Whenever you are getting ready to plant bamboo, you need to figure out which kind of root system it has. If you have clumping bamboo then you do not need to take any extra steps before you plant.
But if you have running bamboo, then you may want to consider installing a bamboo barrier.
With a clumping root system, the root of the plant stays in one place.
The bamboo plant care required here is just some routine pruning whenever you see a new shoot appear.
But the new shoots off of this plant will only grow close by and will not have the chance to overrun your lawn.
So what exactly is a bamboo barrier?
Well, it is your main line of defense against the rapid and aggressive growth of running bamboos root system. This bamboo has roots, or rhizomes, that go into the ground and then grow laterally outward. From there new bamboo trees shoot up in all directions, giving you more than you bargained for.
This may sound like an instant deal breaker for you, but there is an easy alternative. You can just install a barrier and still enjoy the beauty of a plant that you love. Do not settle for clumping bamboo plants just because you are worried about your lawn being turned into a jungle. Just take this necessary step to avoid that issue.
Barriers can be made out of many materials, concrete, sheet metal, and polyethylene and very popular choices. The main idea though is to dig a perimeter around your plant, then place up a blockade so that the roots cannot grow through it.You will be digging about two feet deep, and the barrier will stay about two inches over the ground so that the roots do not grow over the top.
Concrete is very a very popular choice for this root defense system, but whenever the earth settles and shirts, your concrete can crack. If the roots find an opening somewhere, they will take it. So if you choose to go with concrete, make sure that you have a solid base that will not move.
Sheet metal is also a common material for this job. After many years though, it can rust through and leave openings for the rhizomes to get through. This also leaves a sharp piece of metal sticking out of your lawn which can be hazardous.
Polyethylene is definitely your best choice here. It shifts with the earth, it does not rust through, and it does not cause a safety hazard for you every time you walk through your yard. It also is not too expensive, you can buy it by the square foot and unless you are planting multiple trees, you will not need that much.
So if you think that a running bamboo is what your lawn needs, think about the benefits that a bamboo barrier can offer you. This is one of the times where it is better to be safe than sorry. It’s better to dig a hole once than it is to be pruning new bamboo constantly.
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