Thursday, December 27, 2007

Experiment - fertilizing naturally or not, what makes a better looking, healthier bamboo?

In my ongoing renovation of my backyard, I began focusing on the southwest corner of my yard. I planted four (likely will be five by tomorrow) bamboo, f. murileae "Umbrella Bamboo", t. crassinodus "Kew Beauty", t. crassinodus "Merlin", f. robusta and the fifth will be b. fungosa.
Trying to grow using more natural methods, I opted to use compost from my bin (pictured) which now has a good mixture of leave and grass debris and recently (3 months or so) we began including kitchen scraps from fruits and vegetables. Needless to say after finally being good about turning the compost, we are starting to get some rich compost.
So, for the past couple of years, I have been using Osmocote to fertilize my bamboo as a slow release and have been fairly happy with the results. However, becoming more aware of the impact of synthetic fertilizers, I am going to try something different on these five newly planted bamboos.

When I planted them, I put a thin layer of compost on top, not only to protect the root structure from frost, but as a natural fertilizer.

Pictured are the subjects of the experiment (from left to right) t. crassinodus, "Kew Beauty"; f. murileae "Umbrella Bamboo" and f. robusta.
Let the experiment commence!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Great bamboo resource and a venue to trade (and buy)) bamboo plants if your a collector

Aptly named, I am a "bamboo geek." I collect bamboo, like it were stamps, comic books or coins. With hundreds of varieties in the U.S., there is plenty to collect and living in California (with great weather, comparatively speaking) allows me the opportunity to collect running and the mostly sub-tropical clumping bamboos.

A great resource for the beginning collector to the expert nursery operator is Partially funded by the American Bamboo Society, it is a great venue to get advice on growing bamboo, pests and diseases and the best part, trading (or buying/selling) with private collectors.

I recently completed a transaction with a fellow collector in the south bay area and I was happy with the results.

This is the site to check out if you appreciate bamboo, like I do -