Is this too Narrow to fit Bamboo?


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Wanting to use Bamboo against our fence for privacy. Neighbors have a 2 story house that looks down into ours.
Need about 12-13 feet of height for privacy. I'm in Region 9, (Bay Area California)

The space is 14" wide of dirt between fence and sidewalk. Is that too narrow for clumping bamboo to grow?

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alp

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Not at all! Try it. Just make sure you have loamy soil, a bit of clay, a bit of sand and tons of water when you first plant the bamboos. In fact, it is ideal as they won't encroach to your garden because of the concrete path. Incidentally, what is the aspect please? If the sun is from your neighbour's side and your neighbour has gone soil instead of concrete, you can be in big trouble as bamboos, even clumpsters, want to tap into the sun's energy. If the sun is really from your neighbour side and you're a considerate neighbour, like me (sometimes, LOL!), you really should put a plastic sheet as a barrier against your neighbour's soil. Don't worry too much as bamboo roots do not go DEEP, they go across. Please google youtube, but don't get scared as it is easily done.

What kind of bamboo have you have in mind?I recommend a Fargesia Nitida, rainbow or one with chocolate stem or even Phyllostachys Nigra is better than boring green or aurea.

I have had success with about 4 inches of width in a very hot spot between my neighbour's wall and my slab paving. If you have friends who have got bamboos, get a piece of runner root and just make sure the soil is free draining and moist every day when you first plant it and it will reward you.

Good luck!
 
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It's perfect.
We've had this here for twenty years.

We call it our "bamboo forest," but it's only six inches deep, it's up against our back fence. We don't let it spread forwards, though it doesn't try very hard.

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Based on your pictures Sean, that looks like it works perfectly. Is that running Bamboo?

Do you think clumping bamboo would get too wide at the base for narrow spots?
 
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Not at all! Try it. Just make sure you have loamy soil, a bit of clay, a bit of sand and tons of water when you first plant the bamboos. In fact, it is ideal as they won't encroach to your garden because of the concrete path. Incidentally, what is the aspect please? If the sun is from your neighbour's side and your neighbour has gone soil instead of concrete, you can be in big trouble as bamboos, even clumpsters, want to tap into the sun's energy. If the sun is really from your neighbour side and you're a considerate neighbour, like me (sometimes, LOL!), you really should put a plastic sheet as a barrier against your neighbour's soil. Don't worry too much as bamboo roots do not go DEEP, they go across. Please google youtube, but don't get scared as it is easily done.

What kind of bamboo have you have in mind?I recommend a Fargesia Nitida, rainbow or one with chocolate stem or even Phyllostachys Nigra is better than boring green or aurea.

I have had success with about 4 inches of width in a very hot spot between my neighbour's wall and my slab paving. If you have friends who have got bamboos, get a piece of runner root and just make sure the soil is free draining and moist every day when you first plant it and it will reward you.

Good luck!
Thanks, I do like the look of the Phyllostachys Nigra. Would definitely put in barriers being a running bamboo as their is soil on the opposite fence side too.

The 4 inch spot you referenced growing bamboo in, was it able to achieve much height or was it stunted at all?
 

alp

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Normal height. No need to worry! Just mix clay, sand and good compost and water well in. If you can advertise for a bamboo runner root that would be best as you will have several points of growth.
 
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Okay, thanks.

I am planning to proceed with planting Bamboo there regardless, but it's interesting how much the feedback varies. A bamboo nursery I had contacted said "13" is unfortunately too narrow to plant directly in the ground there, but you could do small containers. Trust us, planting running bamboo in the ground in a 13" space between a fence line and walkway is a maintenance nightmare. "

I also had posted this on another forum simultaneously and got a lot of pushback on the idea of planting any type of bamboo there. The consensus was that bamboo would damage the fence or move the brick next to it as it expands, etc...

But I found a seller of a 1 Foot black bamboo root I just bought. Will see how it goes.
 

alp

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I can upload some photos for you to see the bamboos I have and had grown in about 4 inches of soil. My personal experience and I have done so for years. As long as they are well watered, they will grow. And if the sun is coming from your neighbour's side, your best bet is build a concrete barrier or a hard plastic barrier or use a trough as the roots will definitely reach for the sun and your neighbour will hate you for them. I will upload what I have later. I have grown roses, irises, even red hot pokers, clematis and vines in that narrow strip of soil from 4 to 6 inches.
 
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alp

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If I were to sell you a pot of bamboo asking from £45 to £190, I certainly would not want you to plant the pricey item in 4 inches of soil. The reality is that you can grow a screen on 4 inches of soil. I planted this runner about 1 year ago in this narrow strip of soil and I am extremely happy with it. Bamboo loves water, but it can send runners to look for moisture and once you water it well, it will form a screen for you. The beauty of this strip is that the critter will never bother me with going out of the walls to search for sunshine.

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If I were a bamboo seller, I certainly won't recommend you to grow the expensive bamboo in this narrow band of soil. I wouldn't want to give you a refund. In my experience, this is the best spot I can hope for a bamboo screen, walls on both sides and I have an even narrower band of soil outside and the bamboo is growing together with my purple rose. That really is 4 inches of soil. This one might be a bit more.

Now I actually have taken a pic of a normal trough which is no more than 4 or 5 inches

This beautiful Nitida is very happy. As long as it has water, Bob is your uncle!
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That's next to my garden teak furniture. I can't ask for a better place for them.

Truth of the matter is even clumpster bamboos like to search for the sun and send out runners. If you have played with bamboo long enough, you will understand the problem bamboos pose. Some are like monsters and I'm not joking.
 

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