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Deano Martin 's Profile
Deano Martin
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Joined:
07/02/2011
Last Updated:
17/02/2011
Location:
Horncastle, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Climate Zone:
Cool Temperate





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Wolds Woodland Farming Project

Wolds Woodland Farming Project

Hagworthingham, GB


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You cannot have enough Bamboo

Posted by Deano Martin almost 12 years ago

The highlight of the last week has been adding another six varieties of Bamboo to my growing collection. I only went for four, but couldn't resist adding two more.

A couple of years ago, I was offerred some bamboo by a friend, for whom I was doing some scything. At about the same time, I watched Martin Crawford's Forest Garden DVD, in which he showed how to harvest and prepare bamboo shoots.

Luckily, most of what I collected were really useful species, and my research added more species that I wanted to grow. By the end of last year I had obtained nine different varieties, and had reserved another four. On Friday the four that I had reserved, somehow increased to six, as I was shown more that would be useful, and beautiful.

The original list was Phyllostachys nuda, Phyllstachys propinqua, Phyllostachys rubromarginata, and Chusquea culeou. I added Fargesia rufa, and a Phyllostachys vivax cultivar.

The three original Phyllostachys varieties were selected primarily for their edible shoots, but all have good culm wood, and can be used for building small structures. I had ordered the Chusquea primarily for it's attractiveness, but I then checked, and found out that it has good edible shoots too.

The P.vivax cultivar that I added was just a pretty colour. All of the P. vivax cultivars are strong growers, with tasty shoots, and large culms. I already have two varieties.

The Fargesia was bought to use as poultry shelter. It will grow to about 12ft maximum, clump tightly, but leans outwards slightly, giving shade in Summer, and shelter in Winter.

For those of you who like facts, I've colected some information for you. Please note that these figures are based on performance in the UK, and growth will be greater with more warmth.

Phyllostachys nuda. Hardy to -23 C, zone 6, but possibly hardier still, height up to 10 meters. Early shooting with excellent taste. Culm wood good quality, used for furniture legs.

Phyllostachys propinqua. Hardy to -26 C, zone 5, height up to 9 meters. cultivated for edible shoots. Culm wood hard, used for tool handles, small construction, and split for weaving .

Phyllostachys rubromarginata. Hardy to -21 C, zone 6, height up to 18 meters. Goodeating, but needs par boiling to remove a slight bitter taste. Culm wood Tough, and splits well.

Chusquea culeou. Hardy to -18 C, zone 6, height up to 7.5 meters. Edible shoots

Phyllostachys vivax f. huanvenzhu. Hardy to -21 C, zone 6, height up to 20 meters. Excellent taste, even raw. The most cold hardy of the timber bamboos, but the culm wood is thinner.

Fargesia rufa. Hardy to -20 C, zone6, height up to 3.5 meters. Tight clumping growth.

The hardiness and growth figures are taken from Taming the Dragon, by Paul Whittaker, the uses come from Bamboo for Gardens, by Ted Jordan Meredith.

Up until now, most of the bamboo has gone into my Forest garden, as it is the one area that is fully meshed against rabbits, but eventually I hope to extend the rabbit protection, and I have planted clumps with individual protection, in other areas.

Is there anybody else out there using bamboo?

Take Care

 

Deano

 

Comments (5)

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Sven Horner
Sven Horner : Oh Id love to use bamboo - I expect it to be a superb building material. I looking for species that are quite hardy (zone 5 would be safe), get very big, have edible shoots and don't spread(!). The last one is a must. I still havent come to a decision, but Im sure it wont take long until I get my first one. Maybe you have a suggestion?
Posted almost 12 years ago

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jordan lowery
jordan lowery : thanks for the post, i love bamboo as well. using it for tons of things. I am not sure which species i have as most of them were gifts. i find splitting them makes them a lot easier to work with for garden/farming tasks.
Posted almost 12 years ago

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Keith Mikkelson
Keith Mikkelson : Thanks for the bamboo info. I am trying to expand our bamboo nursery and hope to find some of the varieties you have here in the Philippines.
Posted almost 12 years ago

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Deano Martin
Deano Martin : Hi All Sven It might be better to go for two varieties. Phyllostachys Nigra f. henonis,for the construction, and Phyllostachys Aureosulcata (any variety) for edibility. You can eat the Nigra, but it is bitter without boiling it, and changing the water. The aureosulcata is a little smaller,and thinner, but is good to eat, and is stunning to look at. Best to see what else is growing near you for hardiness. Jordan How about an article about how you are using the bamboo? Keith Not sure how well these will cope with your climate, but look forward to reading about what you're up to. All of the best

Deano
Posted almost 12 years ago

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Ute Bohnsack
Ute Bohnsack : Thanks for all that info, Deano. I'm also very interested in growing some bamboo and have to figure out what works here in the West of Ireland. Love your blog!
Posted over 10 years ago

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