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Any part of bamboo growing in my yard that is edible?

Any part of bamboo growing in my yard that is edible?

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  #1  
Old 05-25-13, 03:35 PM
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Any part of bamboo growing in my yard that is edible?

Every year I have to cut a few dozen to keep them from spreading. Any part of it I can eat? Where do they get the bamboo shoots from in Chinese food?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-25-13, 03:38 PM
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And another thing. What is this white powder I'm covered in that's on the stalks?
 
  #3  
Old 05-25-13, 03:54 PM
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Bamboo can only be contained by driving metal plates about 12" into the earth around the stand. You eat the small shoots that come up an day or so after you cut it to the ground. Since the bamboo propogates via root growth, I am not sure of the white powder. Just don't snort it
 
  #4  
Old 05-26-13, 04:09 AM
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Yes, you can eat the young shoots but it MUST BE COOKED. I get the shoots when they are about 6" tall. Bamboo has a cyanide compound in it so it is not good for humans to eat raw. Cooking breaks it down and make it very safe and tasty to eat.

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If the bamboo has already spread to an area you don't want I would not bother installing a barrier unless you are willing to completely excavate that area down to about 3' and replace the soil. Merely severing the runners & roots will not stop or kill bamboo and it is extremely difficult to kill once established in an area.

You have to go a lot deeper than 12" down to stop bamboo depending on the variety. To stop the bamboo from spreading dig a trench about 3' deep where you want it to stop and best is to totally encircle it because it will grow around your barrier. Place a sheet of galvanized steel or heavy plastic in the trench with the top sticking slightly above ground. Sheet plastic (2, 4, 6 or 8 mil) like you find on rolls is not thick enough and the bamboo will push right through it. You need it closer to 60 mil which you can order online. Monitor the barrier as the runners will grow over the top of your barrier which you will need to cut.

An easier & cheaper method is to sever the shoots every spring either with a shovel or lawn mower. Most varieties only send up new growth for a month or two in spring if the plant is unharmed so once you make it through spring you usually don't have to worry about it. If you dig, poison or otherwise stress the plant it can trigger it to send up new shoots.

Keeping the area mowed is the easiest as the young shoots are very soft so you can just mow over them. I use a shovel and go in at an angle to cut the shoot several inches below the surface. Then grab the shoot and pull up and it will pop out of the ground.
 
  #5  
Old 05-26-13, 04:20 AM
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I cut a dozen growing under a deck that is 3 feet above the ground. They had already reached the deck and were 2 inches thick. Don't they need light to grow that much?
 
  #6  
Old 05-26-13, 04:26 AM
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Dane, never knew it would go that far underground. Here, I guess our clay is compacted more, so the roots don't go too deep.

Bamboo grows in rain forests with little light, although all plants grow toward light, they can grow with minimal sun. With proper conditions when freshly cut, before the shafts are harvested and placed on vehicles to take them out of the forest, the bamboo can grow as much as a foot or more, and that is in only a day.

We have a "forest" of bamboo near our water plant in the next city. They allow us to harvest it. I use it for garden posts for beans, and have harvested a bunch for the kids' programs at church where they have a Polynesian background. The machete method of cutting it is good, but no match for a Dewalt 18v. jig saw
 
  #7  
Old 05-26-13, 04:27 AM
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The conditions were good enough or they wouldn't have grown
I'd work at getting them out from under the deck, maybe even use poison to kill them. Any growth like that under the deck is going to trap moisture and shorten the life of the deck.
 
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