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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bro and SIL just bought a house that has a major bamboo infestation. They're slowly clearing it away but wonder what to do with what they've cut. I can only take so many bamboo poles to build forts and stake plants with!<br><br>
Can it be composted? Or would it somehow turn the compost heap into a new bamboo forest?
 

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i don't think it would sprout in the compost unless they put the root (corm?) in there. might take a long time to break down, though. we have bamboo in our yard and i've never had any sprout in our compost. have had the occasional avocado and potato, though.
 

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If you're already building forts and things out of bamboo, how about also building a compost bin? You could also see if you could use another raised bed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nifty idea, possibly more involved than I'm able to tackle right now. By "forts" I mean using a few poles to support playsilks or blankets to make a tent outside, nothing involving advanced building skills. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> But definitely a cool idea to keep in mind for the future.
 

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I feel so disillusioned <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">. Here I was picturing some mad carpentry "skillz." Wouldn't it be fabulous to know how to make fences and stuff out of bamboo, though?<br><br>
I've been reading through the composting 101 sticky, and it looks like you'd treat the bamboo like grass or leaves. If you could shred it a bit, it'd make a good thing to dump onto kitchen wastes to keep the smell down. The solid bamboo poles'd probably take forever to break down.
 

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you could probably make a pretty cool teepee out of it all. the answer is yes, though, you can put it in the compost. it'll be like a stick and take awhile to break down, but will eventually.
 

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We had bamboo in our last compost, and it tried to take over! I am not sure how to prevent it from taking up residence in the compost, perhaps you could try drying it first?
 

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bamboo spilts and breaks up when it is exposed to the elements, but it takes a few years. I think using it to build a compost bin would be much better than trying to compost it. or using it to stake up the garden or even make stuff is a much better way to recycle it. Try making some stilts!!!! or splitting it really thin and making bow and arrows or kite supports.
 

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I was actually just thinking about this. You could make a compost bin by driving the bamboo into the earth in whatever pattern you want, a square or circle for instance, spaced about 2-4 inches apart. Then you could use string to hold the tops together. If you had enough bamboo and are ambitious, you could peel off strips of the bamboo (I think it splits fairly well if you start it with a knife?) and weave them in and out amounst the poles, creating a sort of compost basket. You'd want to leave one side open, of course, and I'm not sure of an easy way to do a door, but you could find a chunk of wood to be a door.
 

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If they were close to me, I'd take it off their hands for use as natural fencing/trellises, tomato stakes etc. I imagine if they cut it down (leaving the poles long) and put it on freecycle, it would be taken in no time. Or call a local garden center and see if they want to trade it for some plants or something...<br><br>
I would not put any part of the roots in the compost. The fast-growing types of Bamboo are ultra invasive so the risk of spreading it is not worth it, IMO!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hadn't thought of freecycling it. I'm betting if I posted on the API yahoo group there would be some takers.<br><br>
I'm pretty sure Bro/SIL know not to compost the roots, SIL was just wondering if the stalks would break down nicely, and if the stalks themselves would sprout.<br><br>
Love the bamboo composter ideas. I'll pass those on to bro/SIL as well. Wouldn't work in my neighborhood, our HOA is rabid...just one more reason to GET OUT of the suburbs. I yearn for the day when we can move to the country. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I plan to take as many as I can for playing with and using for our garden, but my bamboo needs are pretty limited. I'll let them know that other people may want them!<br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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Not sure about this, though it wouldn't surprise me if they might--bamboo is a grass, and lots of grasses spread by above ground runners (bamboo usually by below ground runners, but a node of a stalk touching soil could possibly sprout, I imagine). Maybe google 'bamboo propagation' to make sure it's not a risk. If air layering or bending the stalks to the ground could produce another plant, I'd stay away from composting chopped up pieces altogether--too risky!<br><br>
I've been told a story that when the giant Panda bears came to visit the Bronx zoo (I think), that the zoo located a property that was completely overrun with bamboo and had the lot cleared for the homeowners, in exchange for using the plant material to feed the Pandas while they stayed here. Who knows if it's true or not, but it's a funny story...
 
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