When you grow a lot of bamboo like I do (30+ varieties) and most of them are running bamboos, the rhizome pruning that I do to control them results in lots of rhizomes to pot up. Especially if I get lazy for a while and some of the plants shoot in areas that they shouldn't.
The end result is that I have a lot of potted bamboos that I keep in a temporary nursery area. The thing about potted bamboos though...
...is that if you leave them in place for too long -- let's say for three years -- you end up with a nice new grove in the area.
Especially if the spot in the garden you chose for them has some of the nicest, loosest soil because there was a mulch pile here a few years back.
That's what I had here: a mixed grove of bamboo that has escaped from pots. It does not take long for a rhizome to escape through a drainage hole and run wild!
It looks quite nice if you don't know that it's a mistake and problem:
I've been putting this task off all summer, as digging would not be fun.
Luckily I was contacted out of the blue recently by an area bamboo lover with some questions about the bamboo species he was growing. It turns out that not only was he looking to expand his bamboo collection, he was eager to help me dig -- and lived less than a mile from me!
So he came over on Friday afternoon and we dug. It was exactly as miserable a task as I thought it would be as it was already humid that day but it started raining a bit as we were digging.
Jason learned a lot about bamboo rhizomes that day, and ended up with more bamboo than he expected -- I gave them to him in exchange for his labor. Since he lived so close we just loaded up my truck and I drove it over there. Don't think we could have fit any of this into his small car!
Now the area is pretty much free of bamboo...
...which means that you can see this beautiful Fargesia 'Rufa' again:
This is the spot that will contain my large shed if I ever get around to building it.
There's a section here (behind the spot just cleared) that still needs to be cleaned up:
Lots of half-rotten logs will be moved into the wild strip and will double the clear area for the shed. I should get this cleared out once drier, cooler weather arrives -- sometime in the next couple of weeks I think.
...and from another angle:
So a lesson to those who keep running bamboo in nursery pots: lift those pots every few months!