves! It's about 4 inches taller since this photo. yes, it's small, but you have to start somewhere! Cultivar is Laxton’s No. 1 developed in 1925 in London.


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Here is my other one, again just started this year. Cultivar is "London Market". Once it reaches the top, i will cut it and hopefully a split will develop and I will run it across the top. It will always be trimmed at the ends. It won't be as long as Lee's but should look very cool all the same. I have Lee's book on how to maintain the cordon.


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I envy you on the corn. I grew it for years - narrowing down to only Illini Xtra Sweet - a SH2 variety which grew well here, had high sugar and good staying power regarding the sugar lasting during storage. But finally, I had to stop since every critter for miles would show up to chow down right when the ears would come ready for harvest. We have an 8 ft fence to keep deer out, but the raccoons would just climb up the posts, and the squirrels had multiple ways to enter. I tried all sorts of deterrents, but really the only thing that probably would have worked is either a dog or a big cage. Still thinking about the cage. :)
As for the rest of the garden, it's pretty general: potatoes, garlic, lettuce, peas, beans, squash, cukes, cole crops, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. We planted apples, cherries and apricots some years back, but have never had a good return on them because of the vast array of bugs that infect or infest the fruit. We were completely organic in the beginning which never really worked in controlling the bugs, and the whole thing became so labor intensive and disappointing, that we basically threw up our hands and said:Forget it! Maybe when we retire, we will try once again to take control, but it will have to include some serious poison spraying - something I much abhor.
Am presently choking out grass with a tarp in a large area of the corral (where the garden is) to reestablish a strawberry bed, and maybe raspberries again. I was partial to Sparkle June-bearing strawberries, if I can find them again. And Heritage red raspberries, which are thornless.
Wow - that red currant cordon is beautiful! You have a wide variety of fruits started - may they all look as lush as Lee's Red Currant Cordon.
Don't have a good pic yet of this year's garden since things are still small. Here's one from late July 2010 - this year's garden is somewhat smaller.


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I realize I didn't include any key as to what is what. Siberian garlic on the far left - soon to be harvested; eggplant and peppers in the middle; tomatoes on the trellis to the right - various varieties, mix of heirloom and hybrid. The closer white blooms at the far end of the eggplant bed are Nicotiana Fragrant Cloud - I like the fragrance. That's a covercrop of buckwheat in white bloom in the background under and beyond an ancient apple tree.


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Wow, great looking garden. Most of my stuff is in pots. I would like a better garden, but time and space is a problem.
Yes, fruit trees are a challenge, and it is why I want to do it. I needed something to accomplish plant wise. I have grown tropical plants for 38 years, and have accomplished all I was looking to do and needed more challenging plants.
I will probably construct a large net over everything to keep the critters out. I'm not at that stage yet, next year, although if enough animals steal my strawberries and raspberries, I will do it now. I may now not plant the corn. As some other projects I must do has come up. A bummer as I have the seeds, just not enough dirt to fill my bed, and I can't obtain any, as I need to do others things at the moment, argh! Hopefully a chance to work on the bed will open up.

Here is a photo of my beds, everything is new, so not very big. The picture is ditant too. The trees were just planted this year.. The far bed on the right is unfinished at this time.


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I've often wanted to write an article or teach a class or whatever around the idea of the small garden - taking a space about the size of the far right bed and showing the abundance and variety that actually can be grown in that space. Love the redwood siding, BTW - would like to have permanent, contained garden beds but that's another expense. May go that direction in the future with the idea of gardening made easy for the elderly. I'm not there yet, but the time will probably come. It would need a second or even third layer of siding on top of the first to make the height more manageable without having to kneel or stoop. Think of all that lovely soft earth not compacted by traffic, too!
I was doing a plant trade with a friend's mother this spring, and helped her clear a flower bed that had been built with all imported potting soil - lots of peat in it. It was like running my hands through butter or silk - OMG. Talk about envy!
Here's a pic of a portion of the garden taken this morning. Garlic and potatoes on the far left; followed by lettuce and root crops; eggplants and peppers; and cole crops. Tomatoes and other stuff on the other side of the corral. Will take a pic when the sunflower house gets going good, so you get the full effect. :)


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Your garden is great! Wow! Yes, I need to grow more practical plants in the future, for now it is more just for fun.
I will use the larger bed for a general garden in the future. the first few years I want to play with it.
My beds are mostly peat, well a lot of peat as I'm growing blueberries in the 4x4 beds, and they need the peat.
Each spring I will add peat and composted manure to the top. So 3 4x4 beds each with a young blueberry in the center surrounded by strawberries, but they will be removed after a couple of years as the blueberry will need the whole bed.
Two of my blueberries were set back a year after my dog malled them good. Both only had one surviving cain. I kept them anyway, they look kinds funny, but are growing. I added a third this spring. I will post photo later.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Thu, Jun 13, 13 at 9:52


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RE: Northern bamboo

The perennial geraniums are starting to bloom now. They are invasive as heck, and subject to attack by tarnish beetles, and they flop over and look ugly after blooming, BUT - with a bloom like this, how can I hate them? :) I am, however, going to do what I should have been doing before now if I'd realized I could - cut them down to the ground when the bloom period is over and let them re-green up again. By fall, they will be pretty and taking on their lovely red fall leaf colors.


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RE: Northern bamboo

Here is a closer look at my beds. The 4x4 beds have a blueberry in the middle surrounded by different strawberry cultivars I am testing to see which will be best for a full bed. On the left is my raspberry bed. Two of the three blueberries were eaten by my dog to one cane. They look bad, but are growing at least!

All plants were put in the bed this spring. So no doubt the raspberries will fill out the bed The strawberries will eventually be removed. The large bed at the end I will put the berries I want in that bed. I did have time to plant corn in the last large bed (where the strawberries will go next year). The seedlings are only 2-3 inches at the moment.


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RE: Northern bamboo

Here is a closeup of my alpine strawberry bed
It's difficult to tell when ripe! Look at photo, see the slight tint of red on the one berry? That berry is ripe!
I only ordered 2 White D Pineberries, both are blooming.
A month later I ordered 3 each of "White Pine" And "White Carolina" But I traded 2 of each, leaving me only one plant each! They are growing well, but no fruit yet.

Berries are small about the size of a quarter. But it is a young plant. I suspect next year it will produce "normal" large strawberries.

This year i wanted to try a lot of different berry cultivars to pick a few to grow in a bigger bed.
It's really too early to make any judgements yet, but Elan F1 Everbearing type is a clear winner. Large berries, produces a lot. I won't be able to test the June bearing till next year. man though, they are HUGE plants!
Some have powdery mildew, but it seems easy to treat. I'm glad I did this to see what plants are resistant, and which ones produce good fruit.
Here is a photo of my alpine (mostly) bed (4x4). In the center is my malled blueberry bush my dog ate. Only one cane survived. The bed will be only for the blueberry once it becomes larger. All strawberries will be removed in a year or two.

Back row left to right
Alpine Fragola
Alpine Vesca
Elan F1

Center row:
Alpine Mignonette
Alpine Rugen

Front row
Tri-Start
Red Wonder Alpine
Tribute


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RE: Northern bamboo

Here is another bed. I wasn't going to post this, but the server here posted the previous message twice!

This post was edited by Drew51 on Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 12:13


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RE: Northern bamboo

An interesting experiment! If I might ask - what's the draw to the alpines? Just curiosity, or is there some special quality such as big yields in small spaces or excellent flavor?
My friends have been having a good harvest this year, so I'm definitely decided to put in some strawberries this fall. Nothing exotic, though, just some good flavored standard variety that I'll buy 25 plants of and plug into what is the shell pea bed now.


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RE: Northern bamboo

Alpines are supposed to have really good flavor. But they are very small berries. So far the Pineberries are the most interesting. They really do taste different. I like them better than regular strawberries. As far as growing I'm liking the Elan F1 Everbearing. Huge berries, healthy large plant.
But what you are doing is fine. I'm not really tasting much difference in regular strawberries. But I see some grow slow, others grow better.
On June bearing I will have to wait till next year.
The alpines are flowering but I have not tasted them yet. I also have musk strawberries, but they didn't send the male I ordered, so I ordered another for the fall. The plants are flowering, but no fruit, they need a pollinator!

I probably will scrap the alpines, because I'm enjoying the huge berries from normal strawberries. The alpines look very small and unless they are killer tasting I will scrap them. I'm hoping to keep maybe the best of the bunch.
One alpine has grown only runners and no flowers, so it's probably out. I may use them as ground cover in the flower garden. They make good border plants. I could probably keep them with the blueberries as they are not big plants. The June, day neutral, and Everbearing are huge plants that cannot be kept with the blueberries for long.
I'm growing Northern High Bush blueberries, and they will need the whole bed eventually.


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RE: Northern bamboo

Never heard of pineberries. Just looked it up - sounds intriguing except for the low yield part. I'd be curious to know how they work for you. I'll admit to being of a practical bent -size and yield are important to me. I'm always reading about how wild strawberries are supposed to be so flavorful, but man! Have you ever tried picking a pint of them - they'd be past ripe by the time you filled the pint container! :) Not that I willingly sacrifice flavor for the sake of size. Case in point: elephant garlic. Sure they're big, but I grow garlic for it's pungent flavor - the elephant garlic I've eaten has about half the flavor.
Blueberries would be good, but I didn't have much luck with mine. Just this past spring we pulled up the three we had in a particularly grass choked area and tilled the mess under. Maybe I'll try again later.


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RE: Northern bamboo

I grew tropical's for 38 years. I'm rather new to edibles. Although I have grown grapes forever too. I just wanted something back, more than beauty. Although I still just like beautiful plants. I want to try and grow some night Jasmine. When in Jamaica, the fragrance was intoxicating.
In a pot, and brought indoors of course.
Anyway my roots are the rare and unusual, so it's me, not you! :) I like the unusual. Dogwood cherries, I added a yellow one, a yellow elderberry too. Again, I like the unusual. Nectaplums, pluots, etc.
I have 3 cultivars of Pineberries. Only one so far is producing. the other two were put in the ground a month later. Some of the alpines matured, and they are very good, but as you say it would take a week to collect enough to fill a bowl. And the domesticated berries are also tasty! I still will probably let the plants go a few years before deciding to keep or not.
The yield of White D Pineberry is decent. Size is small, but bigger than alpines. between a penny and a quarter, Here is a photo of one of two White D plants I have.
More berries are on the other side too! An above photo was no good as the leaves blocked the view.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 9:19


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RE: Northern bamboo

Here is an idea of size. On the left is a White D Pineberry. On the right is an Elan F1 Everbearing. That is a Canadian quarter.
They taste really good. I tried a yellow Wonder Alpine, and that did taste a lot like pineapple! The Pineberries have a flavor I can't relate to anything else? Sweet, delicious. It's hard to tell when ripe! They develop a red tint, but you still need to give it a day or two, they become slightly soft, and fragrant, but it's hard to stick your nose down into the plant. When underipe they taste bad, even bitter. When I first tried one, I was thinking pull it. But once I tasted a ripe one, a whole bed of them sounds good!
I'm very curious about the other cultivars White Carolina and White Pine (I guess this is the one sold in stores, if you can even find them, from the Netherlands, this one is huge in pictures I have seen).

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 9:32


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RE: Northern bamboo

Pineberries IMHO taste better than the red berries. Maybe because the taste is new to me? I dunno? Here is a photo of some for sale. Greenhouse grown. In full sun they develop a red tint. So mine will never look this good!
As mine are in full sun. Cultivar here is probably White Pine.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 9:46


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RE: Northern bamboo

Those don't look all that small, and the pineapple flavor would be a draw for me. I'll have to see if any of my usual places offer plants when I get ready to order the strawberries.


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RE: Northern bamboo

It goes down to - 15 and the bamboo i ripped out in a huge pile is still alive, i take it to the dump when its a warmer day got so much of it WORST THING I PLANTED IN MY WHOLE LIFE Here is me in the video, i had to get a Bobcat E50 here to rip it all out, it spread from a 15 x15 foot area after 10 years of growing to 200 x 200 when i cut all my oak trees down in ONE YEAR

HERE'S IS A VIDEO TO PROVE MY NIGHTMARE.
NEVER PLANT BAMBOO THE PEOPLE WHO SELL IT ARE BEING DISHONEST

Here is a link that might be useful: Video 8 of 16 - Southbury,CT - Bamboo nightmare 10 years later


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RE: Northern bamboo

My bamboo is clumping, it will never spread like that. You didn't do your homework and you blame the sellers?
My bamboo will never have a diameter as big as yours. You planted running bamboo and didn't put a barrier in? That was foolish. If I wanted to grow running bamboo (but I do not!) I would grow it in a pot. Mint will do the same thing to your garden. Use round up brother!
Also you are not using the proper tool, use a reciprocating saw, and you'll be done in no time.
My bamboo grow at most 12 feet tall with a diameter of a thumb at best. Plus it will never leave the clump. It couldn't be easier to control. And it is beautiful!
What happened to you was 100% preventable, it's totally your fault. NEVER plant running bamboo without a steel barrier!! That's bamboo basics 101!! I would avoid it myself, and go for clumping.
Anyway you're going to have to use chemicals now to get rid of it. Use Round up, or another herbicide. Cut it down, and put the herbicide in the stump. Another very old technique is 50% diesel fuel, and 50% molasis. The molasis will attract bacteria that clean up the diesel. The diesel will kill it quickly.
You just gave it a haircut, it's far from dead!

This post was edited by Drew51 on Tue, Jan 28, 14 at 14:10


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RE: Northern bamboo

Thank you Gary and Drew for your inputs. Gary, I LOVED the video - extremely helpful in making the final decision. Drew, actually, even though I admit the clumping bamboo is beautiful, what I really was looking for was what Gary has - I wanted the kind that makes substantial canes. I just didn't know if I would likely end up with the nightmare that he is living with now. My sympathies, Gary - I can't number the times I have committed a grave error such as you have so ably illustrated! But if it makes you feel any better, you've just saved me from making the same mistake. :)


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RE: Northern bamboo

Yeah I was hard on Gary, my apologies. It is far from a perfect plant. Clumping bamboo is also hard to grow. You kind of have the opposite problem. It doesn't thrive like running bamboo. But my clumping bamboo is really beautiful, so I'm happy with it. My wife was complaining about me wanting bamboo, until she saw it, she now admits it is extremely beautiful. She was very impressed with how ornamental it is.
And now they have come out with a black cherry bamboo, clumping that is also extremely cool looking. Expensive as all get out too!
Just for the record know people who love their running bamboo!


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RE: Northern bamboo

my bamboo issues, it can grow in minus 20 degree weather and not die, only wish it would die

Here is a link that might be useful: Southbury, CT - Bamboo Abatement - Yellow Groove Rhizomes


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RE: Northern bamboo

Gary - OMG! The second video is even more frightening than the first. Of course, the creepy soundtrack is the perfect addition to set the mood. :)
I truly have nothing to compare to it, but just for the sake of amusement and self-confession, here are a few of my not-so-favorite things:
Japanese lanterns - oh, look at the pretty little lanterns that dry so well for arrangements... look at the root system that goes straight down to hell and out from there! Caught that one in time, fortunately.
Mint - no further words necessary
Comfrey - NEVER put this in the main garden - another one I caught after not so long and managed to move to a spot where it didn't matter.
Wine grapes
Blackberry - sent to me by accident when I ordered something else - it has since taken over a large area - fortunately not in my vegetable garden, but if I ever want to get it out, it will take a bobcat to do it.
Rosa rugosa - thought I wanted some rose hips...:(
Tomatillo - friends gave me this one; I found out I don't even like it in salsa - no getting rid of it now
And add to this list one I am not responsible for since it was some former owner who put it in to graze horses or cattle on - canary grass.
Perennial Pea - this was already here, too, but I innocently encouraged it a little in one area of my former flower garden (note that I say "former"), instead of lifting my hands in horror, and immediately ripping the invader out.
I cannot thank you enough for this eye-opener on running bamboo!


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RE: Northern bamboo

I find it rather funny myself. I hope he at least sold the bamboo cuttings because they bring premium prices. Little Johnny need a fishing pole!
Here's a good reason not to grow oaks. This is a friend's place. That is my wife and Jesse the wonder dog!


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RE: Northern bamboo

The house was a total loss. It's been demolished. But we did use it for a prop last Halloween!

My point in this is anything can be dangerous if you don't plan for the future. This house was build 100 years ago, and the nearby oak seedling didn't seem threatening at the time. If you put plants in the wrong spots, bad things can happen. Obviously the bamboo no where rose to the degree of destruction this oak did. Should we kill all oaks?
Peach trees are an invasive species too, they come from China. So are Honey bees, not native to the Americas.
That species of bamboo is a fine plant. I'm against any moment to make them illegal. The problem that occurred is not the fault of the plant. It took 10 years, if during that time, one maintained the plant, the problems shown would have never happened. It was 100% preventable. They don't grow that big overnight! Obviously the plant was let lose to run wild.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 13:22


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RE: Northern bamboo

Tuesday I walked across the ice to my cottage to check things out. Here's my bamboo, no danger of it spreading out of control so far, 6 months into planting it...

This post was edited by Drew51 on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 13:31


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RE: Northern bamboo

If you install a risome barrier you can plant running types. Every bamboo dealer sells them, and gives advice on how to install.You really cannot plant running types without a barrier, although I know a few who have as they have acres of property and really don't care how far the bamboo runs. They enjoy all the wildlife that use it for shelter.


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