I unwisely planted a small clump of bamboo in my
yard. Needless to say, 10 years later it has become a monster. Is
there anyway to eliminate it? It will soon take over my garden and
the yard next door.
You are not the
first and will not be the last to be seduced by bamboo. It is an
attractive plant and it works well for a quick privacy screen. But
as you have learned, that rapid growth is a double-edged sword. For
those of you thinking that you would like to plant bamboo, stick
with the clumping forms and avoid running bamboo 'like the Plague!'
Getting rid of running bamboo is a process, not a one-shot
treatment. It is likely to take several years and tenacity on your
part to get rid of it completely.
Using a combination of methods, rather than relying on one tactic,
increases your chance of success. Non-chemical controls include digging and mowing. Although digging
out the stout rhizomes (underground stems) is no one’s idea of fun,
it can be done. If you are almost fanatical about digging out
re-sprouts whenever they appear, you will gain the upper hand.
Although bamboo is grass-like, it is not a true grass, and it does
not tolerate repeated mowing like your lawn does. A combination of
digging and frequent, short mowing will eventually exhaust the
carbohydrate reserves in the roots and rhizomes.