Covering the Unsightly Apartment Building

One of my least favorite aspects of my backyard is the unsightly apartment building located directly behind it.  I am particularly not fond of neighbors hanging out of their windows and asking me questions as I sit in my yard.

On April 24, 2010, I finally added the bamboo I have been yearning for!

The bamboo arrives!

The men dug a three-foot ditch, placed a strong root barrier in and then planted the bamboo.

Bamboo after 6 weeks

In the few weeks since the bamboo went in, I have learned a few things about it:

  • The bamboo (to my horror) suffered transplant shock!  I have been watering more frequently to help it adjust;
  • Living in clay soil means more frequent brief watering rather than long watering to encourage deep rooting of all plants;
  • Mulching helps protect the soil and roots from direct sun, breaks down and improves the soil under it, regulates moisture, cools the plant in summer and protects the plant in winter;
  • Mature bamboos that shade their root system also begin to produce their own mulch.  Bamboo leaves are high in silica and if left as mulch will continue to act as mulch and recycle silica into the soil for the roots to use.
  • When the transplant shock caused brown leaves, I harvested those to use as mulch for the bamboo.
  • Bamboo is in the grass family.  Thus, I have been using fertilizer appropriate for grass.  In particular, I have found that grass loves laundry graywater (I use a “green” detergent – phosphate-free, perfume-free, dye-free).  I also use compost tea;
  • In the Spring, stomp on bamboo shoots that stray outside of their allotted territory.
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