Many people know the bamboo plant for its ornamental value. However, the plant can escape their spaces and become invasive. Bamboo can invade your precious vegetable garden and cover your lawn. In a matter of time, it can make your yard the only forest in your hood.
Bamboo is quite resilient and will not respond to the conventional herbicides you use on other weed. Whacking with a machete will also not even scratch the surface in removing the bamboo.
Well, it sounds scary, but never say never. There are a few methods you can employ to eliminate the bamboo bent on encroaching and taking over your space. Read on!
About the Bamboo
Typically, bamboo trees are a variety of overgrown evergreen grasses, mostly cultivated as ornamental plants by most homeowners. In fact, they are the largest member of the grass family growing as much as 40 meters. There are many as 1000 bamboo species from diverse climates ranging from hot tropical areas to cold mountains.
The bamboos are dependent on a rhizome system which also makes it the fast-growing plant variety. There are bamboo varieties that can grow as much as 36 inches within 24 hours.
In the Asian continent, the evergreen grass has both economic, as well as, cultural significance. Bamboo is a versatile raw product used as a building material and food source. It has some superior strength in comparison to wood, concrete or even brick.
Removing the Bamboo
Since common weed herbicides are out of the question when dealing with bamboo, you need to change tact. You need to fold up the sleeves and show it that you mean business – it’s either you or the bamboo that should have unbridled authority on the yard space.
- Digging it out: The first step to reclaiming your yard is getting a shovel and digging it up. Make sure that you remove as many roots that you can reach, but that is only the start. It just needs a little piece of the root for the bamboo to make a comeback.After digging the offending plant out, you have several options. You can persistently dig it out as it shows its head or you can use chemicals on the new shoots. See, plants need leaves to synthesize energy and grow, and removing them consistently would mean eventual death.
- Herbicides: You will, however, need to bring down the bamboo with the most potent herbicide you can lay your hands on, to overpower their resilience. Timing is critical. Don’t allow the shoots to grow too much without spraying or you will start at square one in your control efforts.However, herbicides may not be as effective as pulling them out with a shovel. There are various bamboo species and getting the right chemical may be an uphill task. Even if you succeed in finding the right compound, you risk exterminating your neighbor’s bamboo or killing other treasured plants on your yard.Preferably, use glyphosate herbicide. A selective-grass herbicide may not be as effective, but you can use it on flower beds.
- Boiled Water and Mowing: but if using chemicals is not your way of doing things, you can use boiled water on the bamboo shoots. Alternatively, you can use the lowest setting on your lawn mower to cut the stalks as they appear. Mow the previously bamboo-colonized space every time you spot new shoots.Vinegar: You can also use vinegar as a natural herbicide. To utilize this method, you make the area around the stump moist and dig out many roots as you can. Use a blend of half cup vinegar and two and a half cups water to generously spray on the surrounding soil. You can place some old newspapers in the vinegar-drenched areas, and put stones on them to prevent a recurring growth.The good thing about vinegar is that it attacks the root system that was out of your shovel’s reach. Regardless, reapply the vinegar solution on every section you notice regrowth.
However, do not expect swift results. Removing the bamboo requires a significant amount of patience. In most cases, it can take as much as three years to kill it.
Preventing the Spread of Bamboo from the Neighboring Yard
Well, we have no control over what happens in our neighbor’s property. If you are not careful, a bamboo outbreak from the neighbor’s space can cross over and displace our lawn.
You can prevent this from happening in several ways, among them, creating a barrier.
Common barriers include concrete, wood, and even steel. However, wood is semi-permanent and will eventually decompose, allowing the bamboo through, eventually.
Ensure that the barrier is at least two inches down and six inches high. You will need to keep checking the fence every few months to ensure that no bamboo creeps over it to your side.
How do you Keep Bamboo from Coming Back?
Bamboo is one ‘never say die’ kind of plant. When you think you are over the problem, it shows up, and you have to start over. Fortunately, there are several ways you can prevent a comeback and among them is using a barrier. Yes, we said something about barriers above, but these are different kinds of barriers.
If there is a section of the bamboo you need preserved, create a root barrier around it. Root barriers are commercially available. You can also install concrete and metallic obstacles; the choice is yours.
Other methods include digging a trench if the idea of a nonporous barrier is unattractive to you. A stream or pond will also do wonderfully in preventing a bamboo advance.
Alternatively, you can choose a friendlier bamboo to clamp down on the errant variety you are getting rid. Your local nursery expert will help you select the type not too extravagant on your ground space.
And if you are afraid that it may come back, but you also want to keep a part of it for aesthetic appeal, plant it in a large container. Mostly, the vessel will contain the root system, as well as the rhizomes within it.