So I made a really bad decision spring of 2010. In an attempt to create a ‘living fence’ (mainly due to height restriction on privacy fences in Toledo), I planted running bamboo.  According to all my research, it was to grow to an approximate height of 25 feet. Since my back yard dips down, and the neighbors yard behind me dips down, the current 6 foot fence does little to offer privacy unless you are within arms reach of it! So… I planted running bamboo. I thought I had everything lined up. We dug a two-foot trench and lined it with heavy landscape fabric AND 6 mil plastic. We raised the bed 10 inches to give us a near total of three-feet. According to my research, the rhizomes and roots structure of the bamboo should have stayed well within that depth.

throughout 2010 and 2011, the bamboo seemed sluggish to get going. In fact, it didn’t look at all as I had envisioned it. So, spring of 2012 we spent 3 weeks digging it out because visually, it was not what we wanted. During this three week period it was discovered that the rhizomes had punctured and escaped the intended ‘barrier’ we had spent so much time and effort setting up.  Bamboo was now ready to take everything over.

We got a lot of it out, and it should be noted that careful attention needs to be made not to simply break the rootzone and assume the plant will die. The rhizomes actually store about two-years worth of energy, so if you break them – they could just produce another plant. I decided for the 2013 year I would not plant anything in the flower bed that once housed the bamboo in case more stalks came up. This morning, look what I found:


Yes, if you are not familiar with this plant, it’s running bamboo. It’s a little guy right now, but if I leave it alone and don’t try to remove it the leaves will continue to produce food for the plant , store more energy [in the rhizome] and continue to create a problem in the future. After work today, I will be taking my shovel out and try to reach as far down as I can to the ‘root’ of the problem.

I should also note that last year we sprayed Tenacity on my lawn (we were testing it out to see what it did to the bent grass). The Tenacity actually targeted the bamboo (which is a member of the grass family) – it turned the leaves bleach white which halted the ability of the plant to do photosynthesis.

I can’t image what would have happened had we waited a year to remove the bamboo. It would have taken over everything! I’ll be calling a couple of landscapers we work with to see what they may recommend for that area and will post the results. If you made it down this far, thanks for reading.


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