BAMBOOWEB.INFO
It is currently Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:42 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:15 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, CO
It's a snow day here today (the Bombcyclone blizard) so I'm home for the day, and I have some time to write.
Every year during the long Thanksgiving weekend, I cover my bamboo here in central Fort Collins (Colorado). We're zone 5B here. If I don't cover the bamboo for the coldest months then most or all of my culms are dead or half dead by spring. Without covering, my bamboo pretty much maxed out at around 4 to 6 feet. I have Decora, Nuda, Yellowcrook and.....hmmm....uhm, I forget the last one. Excaliber, or Zanzibar or Z something. hmm. Since I started covering I've gotten a little or sometimes a lot of upsize each year. I think my Decora is about maxed out now. It's had only a small upsize for the last 2 or 3 years.
Now and then I see a post here from other folks pushing the zone 5 envelope, so this year when I covered up, I tried to snap some pics on the i-phone (sorry about the poor quality), to share with others the methods of my madness on this big job. The job keeps getting bigger year by year, and I'm getting older, so this time I spread the work out over several days.

Attachment:
IMG_2390.jpg
IMG_2390.jpg [ 560.95 KiB | Viewed 1326 times ]
Pic 2390
Here is one of our golden retrievers Tucker Too, with my Decora. As you can see, it's getting pretty good sized for Z5B. The others are hiding behind the Decora in this shot. They're taller but since I'm kind of looking up hill here you can't see them. (Please forgive all the junk leaning up against the house, and the trebouchet. The other fall project was cleaning out and putting down pavers in the side yard where I normally hide junk and I haven't put the junk back yet)
So, covering the bamboo is a several step process.

Step 1.
Starting with... uhm.. drilling? No, installing? several of these big 30 inch steel anchors.
I got most of them years ago from Ace Hardware. Here's a link to them there now:
https://www.acehardware.com/departments ... hors/70064
Attachment:
anchor.jpg
anchor.jpg [ 39.58 KiB | Viewed 1326 times ]


If the ground is pretty dry I can't get them in at all, so I have to do a long thorough soak a couple days before. My son helps me, and we stick a 4 foot piece of rebar through the eye at the top of the anchor, and then we both lean down and rotate the rebar to bore the anchors in at strategic locations.
pic 1920


Attachment:
IMG_2391.jpg
IMG_2391.jpg [ 445.21 KiB | Viewed 1326 times ]
pic 2391
Step 2.
Then I run some ropes and straps around the bamboo and I use this long white pole with a hook on the end, and also climb up my extension ladder and push the ropes up by hand. I start tightening the ropes and straps to begin leaning the bamboo over. Then I push the ropes up some more and tighten some more. I often let the bamboo relax for a few hours (while I rest) and then tighten some more. If I leave it alone overnight, it seems that I can tighten some more in the morning. Usually I mostly just use the kind of tie down straps that have a little cam buckle, but this year, the force required was more than I could do with those, so I broke down and bought a couple of heavy duty ratchet type tie-downs like they use to secure loads on a flatbed truck.

Pic 2399
Here you see I finally have the Decora mostly strapped down, and I'm about to start on the bamboos on the other side of my little bamboo grove patio. So Decora bends down first and then the other bamboos have to be strapped and bent down to each side of the Decora. On the right here in this picture is my Yellowcrook. Oh yeah, the last one is Vivax. V is kinda close to Z, so I wasn't too far off, right? So, there's three on the far side of the patio, from left to right Nuda, Vivax, and Yellowcrook. They get split in the middle (more difficult than it sounds, and then strapped down to either side of the Decora.

Pic 2401
Step 3.
Now I have this big piece of canvas. It's 3 of the largest size painter's canvas from home depot sewn together to make one extra long piece. My son and I use these long white PVC poles with a hook duct taped to the end, to lift up the corners of the tarp, and gradually pull it up over the entire bamboo grove. This goes on first, because without having it in place, the next step, pulling this giant net I made out of cheap colored rope would be impossible. The net gets tangled and stuck on the bamboo, but with the tarp already in place, it's fairly easy to pull the net up over the top of the canvas.

Step 4.
Then I pull the canvas OUT from under the net, and use more tie down straps to pull the whole cargo net down, tightening the bamboo down even further. At this point the bamboo is strapped tight enough (and of course I have the net there for safety) that I can actually walk or crawl across the top of the bamboo. Next time I'll ask my son to get a pic of me standing up there.
I need the canvas to be over the top of the net. I'll explain about that later. So, now that the net is on and tightened down, my son and I once again use the poles etc. to put the canvas up again on top of the net this time.
Pic 2406 Here's Tucker Too again, now the canvas is on top of the net.


Pic 2411
Step 5. The plastic is next. This is a giant piece of green house plastic I ordered on sale from A.M. Leonard horticultural supply 6 or 7 years ago. (Ginigar brand clear poly) Not cheap, but it's holding up reasonably well (except the hole Tucker clawed through at one end a few weeks ago). I think it was about $ 160.00 6 mil. thick and 40 foot wide, and I think 80 or 85 feet long.
https://www.amleo.com/ginegar-suncover- ... p/VP-U46C/
With the canvas on top again, pulling the plastic on is pretty much the easiest step. It's heavy, but it's nice and wide, and it just slips right over the top of the canvas.

Pic 2418
Step 6. Then, I have a couple of cheap woven plastic tarps with brown on one side, and silver on the other. I have them tied together, and these go on top of the plastic with the silver side up, to reflect the sun, and these also get tied down, and I throw some bags of manure and some concrete things and pavers around the edges of the plastic to hold it down in heavy wind.

Step 7. (sorry no pic on this)
Here in Colorado the dry windy cold is a big issue for the bamboo. BUT a couple years experience covering the bamboo with just plastic, I learned the bigger and more difficult issue is those warm bright sunny days which happen about every third week throughout the winter. With just the plastic on there, the greenhouse effect will cook my bamboo, killing it even more effectively than the cold dry wind.
So, one of the tricky parts for me. I have to put up my extension ladder under one edge of the plastic, below the canvas, but above the net and bamboo. I climb up in there, and I drag some old rolls of chicken wire, and tomato cages, and wire rack shelving and anything else I have laying around, that I can stick up there to create a space between the bamboo and the canvas so that air can easily rise up to the peak of the structure. I think if the bamboo weren't strapped down so tight together, the air could circulate through the bamboo, but it's strapped so tight I can walk or crawl on top of it, so it's too tight for circulation.
Then, at the very top of the structure, I have this blower with a thermostat, connected to an extra long 4 inch dryer tube.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005K ... UTF8&psc=1

I ordered the thermostat from a greenhouse supply place. It's adjustable, and I have it set so that as soon as the temp gets above about 40F the fan comes on and starts blowing the hot air pretty fast down the tube which vents out from under the plastic. I have a remote thermometer also near the top, which I can read from in the house. This year I think the highest the temp has been 80F and that was only once or twice. Before I started using the blower, even with all those layers and the reflective silver on top, it would hit 100 several times, and a lot of the upper portion of the bamboo would be toast.
I also have several freeze prevention pipe heater cords which I stretch out on the patio below the bamboo. These I have connected to a different thermostat, which is set to turn on when the temperature gets below 10F. I think those have only turned on a couple of times within several years. It gets cold here in Fort Collins (10 below might be expected every other year or so. But in the bamboo with a lot of exposed ground, and lots of layers, my thermometer near the top of the bamboo usually stays 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the outdoors on cold nights. So, for these cold hardy bamboos I'm not sure I need the extra protection of the heater cords, but...... of all the work I do to prepare for winter, sticking those things in are pretty much the easiest part, so it's cheap insurance. I have to run the extension cord all winter anyway for the cooling blower.
So, the layers are first the ropes and straps to hold the bamboo down close enough to the ground so I can get my covers over the bamboo and fit it under my 40 foot wide plastic. Then the hand made rope cargo net, then the rolls of chicken wire and tomato cages (for circulation) and the blower, duct, and thermostat, next is the layer of canvas which gives a bit of insulation and also helps wick and keep condensed water from dripping down through the bamboo and also makes it easier to slide the plastic over. Next is the plastic and on top of that is the reflective tarp to help keep things cool. Of the tasks involved, the hardest is strapping the bamboo down close to the ground. The entire job takes probably 20 hours of work and not easy work. Sooner or later I'll be too old to do this each year, but for now it's worth it to have my bamboo grove. Yeah, I suppose that's a little bit nuts.
It's march 13th today so another week or two, depending on the long range weather report, and I'll pull off everything but the rope net, and loosen up the straps a bit. I'll keep it held together with the net etc. until the risk of heavy snow is over. The bamboo is plenty strong enough to hold up deep heavy snow if it's strapped together, but if it's just loose, then it all bends outward from the middle, and I lose a lot of culms to the weight of the snow. So, I usually wait to pull off the net until around the middle of May.

_________________
Bruce in Fort Collins, CO Zone 5B


Last edited by Bruce-FTC on Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:15 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, CO
More pics. There seems to be a limit of 3. ?
Attachment:
IMG_1920.jpg
IMG_1920.jpg [ 311.74 KiB | Viewed 1325 times ]

Attachment:
IMG_2399.jpg
IMG_2399.jpg [ 522.25 KiB | Viewed 1325 times ]

Attachment:
IMG_2401.jpg
IMG_2401.jpg [ 428.17 KiB | Viewed 1325 times ]

_________________
Bruce in Fort Collins, CO Zone 5B


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:15 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, CO
pics
Attachment:
IMG_2406.jpg
IMG_2406.jpg [ 349.93 KiB | Viewed 1323 times ]

Attachment:
IMG_2411.jpg
IMG_2411.jpg [ 480.71 KiB | Viewed 1323 times ]

Attachment:
IMG_2418.jpg
IMG_2418.jpg [ 429.66 KiB | Viewed 1323 times ]

_________________
Bruce in Fort Collins, CO Zone 5B


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
Posts: 1344
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Wow, that's what I call dedication!

_________________
http://cold-hardy.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:13 pm
Posts: 2886
Location: St. Louis area Location Details
Impressive results to match the impressive effort. I didn't have time to read everything, but do you get snow buildup on top of the tarps? I assume so, as that would provide the insulation... or is it just a greenhouse effect that keeps them protected?

The anchors are a great idea! Do you remove them in the spring? If so, why not leave them permanently? (Besides the trip hazard!)

_________________
Alan.
My blog: It's not work, it's gardening!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:15 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Okay. With the weather getting warmer, I decided to go ahead and remove my covers on the bamboo. Since I didn't get pictures of some of the equipment details when I was covering up, I decided to try to grab a few pictures of those things as I uncovered the bamboo, and before I put things away till next Thanksgiving.
Attachment:
IMG_2488.jpg
IMG_2488.jpg [ 568.85 KiB | Viewed 1143 times ]

Pic 2488 (Sorry for my stupid finger in the picture. I was standing on the roof of my house to take the picture, so I guess I was not paying careful attention to what I was doing.)
Here after the plastic and canvas has been pulled off, you can see the old milk crate and some wire racks and rolls of chicken wire that were between the bamboo and the canvas layer to provide space for air to flow up to my blower (black) with the 4" duct tube (silver). I didn't manage to get the blower at the exact top of the bamboo, but it's pretty close. So, air heats under the plastic and rises past those racks and things to the blower which blows the hot air through the duct down and out from under the bottom edge of the plastic. Some of my rolls of chicken wire rolled off when I pulled off the canvas, so there was some additional stuff besides what you see here.
If you look just to the right of my ladder, you will see a spot where there was nothing to separate the bamboo from the canvas and plastic toward the south facing side. So, at that location there was not enough circulation and the bamboo got too hot, drying out and killing the leaves there. Most of the stems will be okay. The damage extends about 5 or 6 inches down from surface where the canvas and plastic was sitting.
Attachment:
IMG_2489.jpg
IMG_2489.jpg [ 545.47 KiB | Viewed 1143 times ]

Pic 2489
This view gives a better idea of the overall picture once the plastic and canvas are pulled off. Overall, I think I have a bit less damaged than other recent years, so I've got my fingers crossed for some additional upsize in June.
It's difficult even in this picture to understand to what degree this bamboo is strapped down from its normal height and width. If you look to the left of my blower you will see the peak of the pile is actually bamboo that initially was standing up near the corner of the house, past that patch of snow, and about under where that white thing is sitting (a retired dog gate).
My largest culms are my vivax seen at lower left of that picture.
Note the height of the ladder to the top of the strapped down bamboo.
Attachment:
IMG_2519.jpg
IMG_2519.jpg [ 602.35 KiB | Viewed 1143 times ]

Pic 2519
As soon as I loosen up the ropes and straps holding the bamboo down tight, it starts to spring back up. Now in this picture the ladder is nearly lost under the bamboo. The rope net is still holding it down a fair amount and holding it together to protect it from snow damage later this spring. In the last couple days it's lifted up more, and once I take the rope net completely off in mid-May, it will take another week blowing around in the wind for it to fully relax and go back to its normal vertical and outward spreading manner. Note the snow patch on the roof has diminished from pics earlier in the day.

_________________
Bruce in Fort Collins, CO Zone 5B


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:15 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Here's a couple more technical pictures
Attachment:
IMG_2507.jpg
IMG_2507.jpg [ 400.92 KiB | Viewed 1143 times ]

Pic 2507
Here in its original position, we see the silvery duct which carries the hot air out from under the plastic. You see some of my heavy duty straps, and one of my new ratcheting tighteners. Just past the silver duct you see a clear plastic box (former refrigerator drawer). That box is preventing water from dripping onto my electrical connections. Laying around on the ground there are some black wires. Those are the pipe freeze protection cords. Once I lift that cover off you see:
Attachment:
IMG_2511.jpg
IMG_2511.jpg [ 431.73 KiB | Viewed 1143 times ]

Pic 2511
Underneath the plastic cover, main power is orange and black cord coming in to a 3 way black connector. On that plug, at left you see a black cord is connected at a 90 degree angle. That black one is tied up and goes to that K-Kontrol brand thermostat, which is set to turn on a relay once the temperature gets down to 10 degrees or so (I forget the exact setting I have it at). When the relay closes, then electricity flows to that light gray cord going to the power strip. There are three orange cords plugged into the power strip, and each of these is for one of the black pipe freeze heater cords (black part heats, but orange part does not). The heater cords each have their own internal thermal switch which turns on at about 35 degrees. But this bamboo does not need to be kept that warm. So, that's why I have the K-controls thermostat cutting off electricity until it gets quite cold in there (thereby saving electricity, and keeping the bamboo cooler overall through the winter months, which is good). If you look carefully, hanging around above all that stuff you see a solid copper wire, which goes from the thermostat to that cylindrical copper bulb thing just above one of the yellow straps. So that copper wire and bulb either sense or just give conductive mass to measure the temperature for the thermostat. I don't actually know how that type bulb works. (I guess I should look it up)
Now, back to the 3 way black breakout. At the middle position, you see a dark green extension cord. That one runs up to the top of the bamboo where my blower is located. That cord gets electricity all the time.
So, again, the plastic cover goes over all this to keep it dry from condensation rain that tends to drip down through the bamboo.
Attachment:
IMG_2513.jpg
IMG_2513.jpg [ 439.04 KiB | Viewed 1143 times ]

Pic 2513
I've taken down the equipment from the top of the bamboo and grabbed a pic before putting it away. The dark green extension cord mentioned in previous paragraph connects to that black plug seen at lower left. The cord going out at 90 degree angle, goes to this 2nd thermostat. This thermostat just has a small coil at the end to sense the temperature, and is set to somewhere around 45 or 50 degrees. Once the temperature sensed rises ABOVE 50, it closes a relay and lets electricity flow to the other side of that black plug. There you see another black plug is connected, which runs to the Ventech inline blower. A bit of white netting (I think it was netting the thanksgiving turkey came in one year) is covering the inlet end, to prevent bamboo leaves and whatnot from getting sucked into the fan. It blows pretty hard. At the exit of the fan some gray duct tape connects my extra long (I think it was 25 foot) 4" silver dryer duct. Also, to the lower right of the thermostat you see the remote sensor which talks via some kind of wireless digital protocol, to the remote temperature readout I have in my nearby bathroom cabinet. I have that sensor tied to the milk crate and also the blower fan is tie-wrapped to the milk crate to help make sure it stays in a good position. The orange tape is left over from a previous year when I just had the remote temp sensor tied to the bamboo. A previous year it had just been tied up near the top of the bamboo and in the spring I couldn't find it. I didn't find it till the following fall, so that fall I put on the big orange flag to make it more difficult to lose.

Okay. Any questions?

_________________
Bruce in Fort Collins, CO Zone 5B


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:15 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, CO
I bragged about it earlier, so I figured I'd better back that up with evidence. While I was up on top of the bamboo disassembling the equipment (before I loosen all the straps) I asked my son to snap a couple pictures of me standing up there. The straps are so strong and they're holding the bamboo so tight, it's like a composite beam of bamboo about 5 feet in diameter. I'm on the bundle of decora bent over from the far right. There's a similar but not as sturdy bundle of vivax and Nuda in front of me, bent over from the left, and a bundle of yellowcrook behind me, bent over also from the left. So, it supports me easily right over the top of my patio underneath me where no bamboo is growing. But I have to watch my step, because if I step between the bundles I would slip down through and fall 16 feet or so to my paver stone patio. So, I was VERY careful while I was up there, and I did not allow my son to join me there. It was sort of a needless stunt......but, what the heck, every once in a while, even an old guy has to do what a guy's got to do. Right? How many of you guys can say you've walked around on top of your bamboo?
Attachment:
IMG_2494.jpg
IMG_2494.jpg [ 531.11 KiB | Viewed 1143 times ]

Pic 2494 View from the ground
Attachment:
IMG_2500.jpg
IMG_2500.jpg [ 574.75 KiB | Viewed 1143 times ]

Pic 2500 View from the roof
Attachment:
IMG_2504.jpg
IMG_2504.jpg [ 563.9 KiB | Viewed 1143 times ]

Pic 2504 A bright sunny day on top of the bamboo

_________________
Bruce in Fort Collins, CO Zone 5B


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:15 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Hi Alan

Yes, some years I've had 2 feet of heavy wet snow on the tarps on top of the bamboo. But the whole thing is rounded, and it tends to wiggle around a bit when the wind kicks up, so the snow usually slips off within a day or two. So, no, there's no insulative effect of the snow at the times I need it. It would be nice if the snow would just stay on top all winter, and thereby prevent the main problem - OVERHEATING. Yes, the heat is from greenhouse effect. Here in Fort Collins it's very bright and sunny 8 days out of 10, even in the winter. The brightest sunny day of the year at your home in Missouri pales in comparison to a typical winter day here. There's just so much more moisture in the air there, and you're at much lower altitude, so the sun also has more air to travel through.

Bruce
Pic 0045 February 2016


Attachments:
IMG_0045.jpg
IMG_0045.jpg [ 259.01 KiB | Viewed 1143 times ]

_________________
Bruce in Fort Collins, CO Zone 5B
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:13 pm
Posts: 2886
Location: St. Louis area Location Details
The pics of you standing on top are fantastic! :lol:

_________________
Alan.
My blog: It's not work, it's gardening!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:14 pm
Posts: 4684
Location: Esparto, CA
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
You are more clever and dedicated than I am!

I don't know if it is an urban myth but years ago a bamboo nurseryman told me that he had a client in Montana I think, that basically installed a radiant heat system outdoors and also a sort of snap on greenhouse kit so he could grow bamboo there adjacent to his house.

_________________
Brad Salmon, zone 9 Esparto, CA
www.needmorebamboo.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:57 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Poland, zone 6B
Just great! I have read every word of your story!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:14 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:28 am
Posts: 289
Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
Bruce,

This is the most work I have ever seen done by an individual to protect a single planting. I think your results make it a worthwhile project! However, I probably am biased in favor of bamboo :D .


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:31 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:28 am
Posts: 289
Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
needmore wrote:
I don't know if it is an urban myth but years ago a bamboo nurseryman told me that he had a client in Montana I think, that basically installed a radiant heat system outdoors and also a sort of snap on greenhouse kit so he could grow bamboo there adjacent to his house.

Before they upgraded their website, Lewis Bamboo used to have pages on their site that contained information on some of their clients and installation projects. My recollection is that they had sold a bunch of Phyllostachys aureosulcata to a client in SW Montana who was doing what you describe (soil heating cables and a greenhouse). The town in question is in Zone 3b. I am guessing this is what you are referencing. I would like to know if the person was successful with their planting.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:02 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Zone 7a Oklahoma City
Man that's some serious dedication, even for some of us bamboo nuts here. My rule is if it's bigger than a big black trash can.. the damn thing better survive on it's own. :lol: :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group