Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Growing bamboo for stakes  (Read 1731 times)

edstrong

  • Joined Jun 2015
Growing bamboo for stakes
« on: March 04, 2021, 07:18:39 pm »
Is this practical? I know bamboo can spread underground so I will need to contain it, but before I get some, is it realistic to grow bamboo (in the Midlands) to make stakes for propping up my beans? Is there a particular variety to buy? We're trying to be as self-sufficient as possible and I like the idea of not having to buy plant stakes anymore.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2021, 11:23:02 pm »
I have gone for Willow, partly because it's native, it feeds the first queen bumblebees of the year with pollen, and it also provides a bit of firewood and shelter as well as stakes and poles for the veg garden.
If you go for bamboo, check how long it will take to grow enough poles sturdy enough to support your beans.  I don't know if it would be quicker or slower than willow.
I know bamboo can be extremely invasive and difficult to contain, and is sheer hell to dig out the roots.


I shall be interested to see how your plan works  :)
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2021, 08:43:51 am »
We were thinking along exactly the same lines as you Edstrong, until we saw a garden in the village where they had planted bamboo as a screen from the adjoining workshop. The canes were 20' high and had taken over half their garden, so about 200m2. They clearly had good soil, because we have seen old bamboo on poor soil not even big enough for plant stakes.


I think the problem will be containing it, because the roots will spread even if you contain the top growth. Willow does sound like the best idea. In our case we switched to dwarf beans and don't need the canes now, but they do need far more ground space for the same amount of crop.

edstrong

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2021, 11:48:22 am »
Thanks for the replies.

I was thinking of either planting it in a large pot or in a small section of old flowerbed that is contained by a brick wall all around.

However, I didn't think of willow! Here at Tipton's Croft we have a rule of native-only for the main field but are less concerned in the garden. Willow could be perfect, and, d'oh, we have just planted a few around one of the ponds!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 12:20:46 pm »
 :D   The other tree we use, although it's slower growing, is hazel.  The first growth isn't straight, but then once it matures a bit and you can coppice it, it grows lovely multi-purpose poles.  It definitely fills your criteria of using natives and has many of the benefits willow has.


As an aside, the reason we stopped using bamboo was because we used imported canes and we found many of them one year had large holes in which had clearly been made by insects.  Some still had caterpillar or chrysalis-type things in.  We burnt the lot for biosecurity (crazy firecrackers) and decided to use our own.


To prevent our willow poles taking root, we lay them out for the sheep to debark before using them.


'The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago'  ;D
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 12:22:38 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: over-crowded already. You really don't want to live here actually.
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2021, 05:07:55 pm »
Personally I would avoid bamboo, but there are ways to manage.  Firstly, though, don't assume the brick wall you mentioned will be impenetrable @edstrong (I know from experience !). 
One can get membranes capable of withstand the mighty drilling power of a bamboo rhizome and, of course, they can be grown in large robust containers (above or below ground),  Another way is to plant in an elevated bed/earth mound:  because bamboos are shallow "rooting" it is possible to cut off the rhizomes as they emerge from the sides of the planting mound. However ...
I would go with hazel rods, if you have access to, and then, as alternative, willow:  willow will provide the easiest self-grow option.  A few willow stools cut back each year will provided plenty of rods once stools are established.  The rods will need to be thoroughly dried before use of course (else you will have new willows growing in your veg patch) and their dried buried ends might not last much more than one growing year (much like bamboo) in wet soil, but you will have a recurring supply.
Plenty of willows varieties produce long stout rods in one growing season:  fast growing, stocky "bio-mass" varieties might be best for your needs, but the old faithful Salix Viminalis would probably do if planted in decent moist soil and annually cut back.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 10:11:00 pm by arobwk »

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2021, 06:52:29 pm »
There was some bamboo growing in my garden back I nthe days - sadly it wasn't growing fast enough - kids were breaking all the sticks and playing with them.
It is possible to grow it for stick in the Midlands though - we are in Leicester.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.


Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2021, 09:46:04 am »
We are using willow as well, but de-bark the bottom of the sticks/branches, as otherwise, the willow will take over just as fast as the bamboo.


Willow is double purpose as well, as the goats are eating the leaves and thinner branches, plus we also use the thicker barnches for firewood.

william_wt

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2021, 10:33:17 am »
I have a very useful bamboo plant that was in the garden when I moved here. I cut sticks off every year for peas etc. It hasn't spread in the 10 years I've been here,  but unfortunately I don't know what type of bamboo it is.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: over-crowded already. You really don't want to live here actually.
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2021, 08:51:36 pm »
We are using willow as well, but de-bark the bottom of the sticks/branches, as otherwise, the willow will take over just as fast as the bamboo.


Willow is double purpose as well, as the goats are eating the leaves and thinner branches, plus we also use the thicker barnches for firewood.

How long @Anke, do you find your de-barked, but fresh willow rod ends last in the soil ?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2021, 10:57:44 pm »
We are using willow as well, but de-bark the bottom of the sticks/branches, as otherwise, the willow will take over just as fast as the bamboo.


Willow is double purpose as well, as the goats are eating the leaves and thinner branches, plus we also use the thicker barnches for firewood.

No need to debark it yourself Anke, just lay it out for the sheep for a couple of days and they will debark it for you, and add all those healthy trace elements and fibre into their diet.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2021, 01:52:44 pm »
We are using willow as well, but de-bark the bottom of the sticks/branches, as otherwise, the willow will take over just as fast as the bamboo.


Willow is double purpose as well, as the goats are eating the leaves and thinner branches, plus we also use the thicker barnches for firewood.

How long @Anke, do you find your de-barked, but fresh willow rod ends last in the soil ?


Don't know yet, but last year's pea frame is still up and strong. We only started last summer (I always used to grow peas in the polytunnel, but not enough space anymore. I am planning on building an arch for annual climbers this year. (I have still got a good supply of bamboo sticks (shop-bought) and find as long as you take them out of the ground at the end of the season they do last a few years as well.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Growing bamboo for stakes
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2021, 01:53:36 pm »
We are using willow as well, but de-bark the bottom of the sticks/branches, as otherwise, the willow will take over just as fast as the bamboo.


Willow is double purpose as well, as the goats are eating the leaves and thinner branches, plus we also use the thicker barnches for firewood.

No need to debark it yourself Anke, just lay it out for the sheep for a couple of days and they will debark it for you, and add all those healthy trace elements and fibre into their diet.


I de-bark by hand for the goats usually... yes these ladies get waited on hand and feet...

 

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