Do you need some much needed privacy? Do you want to build a green wall for your garden? In this article How To Grow Bamboo Screens we are going to take you through a step-by-step process of growing a healthy luscious bamboo wall.
Bamboo can be a great addition to the garden. It is a versatile plant that grows in many climates, is fast growing and hardy when established.
A popular use for bamboo is for creating a green wall or screen in the garden. This particularly useful when you need some privacy from neighbors or prevent passing people on the street from looking in.
Bamboo Fast Facts – what you need to know.
- there is over 1,500 types of species of bamboo in the world
- it is the fastest growing plant in the world
- is considered a renewable resource due to it’s fast growing capabilities and strength as a material
Which Bamboo Should you Grow?
With over 1,500 species in the world, it is safe to say a little guidance on which type of bamboo to use for screening is required.
We generally recommend using clumping bamboo or the non-invasive bamboo when planting bamboo around residential houses. The primary reason for this is due to the aggressive growing nature of the spreading or running bamboo. If unchecked, running bamboo can spread very quickly through rhizomes (part of the root system of a plant that spreads horizontally, growing new shoots at intervals). And before you know it, you will see new bamboo plants growing in unwanted places. There are methods to prevent the spreading of the plant. However for the sake of convenience and low maintenance we recommend choosing a clumping variety of bamboo.
There are other factors to consider when selecting the type of bamboo you will need to consider a few things:
- how high you want the bamboo screen to grow,
- how thick or dense you want to foliage to be at different levels of the screen,
- the color of the stems, and
- how much time you have to maintain the bamboo.
Your answers to the above questions will determine the type of bamboo you should grow for your screen.
How to Grow Bamboo Screens
Learning how to grow bamboo screens is simple once you know the important steps involved with the process.
Step 1 – Prepare the Soil
Once you have chosen and sourced your Bamboo you will need to start prepping the area where the green wall is going to be.
For optimum results we have detailed a step-by-step method of preparing the soil for your bamboo below:
- Clear the area of any other plants and weeds. This is important as Bamboo (like most plants) does not like to compete with other plants. In addition, the competing plants will also suffer as the bamboo begins to grow and block the sunlight.
- Turn the soil over. It is important to aerate and break up the soil for the bamboo roots to settle and spread. This is particularly important if the soil is old and has a high clay content. When digging up the soil be sure to turn over the entire area you want the bamboo to grow and form the wall. DON’T just focus on the area immediately around the bamboo’s roots.
- Enrich the soil with organic materials and slow releasing fertilizer. Turning the soil over presents a great opportunity to inject some nutrients and organic materials into the area. The process of turning over allows you to enrich a deeper and larger area. Unlike when you have to fertilize from above, such as when the bamboo has become established. We recommend using a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen to prevent the bamboo from flowering (and dying after flowering). You can also try using a lawn fertilizer as bamboo is a (very tall) member of the grass family.
- Fold the fertilizer and organic materials into the soil. To finish off preparing the soil, turn the soil over once again to allow the good stuff to mix in well and feed ALL the root systems.
This is an important step in our how to grow bamboo screens process, so do take your time in selecting the right fertilizers and working it into the soil. If you do this correct, you will be giving your bamboo screen the best start it can get.
Step 2 – Plan out Plant Placement
Now it is time to plan out the plant spacing for your bamboo.
Of course this will depend on the type of bamboo you have chosen and how big an area you want to fill. However, if you follow the general planting guidelines below you will grow a nice and even green bamboo wall.
For a tight and dense Bamboo Screen:
- plant each pot of bamboo 1 – 1.5 meters apart (or 3 – 5 feet). You should end up with a nice dense screen in 1 – 2 years time.
For a lighter and thinner Bamboo Screen that provides privacy, but allows sunlight to trickle through:
- plant each pot of bamboo 1.5 – 2 meters apart (or 6 – 9 feet). It will take longer for a full privacy screen to form, however you will end up with a more open feel.
Step 3 – Water in the Bamboo
This is a very important step. DO NOT FORGET THIS PART as it could mean the difference between a healthy, full bamboo screen OR a straggly, thin looking screen.
Once you have placed and planted your bamboo give them a good drenching of water.
Give them a slow, deep watering so make sure the roots establish and flourish.
Next, cover the area with mulch.
And yes, give them another watering.
The reason you need to water bamboo is to fuel the fast growth and give it the chance to form a luscious canopy of leaves.
Step 4 – After Care
The weeks following the initial planting of the bamboo, ensure you keep up the water. Like we mentioned before, keeping up the water levels will give your bamboo the best start. It will also increase the chances of you ending up with the best privacy screen for your garden.
Once the bamboo has established you can go down to giving you bamboo screen a good watering once a week.
For best results try to ensure your bamboo receives about 1 inch of water a week.
You can also leave the dead foliage that naturally fall to the ground around the stems as it acts as a natural mulch and protection for the roots.
We hope you liked our instructional article on how to grow bamboo screens.
With the proper care you will end up with a fantastic feature in your garden that will not only provide privacy, but will also look great too!
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