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 Post subject: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:58 am
Posts: 159
Location: Sheridan, Arkansas
I have been shredding bamboo for a mulch and a lot of is still green, it was cut about 6 weeks ago but in a pile. Do I need to let it set for a while before I put on my bamboo? :?: :D

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 4:42 pm
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Location: Gloucester, UK.
Best mulch possible- always in short supply though :? I mix in a little grass clippings to make it go further nowadays and use it straight away- works wonders...

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:40 pm 
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Location: Sheridan, Arkansas
Thanks Markj.
I have to trailer loads from a eradication :cry: job. Was going to burn what I couldn't use and then remimbered about a shreder out in the shed that had been there for several years. Dirty job shredding it though. :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:20 am
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Location: Kerby, OR Location Details
I agree with Mark- Best mulch money cant buy! Some of the boos I used it on last year have really put on some impressive growth. Taught me that mulch is one of the keys to good boo growth, and you can never have enough mulch! Char some of what you shredded, then put it around the boos, with some fresh mulch on top. There is a thread about that on boo web somwhere if you look around.


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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:15 pm
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
Quote:
I have been shredding bamboo for a mulch


What properties of bamboo mulch would make it better than using conventional wood chips?

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:51 pm 
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Location: Sheridan, Arkansas
I don't know what the properties of a bamboo mulch is over wood mulch. Going by what some have said on the forum here and I had all this bamboo from the eradication job to dispose of and I thought why not try it. Just went and got a truck load of horse manure today and will put it down and then the mulch on a new grove of about 15 clumps of yellow groove that I started this year.

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Location: Lower left corner of Oregon
I think, if I remember correctly, the specific ingredient that makes bamboo mulch superior, is silica. But whatever it is, it makes sense it would be better.... because...

Bamboo is made up of whatever ingredients pulled from the soil that bamboo most needs. Bamboo mulch is putting back bamboo-specific ingredients. :drunken: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:45 pm 
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Location: Gloucester, UK.
GrowingHabit wrote:
Bamboo mulch is putting back bamboo-specific ingredients. :drunken: :lol:


Thats how I see it as well :D , compared to wood chips the results are vastly different- bamboo mulch( shredded culms/canes leaves etc) is more of slow release fertilizer. Wood chips just keep the soil moist.

It's surprising how fast it can rot down as well, it's a constant battle keeping it topped up :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:18 am
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Location: north seattle, wa
i've heard that some softwoods release a chemical that inhibits growth of grass & weeds, like cedar. if grass does best when mulched with itself it makes sense that bamboo would make a good mulch (with slower decay).

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Last edited by Alan on Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:41 am 
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Location: Gloucester, UK.
Just to show how important a good mulch is( especially in marginal climates where all the help is needed for strong growth) Check out Mike Bells book - page 9- a pic of phyllostachys edulis. But look closely at the base of the plant theirs at least 3 foot of mulch :lol:

At one stage that plant was off colour and small, a gardener took a like to it and gave it some TLC and a little mulch :shock: well more like built a compost heap around it.. The result is in the pic - the largest bamboo in the Uk at the time. That chaps now left and without the feed the plant has gone downhill - the last time I saw it was probably half that size :blackeye:



Right, off to start the shredder...

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Location: Carmichael, CA
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
Unfortunately I could generate lots of bamboo mulch each spring and am currently piling up culms and burning them - big piles of them. I know there have been threads here in the past regarding shredders but I'll ask again, what is a decent one for culms under 1.5 inches max?

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:04 pm 
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Location: Kerby, OR Location Details
I have one made by "Yard Machines", it has a 10hp motor on it... here is what I found on chippers though- I dont like having to feed whatever it is down the hopper, and unless you get one with an auto feed mechanism, its a major pain. Mine has a large hopper on one end for leaves, and it seems to feed the culms in better, so I use it. it makes the pieces bigger, but its worth it to me to not have to hold on to the thing being chipped as its jumped, jostled and chewed apart in the chipper chute.

overall, I would say that unless you get a nice commercial unit, you will probably be dissapointed at how much work it takes to chip with the smaller home owner models. than, and its terribly noisy, and not a fun kind of noise like burning bamboo culms is! :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:36 pm 
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Location: Sheridan, Arkansas
I have a 9 hp craftsman unit, that is 12 to 15 years old. Used very little. It takes the 1 1/2 clums about the same as the smaller stuff that I have been doing {small to 1 1/4} Like Gene said having to feed it by hand is a pain. Haven't tried it in the leaf hopper with them yet, but will.

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:07 pm 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
If bamboo rots down fast, I don't think I'll have to shred it up before applying it to my plants. I'm just hoping these branches here will eventually decompose. This much bamboo mulch around my small moso should provide enough silicate for it to thrive. I put down more biomass than the actual plant itself.

I got these branches after thinning out 20% of the culms in a neighbor's bamboo grove.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo mulch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Location: Houston, TX Location Details
needmore wrote:
Unfortunately I could generate lots of bamboo mulch each spring and am currently piling up culms and burning them - big piles of them. I know there have been threads here in the past regarding shredders but I'll ask again, what is a decent one for culms under 1.5 inches max?


My experience (for what it's worth)...

BearCat is the only chipper that is worth a damn when chipping bamboo. There are 2 camps: people who say that chipping bamboo sucks/doesn't work/etc, and those who have a BearCat. This came up again on our recent Florida trip... a group of us were talking about how mulch will leach nitrogen out of the soil, and I said that instead of wood mulch that I just chip my bamboo and put that down. Chuck Theroux also said that he chips his bamboo for mulch. One of the guys said that he's never had luck with chippers. Turns out both Chuck and I have Bearcat chippers, and the other guy had something like Toro or Craftsman.

I've had similar conversations with quite a few people, and it always boils down to the same thing: those using BearCat chippers are happy, those using other brands are not.

http://bearcatproducts.com/main/products


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