Hi from Oklahoma

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Trax

Active Member
I'm happy to find this site! My name's Josh. I grow timber bamboos (as a hobby) but have started getting interested in other plants too. I look forward to swapping ideas and info here.
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
Welcome Josh. Cool plant to grow. Here in Florida they grow wild. I like to cut them when small for garden stakes. I however have not studied them as they just seem to grow and grow with no intervention.
 

Kya D

Active Member
Hi Josh and welcome.
There are lots of knowledgeable folks here that will be able to answer your questions.
So jump in and relax
 

Trax

Active Member
Thanx for the great welcomes! Crabbergirl: Bamboo is def easy to grow - maybe too easy. I started with a 3-gallon Phylostachys Viridis and it only took 5 years to turn into a forest. Now I have a 3-gallon Phylostachys Edulus Moso and (this summer) am trying banana plants, aroids, berries, and Passifloras. Those I'll need to learn a lot more about.
 

Trax

Active Member
Thanx! :) It's really awesome to join a site and meet so many really helpful and friendly people!
 

Gloria

Super Moderator
Staff member
Wow Josh, we have a little something in common..I work at a sewing factory (Bamboosa) that sews garments made from bamboo fiber. We started off making mostly baby clothing but have expanded to yoga clothing now. The fabric is soooo soft, it's unbelievable. Then we have some garments made with a combination of rayon or cotton and bamboo. You're right, bamboo is easy to grow and one reason it's being used for more than just fishing poles now. Welcome to the forums, glad you joined us.
 

Trax

Active Member
Thanx Gloria! :) And you're def right! I've studied bamboo a lot and found out that it can be used for a lot of things. I started growing it when I was younger just to have a jungle to play in but they even make kitchen counter tops out of bamboo lumber now. My P. Viridis bamboo is used in Japan for fine furniture making and my P. Moso will get almost 80 feet tall and 7 inches wide. Glad to see someone else here that's all about bamboo! :)
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanx for the great welcomes! Crabbergirl: Bamboo is def easy to grow - maybe too easy. I started with a 3-gallon Phylostachys Viridis and it only took 5 years to turn into a forest. Now I have a 3-gallon Phylostachys Edulus Moso and (this summer) am trying banana plants, aroids, berries, and Passifloras. Those I'll need to learn a lot more about.
bananas are easy also as most all of what you have listed. You do have to protect them from freezes that have a deep frost line. Not sure what zone you are in but I know when my daughter lived in Anadarko she has snow throughout the winter. If that's your case I would suggest keeping the nanners in a pot. at least a 30 gal landscape pot. They have ball roots not alot of feeders but they get huge.Year after year they die back but the root gets bigger.
 

Trax

Active Member
bananas are easy also as most all of what you have listed. You do have to protect them from freezes that have a deep frost line. Not sure what zone you are in but I know when my daughter lived in Anadarko she has snow throughout the winter. If that's your case I would suggest keeping the nanners in a pot. at least a 30 gal landscape pot. They have ball roots not alot of feeders but they get huge.Year after year they die back but the root gets bigger.
Thanks! :) I'm glad I picked some easy things since this is my first real attempt to grow things. I'm in zone 7. We might get snow 2-3 times each winter here and can get down to almost 0*F. But the snow melts in just a few days each time and usually, the worst prob (for cold) is being in the teens for as long as a whole week. But the worst prob we get is ice storms (1-3 each year) and everything gets covered with 1/4 to 1 inch of ice for as long as a week. Oh, and the wind! Oklahoma is real flat and, in this part, it's mostly prarrie (not many trees). We get winds up to around 50 MPH sometimes with gusts of 70-100 MPH. Winds that bad don't last more than half a day but that's enough to kill a lot of plants and knock a lot of limbs out of trees.
Anyway, I don't like cactus much cause I've run into too many of them. :( And I wanna make the yards look more like Florida or Hawaii (tropical). :) Florida has a lot of banana trees so I spent a lot of time (last summer) studying them mostly by googling. A friend of mine was growing bananas here last year before he moved. I helped him rescue some pups from a 12 foot Ice Cream banana tree (knocked over by the wind). He let me keep 3 of the 4 pups and I kept them inside till spring. I kept them near a sunny window and only watered them a little every 3 weeks. Now they're planted by my bamboo and are about 8 feet tall with lots of big new leafs! But yeah, I think the thing I need to study the most is roses. We have 5 tea rose bushes and they don't look very good. Lots of dead branches and not many leafs. The Blue Moon rose was doing better for a while but now the Yellow Star of Texas rose is looking really bad.
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
I saw your pics of the new bananas in pots, I think those pots a way small. You will do better with much larger pots. Florida had such unusaully cold winter that most of our plants either didn't make it or are very slow to recover. :( My bananas are looking good but if we get a blow (hurricane) they will get wind whipped and I will have to cut all the leaves off. Your bananas will get tattered in high winds. I usually just cut the leaves off so the plant can concentrate on fruiting and not saving the leaves. I imagine since they are in pots your only hope will be taking them inside. A potted plant will not survive when a plant in the ground might have a chance. It has to do with the frost line. Even though you get snow your frost line may not be very deep. Check you local ag center for info on your area.
Keep us posted on how they do, they look great!
 

Trax

Active Member
Thanks for the advice and info and stuff! :) And yeah, the new banana plants surprised me (a lot)! I was expecting something maybe with an inch wide stem and maybe a foot tall. When they called to let me know that the plants had arrived in OKC, I got 2 even-smaller pots ready. But I had to do a quick search for some bigger pots when I saw how big the banana plants were!
Oh, and I totally forgot about Florida and hurricanes! I hope you don't get any this year. :) But yeah, Oklahoma is very flat so we get a lot of really strong winds here. We also get a lot of tornadoes and even if they miss us, we still get really strong winds while they pass by! I don't know how deep the frost-line is so I'll need to call about that.
I decided not to keep them in pots cause I can plant them beside the bamboo. It's about 25 feet tall and blocks most of the wind we get. And since there's a special 3 foot rhizome-barrier around the bamboo, it can't escape to grow into the banana plants! Prolly sometime in October (before it gets below 50 degrees), I'm going to dig them up and bring them inside to overwinter. The guy I got my first banana plants from tried leaving his out with heavy mulch and plastic and they died anyway. You're really lucky to live in Florida! It must be great to be able to leave them outside all year and pick bananas right off the tree!
I have a Flikr account (Goppie) and my albums are totally "public". So I'll prolly be putting a lot of banana photos there too!
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
Cool I will have to check out the pics. I like the bamboo idea of protecting the bananas. Is you rhizome barrier 3 feet into the ground? That would be awesome. Did you make it or buy it? I have sure issues with creepers like bamboo. I would plant more if I could keep it from taking over. The last really big stand Ihad in my yard drew rats so bad we had to get a backhoe and dig it and the pampas grass out. I think it was too close to the feed shed though. Right now I have a small varity bamboo , not sure which one some one just gave me a pot of it. It is in a 30 Gal landscape pot and I have been dying to plant clumps in just the right place, and have them not spread. I do love living in Florida and have never lived long term anywhere else. But things that grow well other places grow wild here. So we are always fighting something be it pest, drought, hurricanes or the plants themselves. LOL!
 

Trax

Active Member
Cool! :) Our rhizome barrier is 60 mil polyurethane buried 30 inches in the ground. The 60 mil barrier is Moso-rated (that means it will prevent even Moso bamboo from escaping)! And Moso gets 80 feet tall and 7 inches wide! But the really pretty bamboos are usually the mountain varieties like Fargesias and you could prolly control those with a 40 mil barrier! This will give you more info about barriers:
http://www.bamboodirect.com/bamboo/catalog/rhizomebarrier.html
Our barrier is 320 feet long and circular and sealed with a special 2-sided tape they sell. The best way to dig the trench is with a posthole digger and it's best to have the top of the trench angled away from the closed-in area. Oh, and leave about 1 inch of the barrier above the ground. That way you can walk around it twice a year and cut off any runners that are trying to jump over the barrier. The runners actually grow up out of the ground sometimes then grow back into the ground. I just use an axe to chop those off.
Btw, the barriers are about 2-3 dollars a foot but they are the safest way to do it. Brick or cement never works cause it cracks underground and the bamboo escapes anyway.
Oh, and it might be the feed shed that's attracting the mice cause we have a whole jungle of timber bamboo (and some smaller ones) and don't have any mouse problems!
Btw, I don't know much about plants (some about bananas though) but I am practically an expert on bamboos... everything from growing to eating and curing bamboos. If you ever need some info on bamboos, I'll be happy to help! :)

One more thing, be sure and know where underground pipes and wires are before you start the trench!
 
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Trax

Active Member
Ooooops! Something I forgot to mention is that you can get some really nice bamboos that are clumpers! They don't need barriers and can be controlled just by digging around them if the clump gets too wide. Running bamboos can send out runners as long as 25 feet or more but clumpers have extremely short runners that don't escape the clump. This is a good site for checking out different kinds of bamboos very easilly and finding ones that can grow in your area:
http://www.bamboodirect.com/bamboo/catalog/rhizomebarrier.html
I bought some of my bamboos from them and they are a good company. Another good company I've bought from is JMBamboo. There's prolly other good companies too but those are the only 2 I've used so far.
 

Gloria

Super Moderator
Staff member
That good that you don't have the mouse problem. I saw something on an educational channel about bamboo and the infestation of rats because of the attraction they have to the fruits. I googled to see if I could find an article on it..here's a link
http://www.projectmaje.org/mautam.htm
 

RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
Good article Gloria!
I didn't know about the bamboo blooming, rat population explosions, and the resulting starvation of so many people!
 

Trax

Active Member
That good that you don't have the mouse problem. I saw something on an educational channel about bamboo and the infestation of rats because of the attraction they have to the fruits. I googled to see if I could find an article on it..here's a link
http://www.projectmaje.org/mautam.htm
Thanks for the link on that! :) I'm familiar with the Melocanna baccifera species. I ran into it when I was studying 2 Indian hill banana plants (Musa Virupakshi and Musa Pahari Kela). I thought the Indian hill banana plants might survive Oklahoma winters but they are too heat-sensitive.
Anyway, Melocanna is a rare bamboo since most bamboos never fruit. The bamboos sold in the USA are only seed makers. Bamboos flower once every 7-100 years (depending on species) and the process is both gregarious and global. If a specific species of bamboo flowers, all of that species flowers all over the world (all at the same time). Shortly after that, all of that species dies all over the world. But most bamboo flowers look like dead weeds and have no scent. They pollinate by wind and by non-intentional contact. The only real problem with flowering and pollination is preventing cross-pollination with other bamboo species. I am definitely hoping that none of the 4 species I'm growing ever flowers. If it does, I'll have to start all over from seed or buy new plants. :(
But there is one problem. Mice and rats do seem to be attracted to some bamboos in India and China. I would never buy any of those species! :eek: :D

Btw, if you're concerned with a specific species you might want to buy, this is a great place to find information:
http://www.americanbamboo.org/GeneralInfo.html
The ABS (American Bamboo Society) is responsible for introducing bamboo species into the states and monitoring any safety issues. :)
 
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Trax

Active Member
Something I forgot to mention: The Melocanna flowering problem in India is catastrophic but, even without fruits, bamboo flowering has caused other catastrophes too. Some areas of the world depend a lot on the bamboo industry (and usually on a single species). When the bamboo flowers and dies, the people are left with no income and many starve. And the land they were growing it on becomes almost useless since it would be very expensive to grind all the very strong rhizomes back into the soil and turn it back into farmland. Also since bamboo doesn't need a lot of nutrients, the land is usually not very rich and needs fertilizers too.
Here's a couple of very useful sites I found about flowering bamboos:
http://www.essortment.com/all/bambooplant_rvgo.htm
http://www.americanbamboo.org/GeneralInfoPages/WhenBambooFlowers.html
 


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