Although running bamboos are very fast-growing and enduring plants, there are still plenty of ways to stunt their growth before they can get established and become a grove or forest of bamboo. Sweet Shoot Bamboo is not different in this way as it is hard to kill due to being cold hardy to zone 6 and being tolerant of heavy watering, but also drought-tolerant once established.
Sweet Shoot Bamboo (Phyllostachys Dulcis) is known as one of the best bamboo plants for its delicious shoots that can be cooked and eaten like asparagus. It can also be grown for timber or to create evergreen shade in an edible landscape. This can be useful for zone pushing more tender perennial plants that may not do well or even die in colder winters or to provide a green canopy to your ducks, chickens, or other homestead animals to keep them safe from flying predators.
As a type of running bamboo, Sweet Shoot Bamboo can be set free to create a bamboo forest or maintained as a relatively small bamboo grove in a set amount of space
As when planting any running bamboo, certain precautions need to be taken to keep it from taking over sidewalks, houses, and other buildings that may be placed nearby. This vigorous growth is one of the things that make running bamboos excellent for permaculture food forests, as the amount of mulch that bamboo plants create every year help to build soil fertility without any additional work on your part.
As my own food forest is relatively small and I’d like to further my zone pushing efforts while providing more evergreen shade to my Indian Runner Ducks, the bamboo in the edible landscape has been allowed to run to its edges where it will be root-pruned to keep it from growing into neighbors’ yards.
I have also planted the Sweet Shoot Bamboo in a no-dig fashion on top of the existing ground, and since bamboo does not dive down deep as its rhizomes run, the idea is that the rhizomes will come out on top of the sidewalks where it can then be safely pruned away as I continue building soil and raising the level of the food forest.
How To Fertilize Sweet Shoot Bamboo For Fast-Establishment and Quick-Growth
Although in average soils, it is not required to fertilize a running bamboo as its rhizomes are constantly spreading and gathering nutrition from new places, it can certainly speed up the process of turning your edible landscape into a bamboo forest which will help to zone push your food forest, give you plenty of timber to use for building houses or other, smaller craft projects, or provide you with lots of bamboo canes to use as trellises or tree supports in your food forest system.
In my own food forest, I use “quackaponics” to fertilize my bamboo which has given the bamboo lots of nutrition to work with. Other permaculture-friendly, organic fertilizers include:
- Topping off your bamboo with worm castings or compost
- Watering your bamboo with fish waste water
- Collecting and watering your bamboo plants with urine
- Chopping and dropping very vigorously on top of the root system of your bamboo
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