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Thursday, April 27, 2006


Ever since we moved in 4 years ago, our neighbor has had the most gorgeous clumping bamboo planted next to our yard. It has grown to about 7 feet tall and about 5 feet wide. I absolutely love it and was thinking of asking for a piece to root.

The neighbor and I got talking yesterday as he was digging a hole to plant guess what? Bamboo, but not the clumping kind. He hates the clumping kind and is going to rip it out and throw it away. He wants the runner variety. At first he tried to tell me that it would only spread laterally along his yard. Then when I began questioning, he admitted that it would also spread dimensionally. But he was planting it so that he could get the width of a lawn mower between it and our fence so any shoots would be cut. If that didn't keep it in check he would use Round Up, he promised.

Here's what is giving me heartburn. Running bamboo is insidious if not properly controlled. I don't care if he promises me with his hand on his heart and offers me his first born child. That stuff will spread! Secondly, we have water pipes to our pool not far from that fence and the last thing we need is bamboo shoots growing in and around those pipes. The shoots will puncture the pipes.

So now we have to be on constant guard for this stuff since we have no control over what he plants. Our immediate recourse will be to put in a physical barrier of heavy milimeter plastic. I understand we will need to install it roughly two to three feet along the edge of our fence for it to effectively manage the rhizomes from spreading to our yard. We do not have the luxury of mowing any shoots in that area so this is our best alternative. Luckily we have a bamboo grower less than a mile from our home where we will be able to buy the barrier material. Let's hope it works. If not I'm getting a machete! Happy Gardening.

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