Bamboo plants are beautiful evergreen perennials, and use up a nice block of space in the garden, making great visual features or adding structure to different areas of the garden.They can grow anything from 1ft to 70ft in height and most types are fully hardy.
They can look a little ugly if left to grow without maintenance, particularly in winter, when bamboo is at its most vulnerable. Here’s a quick guide to preparing your bamboo for winter.
Physical Barrier Care
If you choose to plant your bamboo inside a physical barrier, you should ensure the barrier is fixed before the winter months, as if it is not in good condition it may leave the plant vulnerable and cause you no end of problems come spring.
One of the best ways to keep the barrier protected over winter is to ensure it is correctly installed when you plant the bamboo. Make sure you:
Dig the trench to be at a 2-4ft depth
Ensure the trench sides are lined properly with solid materials like concrete drain parts, corrugated iron or other concrete slabs.
Alternatively use root barrier fabric.
If you use fabric it should overlap by 1ft at a minimum and bonded
The barrier should stick out above the soil by a minimum of 3 inches
The root ball should sit deeper than the original depth of the planting hole
The soil should be firmed well, but not too harshly as this can damage junior rhizomes
The plant should be given lots of water and mulch after it has been set
Taking care to ensure the physical barrier is correctly installed when the bamboo is originally planted will help a lot when it comes to long term maintenance. If you suspect the physical barrier does need adjusting or repairing in some way, take care to do this in autumn while the ground is still soft.
Protecting Your Bamboo For Winter
During winter, bamboo is extremely vulnerable. When it is windy and cold, you must be prepared to provide your bamboo with extra care to ensure it survives.
When you initially plant your bamboo, the main aim is to enable the plant to have enough time to establish a strong root system so that when the frost comes, the snow comes and the inevitable winds and rain come, it is strong enough to survive.
Cold winds are particularly damaging to a young bamboo plant. For this reason it is extremely important you plant your bamboo long before winter to enable it to establish a root system and grow strong in the warmer months.
The colder months can dry out bamboo really quickly, and the plant may not recover properly if it was not established going into winter. Frost can be an issue for bamboo as well, causing cell damage and damage to other parts of the plant.
As a priority, you should understand how hardy your bamboo is when it comes to winter, this will help you understand its needs better.
Follow These Steps To Protect Your Bamboo Over Winter:
Plant early enough for the young bamboo to establish a strong root system
Place a heavy layer of mulch at the plant’s base. The mulch can be a mix of compost, dried leaves and twigs. Alternatively you could grow a low, ground cover plant.
Protect the plant from exposure to the cold winds by either planting a ‘shield plant’ that can handle the cold winds, around the bamboo to absorb the worst of the weather.
Alternatively ensure you plant your bamboo away from particularly windy or exposed areas of the garden. If you wanted to, you could install a panel in front of the plant to protect it.