The Beechgrove Garden 2021 episode 20: Carole and Mairi attempt to tame a large clump of exuberant bamboo at Beechgrove while Kirsty creates a fairy garden out of broken terracotta pots, pebbles, moss and a bit of magic.
If you want to hide something unsightly or create structure in your garden, Brian takes a look at some of the many options for taller hedging. George is at home in sunny Joppa where he’s thinking ahead and showing how to collect and save seeds from this year’s favourites.
Chris is in his new allotment high up in the Cotswolds and he shows what a bountiful harvest he’s been able to have although the allotment is only in its first season.
The Beechgrove Garden 2021 episode 20
Bamboos are very desirable garden plants. They can make large clumps that are ideal as focal points or for adding structure to borders. They can look unsightly if left to grow unhindered, and may become invasive. But keeping plants under control and attractive is easy with some simple routine maintenance.
Bamboos thrive in moist, but well-drained soil in a sheltered, sunny spot. They tolerate most soil types, but some, such as Shibatea, require acid soil or ericaceous potting compost. Bamboo will grow in poor soils, but not in constant wet, boggy or extremely dry conditions.
Plant in spring so that energy stored in the bamboo’s rhizomes is used to produce strong, new canes in summer. These rhizomes then produce roots before the plant becomes dormant from autumn to spring. Before planting, dig in well-rotted garden compost or manure to raise the organic content of the soil. This will also improve its ability to hold moisture. Smaller bamboos make ideal container plants grown in a large pot (at least 45cm (18in) across and deep) in loam based potting compost such as John Innes No 3.
When planting, incorporate controlled release fertiliser pellets and water retaining gel in the compost. During summer, water frequently and feed with a liquid feed regularly. Reduce watering and stop feeding in winter. Ensure that bamboo plants in containers do not try out in winter, however, since the foliage is prone to wind scorch.
In very cold weather, insulate containers with bubble wrap or move them to frost-free conditions. To ensure fresh new growth, divide the bamboo every couple of years using a saw to cut through the rootball, retaining the younger rhizomes and canes.