How to kill bamboo?

How to kill bamboo?

Every homeowner who gets in touch with bamboo knows how hard is to get rid of this plant, it could be a real nightmare. Some people love bamboo, but more people simply hate it. Bamboo is a plant from South America and Southeast Asia but it can grow pretty well and fast in the United States as well.

Eliminating bamboo is probably one of the toughest tests for every gardener, but it can be done and in this article, we will show you how. Using only persistent native measures you can erase bamboo from your backyard.


Tools you will need

First of all, let's start with the necessary tools and materials. You will need a pair of gloves, an arm saw, a mowing machine, a hosepipe, a spade, an ax, and garbage bags. 


Cut and water bamboo

Some people recommended this method as very effective in the fight against bamboo. You just need to be persistent in cutting and watering bamboo until it's completely eradicated. By cutting we mean to cut the plant to the ground level and block photosynthesis. For full eradication, you will probably have to do it for at least 6 months. 

The first step is to trim the bamboo to the ground level using an arm saw. Unripe plants that can be on the surface as well remove with a mowing machine. After this, water the zone with a hose. Repeat these two steps until the roots are completely damaged. Also, leave any residual rhizomes (underground stalks) to rot in the ground. 

Bamboo in the Backyard

Digging up bamboo

Another method of how you can kill bamboo is to dig it. This process takes the strain and could last even for a year. However, this solution is recommended for smaller types or clumping varieties. Clumping types of bamboo don't have rhizomes so it's much easier to erase from the ground. 

Everything starts with watering with a sprinkler or hose and after you're done allow the humidity to absorb into the ground for about 30 minutes. Use an arm saw to cut the bamboo but leave a small amount of bamboo above the surface. With a shovel dig on every side around the bamboo to relax the ground. The next step is just to pull the bamboo out and try to remove all rhizomes. With an ax, you can break them all. And that's it, repeat these steps until the whole slice is removed. 


Choking bamboo with tarps

Another pretty good method in the battle against bamboo could be choking the plant with traps. This will take you about 2 months to get rid of bamboo but be aware that the plant can spread beyond your covered space so you must watch it and control it all the time. 

Use an arm saw to trim the bamboo to the ground level. For this method, you will need garbage bags and ensure them with pins or rocks on the top of your traps. Now you have to wait about a month or two until the bamboo under the surface is completely dead. In case that bamboo sends rhizomes out of the traps, cut those sprouts and cover them also. 


What is the best time for removing bamboo

Well, this depends on your climate mostly. As we already said bamboo is spread by rhizomes in the ground, so if you want to get rid of bamboo completely you must go not only what's above the ground but also under the surface. It will take a lot of time and effort, and it's not easy. You should start in the early spring and continue doing that during the bamboo's growing cycle. In climates suitable for bamboo it could mean the fight all year round. 


Some other useful tips

While digging up the bamboo it could be helpful if you have a sieve, so you can sift through the ground and find all rhizomes because every little fraction of them can result in new bamboo. Also, when we talk about the choking method, you should consider using some kind of plastic barrier into and above the ground and placing it around the bamboo. This way you will inhibit rhizomes from going out of the trap. Japanese bamboo known as Polygonum cuspidatum is not a classic bamboo but acts similarly to the real one. If you have problems with him, all these methods can be applied too. 


Final thoughts

To sum up, to kill the bamboo and set your backyard free you must be very patient and persistent. One of these 3 mentioned methods surely will work for you, assess the situation, and choose the right one for you and your garden. Good luck!