Sunday, 1 May 2011

Bamboo in the Garden

Bamboo is a type of evergreen grass. It is the fastest growing plant in the world and it grows naturally just about everywhere. The only continents without indigenous species of bamboo are Europe and Antarctica. There are a number of uses for bamboo in the garden. Using bamboo and bamboo products in the garden is preferable to using hardwood products and plastic products because bamboo is environmentally friendly.  

There are over 1,000 varieties of bamboo plant to choose from for your garden. They usually come with guidance about what climatic zones they are suitable for. Bamboo can be divided into two basic groups - running and clumping. Running bamboo quickly spreads over a wide area and is good for creating shade and privacy in a garden. It can also be used to mark a border. Clumping bamboo grows in tight groups and looks great in a garden as an ornament. 

Bamboo does not drain the soil and can be grown organically. You can grow bamboo from plants and seeds. It is cheap to buy bamboo seeds on the internet.

Bamboo also makes good stakes and poles for growing food. The stakes are strong, flexible and weather resistant. Bamboo makes great fencing for a garden. It is cheaper and more eco-friendly than wooden fencing and it looks better than plastic fencing.

It is also possible to use bamboo charcoal as an organic fertilizer in the garden. Tokai University has done studies showing that bamboo charcoal improves crop yields and keeps soil PH levels steady and suitable for the growth of green tea and other crops.

Finally, outdoor bamboo shades are a brilliant way of making outdoor areas such as patios, verandas and balconies. They create privacy and shade and help to cut out harmful UV rays from the sun.