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Bamboozled in the garden

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Loved by pandas and gardeners alike, bamboo is a favoured plant for adding a tropical touch to gardens across the shire. The majority of bamboo varieties are fast growing and drought tolerant – their lush foliage provides shelter and privacy.

Eurobodalla Council’s invasive species supervisor Paul Martin said bamboo was available to gardeners in two different types.

“Clumping bamboo is non-invasive and comes in both loose and tightly clumping varieties; it’s used for both ornamental gardens and privacy screens,” Mr Martin said.

“Running bamboo is among the fastest growing plants in the world and spreads by way of its lateral roots, which rapidly travel tens of metres.

“New shoots can grow up through gaps in patios, cracks in driveways, and even between the wall frame and cladding. Uncontained running bamboo will overrun your garden and then your neighbours’.”

Mr Martin said if gardeners insisted on using the running varieties, preparation was key.

“Trying to cut through a year’s mass of lateral roots is really hard work, even with a specialised trenching machine, and could result in damage to property infrastructure like fences and underground services like stormwater pipes,” he said.

He said running bamboo would ideally be planted in concrete pots or planter boxes, “some form of root barrier is essential”.

“Most of the roots are just below the surface but they can grow down to about 50 centimetres. Any barrier needs to be 60 centimetres deep. You can use concrete or one of the poly root-barriers from the hardware store.”

For information advice on bamboo in your garden or to arrange a site visit, contact Council’s invasive species team on 4474 1000.