Archive for the ‘bamboo gardening’ Category

Some tips of battle bamboo on the garden

When I look into my backyard, that’s the landscape I see because it’s been taken over by bamboo for gardens . It’s so thick I can’t even see the back fence. Jeannette Coplin, director of horticulture and grounds at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, also is battling bamboo on the garden’s property. When it comes to getting rid of it, there are a few mistakes people often make, she said.

“(People) just cut (the bamboo) down and don’t treat it with an herbicide,” she said. “The best way to control it is in the early spring, when the new shoots start to come up. If you can get a lot of those combs, right when they first start to emerge, you can stop that year’s growth significantly.”

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, and some species are capable of growing 39 inches or more per day due to a unique rhizome-dependent system.

There are more than 1,400 different bamboo species, ranging from north of the Arctic Circle in Norway to the steamy tropics of Southeast Asia, but the two types Coplin sees most often in the Athens area are Native Cane, which is about 4 inches in diameter and can be used as a construction material, and what’s called fishing pole or fishing cane, a fast spreading bamboo referred to as running bamboo, that’s smaller in diameter and grows to about 20 feet tall.

“Bamboo is a grass. If you can keep it under cultivation or mow it regularly, it will die out that way,” she said. “Planting it inside a concrete barrier is a practical option, though cutting it down and using an herbicide is probably more practical.”

Coplin agrees and suggests cutting bamboo stalks down and then treating them with a chemical used to kill grass-like plant life, such as Roundup, that will penetrate down to the roots, helping to make a significant hit on bamboo re-growth.

For those who want to tame their bamboo, Coplin offers a few suggestions.

“I’ve seen trenches dug before (for bamboo barriers). (The trenches) go straight down on one side and then go up in a V shape on the other side so the rhizomes can’t jump, but (even with a trench) I’m still not saying it couldn’t go down and under,” she said.

The botanical garden has Nigra bamboo, a black species of bamboo, that Coplin has seen go under concrete.

“(Sometimes the roots) will go down through the ground and under a concrete sidewalk and (a new bamboo stalk will grow) up on the other side.”

Barriers can be purchased through many online bamboo suppliers and at specialty nurseries and come in a variety of sizes.

The garden application also could count as phase one for those interested in getting rid of bamboo that has taken over their yard.

If you don’t have bamboo but want some, be careful, Judy said.

“I never recommend planting bamboo unless you’re certain about the varieties,” she said. “Research not only the varieties you’re looking to buy, but the best places to put them, and then see how they do over a period of time.”

“If someone is dying to have bamboo charcoal products(in their yard), they should stick to a clumping form. Don’t get a running form,” Coplin said. “Clumping bamboos just makes a clump, and the clump may get bigger, but it won’t take over the yard.”

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Bamboo is the wonder

The Filipino has always been likened to the bamboo charcoal products, ever resilient, bending to the beatings of the harsh wind but always ready to stand tall again after every beating.

Justice of the Court of Appeals, Chairman of the Commission on Audit – that is how people in Region 8 know and look with awe and respect at Justice Francisco Tantuico, one of the few Eastern Visayans who have reached national stature. To the younger set, they know him to be the man who built a covered court for the tennis enthusiasts, thus saving them from being sunburned and the man behind the tertiary school that provides quality education even to the least privilege students.

Accidentally, however, PIA discovered that despite the busy life he keeps, Justice Tantuico is one of the most avid advocates of Bamboo. Not only does he keep a garden with at least 15 varieties of bamboo, he also lives in a house with interesting faux bamboo furniture and beautified with bamboo-based crafts and decors which are each talking pieces.

Perhaps it was because then Tanauan Mayor now Board Member Roque A. Tiu who set up the first bamboo setum in Eastern Visayas, was with the writer, that former Justice Tantuico showed his most precious bamboo crafts which were made from the various parts of bamboo, from roots to leaves.

One should see the collection of bamboo craft which Justice Tantuico keeps in his office at his newly constructed building – from the simply but elegantly designed bamboo tables, stools, to the intricately sculptured wall decors.

Justice Tantuico revealed about his interest in the bamboo. In fact he is so interested in the bamboo that he has a bamboo garden right at the vicinity of the restaurant and that his bamboo collection counts to about 15 varieties. He even attends international conventions on bamboos.

This might even be more that the collection of DENR in the Region, then Mayor Tiu opined. Tanauan is known for its bamboo craft industry and so to ensure the availability of raw materials, Mayor Tiu thought of setting up the Bamboo setum with the able assistance of the DENR 8.

Bamboo trees abound all over the Region but the people’s knowledge on its uses is very limited, Justice Tantuico said. He mentioned that there are bamboo trees the diameter of which is big enough to be made into a table top. He revealed that there is what is called as the bamboo plywood, plywood made out of bamboo.

The bamboo has many uses: food, medicine, furniture, housing material, decorating with bamboo. It could even be the source of survival in the forest as it is known to have clean water deposits. Since time immemorial, the bamboo is known to prevent soil erosion because its roots spread widely.

In the world meeting atCancun,Mexico, advocates were one in saying that climate summit searching for ways to mitigate climate-changing gas emissions should consider bamboo.

Bamboo grows quickly, needs little water, absorbs carbon dioxide, protects estuaries and can withstand storms.

People scorn the plant and consider it a pest, particularly in areas where coffee, banana, tobacco and cocoa are grown, or where there is extensive cattle production, and yet bamboo, already used in housing, furniture ,bamboo garden structures and other areas, has potential to help in the battle against global warming which is worth looking into.

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Bamboo’s great prospects

The Eastern Cape is fast taking the lead in enviro-friendly biofuels economy with its launch of three pilot sites to explore the use of bamboo charcoal products as an alternative source of energy.

Leading world economies such as India, the US and China are turning to bamboo as the fastest-growing and sustainable renewable source available with its commercial appeal and potential for job creation.

The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) last week dedicated R1m to carry out trials for the bamboo plants to be planted and managed over three years. The three sites are in Port Elizabeth, Stutterheim and Centane where already 12 people have been trained to plant bamboo over the trial period. A major symposium in August, where bamboo growing and industry would be under the spotlight, is scheduled to be sponsored by the ECDC. The Independent Development Corporation (IDC), researchers and universities are lined up among the key participants.

ECDC regional manager Ken Bern said an exhibition to showcase bamboo charcoal  products was to be held as part of the symposium.

Some of the sectors that stand to benefit from bamboo growing include bamboo garden structures, timber, flooring, crafts, food source and energy. It is estimated that once the project goes full scale, it would cover about 500 ha while research was conducted to determine tonnage.The plant is like an industrial hemp for its extraordinary range of uses and can increasingly replace plastics and wood products.The Eastern Cape joins other African countries in exploring these alternative energy sources.

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How to capture a bamboo garden

Bamboo garden trends come and go, especially in the Northwest, where we haven’t yet settled on an iconic style and perhaps never will. With an enviable climate, rich soil (yes, clay is rich) and many-membered club of horticulturists and plant explorers, Oregonians have been exposed to influences from around the world. We can — and do — pick from  French formal, English romance, South African diversity and Mexican courtyards.

Decorating with bamboo especially has taken on a major role. Education from experts such as Ian Connor of Connor Bamboo and Ned Jaquith of Bamboo Garden help lighten bamboo’s bad rep. Yes, the running types can get out of control. But with committed yet minimal maintenance, this mysterious plant brings an atmosphere to the garden like no other. From a most-effective screen to an exotic stand-alone specimen, bamboo does it all. If you’re still not ready to take the plunge, Connor suggests dipping your toe into the large family of well-behaved clumping bamboo, which stays where it’s put with no argument.

The most recognizable bamboo is called running bamboo (also referred to as timber bamboo), with towering culms that can get 75 feet tall, though they more commonly are 30 to 40 feet tall and 4 to 7 inches in diameter at maturity. It’s called running bamboo because it sends out rhizomes (underground stems) horizontally and pops up numerous new shoots farther and farther away from the original plant. Without regular maintenance, it will spread rapidly and become unmanageable.

The alternative is called clumping bamboo, a group of plants that have much slimmer culms and are not nearly as tall as running bamboo. They look more like tall ornamental grasses of crafting with bamboo, although with the typical leaves of large bamboo. Clumping bamboo also reproduces by rhizomes. These plants send up shoots close to the base of the clump and spread out very little.

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Creating A Bamboo Oasis

As times become more hectic and money to travel is less available, people are choosing to turn their homes into their own sanctuaries.  Many gardens are being designed not only for beauty but also to provide an oasis for the mind and spirit. In particular,  Chinese Garden designs evoke a strong feeling of tranquility and peace of mind.  Chinese garden is all about harmony & balance, as well as using the right components. you can incorporate bamboo into your garden with bamboo garden structures in a variety of ways to exude an extra sense of peace and serenity.

Bamboo Fencing/Borders – Bamboo Fencing and Borders add privacy and block unsightly views.  The strong bamboo plant shields against excessive wind and remains green and exotic looking in your garden.  An added bonus is the melodic whistling that comes with the wind blowing through your bamboo plants.  If planting your own bamboo border, spread the bamboo plants 3 to 5 feet apart to form a dense screen.  Most bamboo plants will reach full height within 5 or 6 years and require very little upkeep once established.  You can even eat the shoots!  If you prefer to install bamboo fencing instead of growing it, there are a variety of options for you to choose from and still enjoy a natural look.

Faux Bamboo Furniture – Bamboo has a straight fine grain like oak wood but is stronger and can endure better in outdoor weather conditions.  It’s pliable enough to be made into variety of designs and lightweight enough to be made into folding chairs that can be stored and moved at your own convenience.  Make sure to look for products finished with natural oils.

Decorating With Bamboo – If growing a border of melodic bamboo is not an option, consider livening up your landscape with a bamboo wind chime.  Available in a variety of designs and sizes, wind chimes are the easiest way to bring a soothing element to your garden.

Bamboo Garden Structures – For those wanting to take their landscaping to the next level, consider installing a Bamboo Gazebo, Pergola or even a Bamboo Bridge.  These are great ways to enjoy your beautiful garden while giving yourself a place for quiet conversation or reflection

A garden with any Chinese design element will be your oasis from this crazy world, giving you a space to reflect, meditate and spend time with friends and family.  Bamboo is a natural and durable design option for the garden you desire (and deserve).

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Healthy Soil For A Healthy Bamboo Garden

Consider soil the conveyor of all things healthy to your bamboo garden structures.  The quality of soil will determine the amount of nutrients that reach your plants and how well nutrients will be retained.  While bamboo is a hardy plant, there are several key elements of a healthy soil that affect the growing of bamboo.  These are particularly helpful to know about in areas with soils poorly suited to bamboo gardening

Read on to learn more about basic soil elements involved in growing bamboo:

  • Soil Texture & Organic ContentSoil texture refers to the proportion of sand, silt and clay in a given soil.  Sand particles are the largest, clay particles are the smallest and silt is somewhere in the middle.  Bamboo tends to grow best in moderarely acidic loamy soil (fyi, loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration such as 40-40-20% concentration).  The loamy soils are desirable for bamboo growing because the sand provides the porosity necessary for water and nutrient infiltration and drainage while the silt and clay give soil the capability to retain the water and nutrients that have infiltrated.  Keep in mind that the soil texture has to do with the mineral content of soil and not its organic content.  A quality soil will have about 45% mineral content.
  • Organic MatterThe organic matter is soil consists of living and dead plants and animals, and their wastes.  Organic matter is absolutely vital to soil health as it provides plant nutrients, improves water/nutrient retention and availability and aeration and drainage (for starters).  For bamboo plants, an ideal loam soil should contain about 5% organic matter but to be honest, it is almost impossible to overdo well-composted organic matter.  Apparently soil can’t have too much of a good thing and organic matter is a very good thing.  If you aren’t using a bagged organic fertilizer, composted manures make excellent fertilizers.  Consider making your own compost pile or see if your city produces wastewater biosolids. 
  • Water & AirMost bamboo do best in soils that contain equal proportions of air and water.  With too much air (i.e. sand soil w/low organic content) the soil is unable to hold enough water and nutrients for plants to survive and thrive.  With too much water, (i.e. swampy areas, or clay) air is displaced, and roots don’t get enough oxygen for respiration, which can stress or kill the plant.  In a perfect loam, air and water comprise half of the soil content, 25% air and 25% water.

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Bamboo Products Creates Office Space

Architect Richard Renner and his wife Janet Friskey, a graphic designer, wanted a commute in downtown Portland, Maine that involved just a flight of stairs. “We jumped at the opportunity to purchase an old clothing store with an apartment above,we want a bamboo garden structures of their own.And our home decorating with bamboo,which is full of classical.” says Richard.

That turned out to be the easy part. “Our goals for the first-floor office and residence loft were an efficient building envelope, plenty of daylighting to the interior, and open floor plans for both spaces. And while we were at it, make the loft a LEED for Homes Platinum gut rehab.”

Careful excavation around the perimeter of the first floor slab to install perimeter drains revealed that the exterior walls lacked any footings. It turned out that both the slab and the walls were so uneven that the entire slab ended up in a dumpster. But Renner quickly adds, “While we ended up not being able to reuse the slab, it all ended up in a crusher for recycling.”

And Renner ended up capitalizing on this twist to his plans. “With the old slab out, we changed the floor level to add 11 more inches of height to the 1st floor, installed a gravity foundation drainage system, and installed sub-slab insulation as well as a capillary break between the soil and our floor system.”

The first challenge in creating a high-performance envelope for this building is the brick exterior walls. “You have to lose that great brick look on one side or the other,” says Renner. “We decided to give up some precious floor space and get a new brighter surface on the interior by studding in walls to be filled with foam, spacing the stud walls 1 to 1.5 inches off the brick to eliminate thermal bridging and also allowing space for a drainage mat.”

At the roof line, a combination insulation system was used: 2 inches of closed-cell foam as the air and vapor retarder with the rest of the 12-inch plus framing cavity filled with dense-packed cellulose. With the exterior brick walls air-sealed and insulated on the interior, it was easy to make the roof air and thermal barrier continuous with the wall system.

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