One of the first big bamboos I planted was Phyllostachys bissetii back in 2008. It's along the edge of the driveway in back but is also visible from the street.
I've fought with it for several years, trying various methods to keep it more upright. Part of the problem is the overhanging trees -- they make this plant lean over the driveway in the quest for more sunlight. I have started on my final solution to this problem, so let's take a look at what I've done.
Maybe a look back in time first would be nice, when this bamboo was two years old:
|Phyllostachys bissetii in 2010, 2 years after planting|
You can see that I was already fighting it, trying to keep it off the driveway. I used metal poles and rope for this first iteration of the support. It worked fine for a couple of years.
Here's what I'm dealing with now:
Bigger plant, more able to lean.
Too big for metal poles. In fact, I upgraded the metal poles two times after those originals, and they all bent. You can see a few remnants in that last photo.
So many culms!
But wait -- I'm getting a little ahead of myself. This project actually started a few days earlier, when I removed dozens of dead culms and those that were too thin.
Here's a "before" photo that shows some of the dead culms and the bent metal poles too:
I pulled so many out!
You can't tell from the photo but that is a tall pile of bamboo canes! It was well over 100 when I stopped counting.
So now we're caught up, we can get back to the project at hand: the new support structure!
First the poles were pulled out of the ground:
Some would not budge so had to be cut. That's fine -- anything to get them out of the way!
Next, post holes:
I've been digging a few of these lately, haven't I? (I had to pull out a drainage pipe too -- it was in the way)
What goes into a post hole?
The design required three of them to be installed on the back side of the grove:
I've been thinking about this design for over a year, and the main reason that I didn't build it last summer was the post holes. My original plan was to sink all six vertical supports including the three next to the driveway -- but those would require me to dig through rhizomes, rock, and other driveway rubble. Not a fun time.
My recent idea though was to only sink the back three posts and place the front three on the driveway itself -- no difficult (or even impossible) digging required!
I love the look of the wood posts with the bamboo culms, don't you?
Tomorrow I'll show you the finished support, and that might be the last you ever read about this problem -- as it should never be a problem again!