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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:05 pm
Posts: 93
Location: Pennsylvania
I am curious what fall routine (if any) you use to winterize your plants and/or prepare for spring growth? I did something yesterday I never did in the 4+ years I have been growing Fargesia varies: I actually fertilized and mulched everything in the Fall! My Rufa plants haven't sized up a whole lot in the last year or two... no real height gains. I get plenty of shoots, but nothing beyond 2'. My Nitida is a little better in gaining some height, but hardly shoots.

Some beds I piled high with leaves and topped with straw, almost burying the small plants. Can't see any harm in this. Hopefully my 'boo does better next year.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
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Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
My Rufa also stopped upsizing and remained the same size or even decreased average culm diameter a bit. It did however spread in all direction - a lot. It's quite large now, and I'm thinking about cutting most of the culms down and making some divisions.

I usually protect my bamboos before the cold starts. My bamboos do not receive fertilizer of any kind until spring. Well, I do give the ones, growing in wet positions some wood ash during late autumn and early winter.

I usually tarped down my bamboos and bent the whole plants as close to the ground as possible. That way, even a small amount of snow cover, creates quite a nice and cozy protective layer above the bamboo. Tarp alone didn't help much, when we received prolonged cold and dry weather a few years ago.
Like I mentioned, this year, my bamboos remained unprotected. The thing is, all of them grew quite a lot last year and I'm not sure if I could offer them adequate protection. I would certainly break my back trying to tarp them down, though. Especially Borinda is a tough one to protect. It's tightly congested growing clumper with thick walled culms. There are also dozens of new shoots growing around it, which may be able to survive, but will surely get broken if i start 'dancing' around them.

So far, we've had a couple of cold weeks with minimum temperature around -8°C and daily highs just a bit above freezing. Borinda is slightly fried, nothing serious just yet, other bamboos are showing no damage whatsoever. Especially Moso is holding on extremely well - it even stoped leaf curl on windy and sunny days, which is strange. Oh, and even Bambusa ventricosa is still alive. Lost all autumn shoots and a few leaves, but it looks alive.

Regarding fertilization - when do you start applying nitrogen rich fertilizer in the spring? I usually wait for the first signs of shooting or pick a date when they usually start. There are usually not many aborted shoots, so I guess there's moere than enough nutrients.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:13 pm
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
steve-in-kville wrote:
...Some beds I piled high with leaves and topped with straw, almost burying the small plants. Can't see any harm in this. Hopefully my 'boo does better next year.


The only potential harm is that some critters might find this a nice place to overwinter and/or feed on shoots or rhizomes. I think it's a small chance but still wanted to mention it.

A few years back I tarped over several potted bamboos that were laid down on the ground. I mulched the pots heavily and when I dug them out in the spring there were shrew (or vole?) tunnels all over the place in the mulch touching the pots.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:05 pm
Posts: 93
Location: Pennsylvania
Alan_L wrote:
The only potential harm is that some critters might find this a nice place to overwinter and/or feed on shoots or rhizomes. I think it's a small chance but still wanted to mention it.



Point well taken. I've had more issues with rats than anything. Hence the reason a keep a .38 snub in my back pocket. First two rounds are birdshot!

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