ICKI live in a small cottage on a tiny little lot in what I consider to be the perfect small town, but lately I’ve been stalked by a monster which is threatening my sanity.

Years ago well-meaning neighbors planted bamboo along our fence line. I guess they heard that I was a little crazy and felt they needed a buffer.

The neighbors have been replaced several times, leaving me to battle the monster bamboo by myself.  It’s been creeping closer and closer to my house with every passing year.

The roving stalks are coming up between the cracks in my sidewalk and through the floor of my greenhouse. One slithered up in the drain as I was enjoying a bubble bath the other night.  (Okay, not really, but I’m expecting that to happen any minute.)

Yesterday, I did an experiment and measured one errant stalk.  It grew 24 inches in one day! Some of the stalks are the size of a baseball bat.  I tried to pull some up by the roots which were the texture and strength of barbed wire. In fact, I read that bamboo is used as reinforcement for concrete in some countries.

My garden advisor, Shirley, told me to buy some steel–toed boots and go out each morning and kick them down. Supposedly the “kicked stalks” won’t come back. So I canceled my gym membership and I’m “bamboozling” for 30 minutes each morning.

On the brighter side, the exercise has become a healthy means of releasing stress and pent-up emotions.

So chalk one more up for China where these monsters originated and are a delicacy enjoyed by Panda bears.  Anyone know where I can buy a Panda?

My friend, Ann, had a good idea.  She suggested I put a sign in my front yard advertising “Free Fishing Poles, Pick Your Own.”

So, I’m declaring war on bamboo, but I may be forced to turn my garden into a parking lot.

12 thoughts on “BAMBOOZLED!

  1. Daughter-in-law’s mom gave me a little bamboo plant in a pot. I was thinking of planting it outside. NOT!! You have really convinced me that that would be a dumb thing to do! I’ll just put in in a bigger pot and see how big it will get. 🙂

  2. Whoa… I want an errata to this blog letting every one know that it wasn’t me!!! If I were there, I’d help kick!

  3. Call your county agent. He will tell you which products you can use to kill/control it. We had it really bad and still do, and one of these days, when no one is watching, I’ll kill it. Our county agent told me what to use and I wrote it down but it’s out in my car in the lake (not really, but it seems like it since we’re rained in).

  4. Emily—-if you keep cutting it back through May, it seems to stop multiplying. And, the pieces that you cut rarely ever grow any more. I truly believe that bamboo is more aggressive than kudzu!! Most of the people who plant it have no conception of what it is capable of doing!

    Shirley D.

  5. Martha, when the creek subsides, could you send me the name of the product. Someone told me I could sprinkle salt on them,but I hate to do that to the rest of the plants.

  6. My father-in-law planted a couple of shoots in his backyard once as an experiment. A few years later it was 14 feet tall & had taken over a third of the property. We got rid of it, though. Sold the house.

  7. Emily, I remember watching a garden show on tv many years ago and they showed how to rid your garden of unwanted growth. You cut the plants to the ground, apply a strong fertilizer liberally and cover the area with CLEAR visqueen. You will need to put barriers around the edges of the visqueen so the bamboo does not spread outside the visqueen. This is best done in the summer months as the heat from the sun and from the fertilizer will kill anything under the visqueen. I never tried it but don’t have bamboo either.

  8. The kicking method works in my back yard, but the roots keep traveling underground looking for a place where people don’t kick.

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