There are many methods of controlling bamboo. To be honest, all of them sound very labor intensive. And you know me. I'm allergic to labor intensive.
Controlling Running BambooWe've read about digging trenches. We've read about installing barriers. There's probably a "nuclear option" out there. But if your soil is not so rich, like ours, it appears the simplest and (most importantly) effortless (well, maybe not completely effortless) method of controlling running bamboo is to lay down manure or other rich organic material and fertilizers only on the area you want the bamboo to follow. Duh!
As you can see in this photo, the bamboo followed the line of horse manure we laid down all last summer. The shoots ran in both directions from the mother plant, east and west. And get this: There were no shoots beyond the manure!
|Bamboo following the manure.|
Think about it. Bamboo is pretty darn smart. Either that or it can smell. Why put out rhizomes over there were there's little to feed upon when there's a thick, smelly run of good old horse manure up and down this way? (Other useful bamboo growing and controlling information can be found here at Bamboo Garden.
Nature's all about taking the easy way and following the path of least resistance. If you thought running bamboo was too hard to control, maybe you need to give it another try.
If any shoots do appear out beyond our containment area, simply mowing this area should do the trick. We left a line between the fence so we can do just that and keep the bamboo from invading our neighbor's pasture. We also plan to dig up any stray shoots and relocate to new groves.
Bamboo Fertilizing Information
Improve the long term health of soil as well as fertilize bamboo: Pure Black Castings™ and VermaPlex®