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Florida Soil Thoughts

Planting A Bamboo

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How To Control A Bamboo

Why Bamboo?

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Why Bamboo?

Privacy Privacy is what most people want from a bamboo. A line of bamboo along the offending view planted three to seven feet apart does the trick. Bamboo take about three to six years to reach full stature. Usually during the second year screening is evident and better than a fence. Good soil and care accelerates this process. Consider over head wires and the mature height needed to solve the view problem. Bambusa multiplex Hedge, Golden Goddess, Dwarf textilis and Alphonse Karr are the most frequent bamboos chosen for screening purposes. When a taller screen is needed Textilis gracilis, Textilis and Emerald are the favorites.

Noise and dust barrier Numerous culms with hollow centers act as an acoustical sump which gets better with each growing season. Branches and leaves add to the barrier, deflecting sound waves elsewhere. Thick branches and leaves catch and deflect dust. Bamboo acts as a high fence of sorts. Not much gets through it. While not perfect at either task, the benefits are noticeable. Also the out of sight out of mind effect is at play.

Security shield After a break­in at our nursery many years ago I planted a line of bamboo along our chain link fence. You have to look close to notice that fence now. Burglars will choose to go around it versus through or over it. A thorny fragrant climbing antique rose uses the bamboo as a scaffold and completes the deterrent.

Windbreak In Florida hurricanes are a threat. Although twenty miles form the Gulf of Mexico hurricane force winds have been experienced at our property half a dozen times. Large bamboo surround our house most about thirty to forty away so as to prevent strongly swaying culms from side swiping our house or pool screen. Bamboo bend but don't break in high winds. A tall mature stand of bamboo in a tight row reduces wind velocity considerably for a distance roughly two to four times the bamboo height. Close in the wind reduction is largest. Even at five times the height distance some wind reduction occurs.

Energy savings Sun hitting the roof or side of a building heats a structure. A tall bamboo planted with afternoon sun shielding in mind blocks direct sun light around 3 P.M. at our house. Close enough to be a wind screen and a sun block yet far enough away from the house so wind whipped culms won't reach the house to damage window screens or the roof shingles. Several large bamboo are now growing up along the south side of our house.

Landscape beautification What looks better, a six foot high slowly rotting stockade fence or a fourteen foot high line of clumping bamboo? Some bamboo as a stand alone specimen can be awesome. Textilis gracilis and Emerald bamboo are two examples few would disagree with. We have Textilis gracilis planted in an open area in our daylily nursery. Daylily customers frequently stand and stare then ask what it costs. It sells itself. The same with Emerald.
Equally attractive to many people is the large number of birds that roost in the bamboo at night, during high winds and storms, to avoid predators, and many a bird nest has been spotted in our bamboo. To a small extent these bamboo are self fertilizing since the birds will eventually relieve themselves while roosting.

Help the climate Bamboo sequesters carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere faster than any other plant. Bamboo grow fast. The accumulated biomass is considerable. The carbon is stored in the numerous culms and branches. As the culms in the center of the clump age and die they slowly decompose and release carbon back in the environment. On balance bamboo produce a huge amount of oxygen and consume a huge amount of carbon dioxide. Good for the climate if only a small contribution.