Clumping Bamboo - self-contained.These need no containment.
Golden Bamboo Grove - standing grove maintained without advancement for 10 years by mowing foreground
1) Mow around the grove - For larger properties, the easiest way to control the spread of running bamboo is simply to mow around the grove during shoot season.
Running bamboo only produces shoots during a ‘species specific’ 4-6 week period, usually in the Spring (April, May).During this time, the rhizomes will produce many small shoots which will grow quickly into standing culms.These shoots are very tender, initially, and will abort with even minor damage.Not yet woody enough to harm a standard mower when small, most species are easily maintained by mowing around the perimeter of the groves every few days during this shoot season.
In our climate, we are already mowing during this season, so this is easily accomplished. For most species, mowing a distance of 15 feet or so from the standing culms is sufficient to control the advancement of the running bamboo grove.
2) Containment Barrier In smaller spaces, running bamboos can be contained by using a containment barrier, placed vertically in the soil.We ultilize a product called BambooBarrier™ by DeepRoot.In widespread use, this product is made of thick, slick, flexible polyethylene.The most common form is a 24”, 40mil product. Bamboo rhizomes are very tender and flexible when growing, readily turning when encountering resistance. When the rhizomes encounter this seamless material, they turn, being contained in the pre-prescribed area. As recommended, 2 inches of barrier is left protruding from the soil (not seen under the mulch). This remains so that any rhizome growth over the barrier is readily apparent. Any 'escaping' rhizomes can then be easily clipped. It is recommended to check the perimeter of the contained planting 2-3 times, yearly, to watch for any obvious rhizome growth over the barrier.
When used to encircle plantings, this product allows any continuous, ovoid shape, containing the bamboo, to be incorporated into garden design. With this containment option, living walls, screens, and contained ornamental plantings are available to even those with smaller properties.
Trenching and placement of BambooBarrier containment material
BambooBarrier containment material
BambooBarrier contained planting - a living screen instead of fencing