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Hi,

Recently, we've begun to explore planting bamboo on our place.

Our first planting (Gigantochloa wrayii) was across the front fence line - to screen traffic noise, dust and light spill.

Today, we visited a place called Bamboo Down Under - on the way to Mt Tamborine. We bought several Chinese Dwarf bamboo to screen morning sun and neighbours from the proposed farm kitchen section of our new pergola set up. Jan also bought a thing called Gigantochloa maxima......which eventually gets to be about 10m high.

A little googling reveals some very interesting things about bamboo.

Gary

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  • 2 months later...

I remember thinking what a brilliant idea it was to plant bamboo in that ditch on the creek st blog. Whilst I've no doubt there are many other uses, as a building material it has no equal. Super strong, super light, super flexible and very attractive. Grows like crazy and you don't even have to mill it down. When I left school I was a scaffolder for a number of years and I always wanted to have a go at the bamboo scaffolds in asia but at $1 a day, there was going to be a pay dispute, possibly leading to union involvement.

Anyway, the only thing that's stopped me putting it to clients as a possible material is I don't really know how to make joins. It doesn't seem to like to be drilled or screwed as it splits easy which I gather is why they tie it. It seems like it would be perfect to make those domed green houses and pergolas would look great in it. Of course you have to be carefull of the variety. The running ones that take over your whole yard, and the neighbours yard, are what gave it a bad name in the first place. My parents spent thousands when I was a kid trying to get rid of some and never really won the battle. I shudder to think what they put in that yard. Agent orange probably would have been under consideration by the end.

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Hi Dan,

I remember thinking what a brilliant idea it was to plant bamboo in that ditch on the creek st blog. Whilst I've no doubt there are many other uses, as a building material it has no equal. Super strong, super light, super flexible and very attractive. Grows like crazy and you don't even have to mill it down.

We've only discovered bamboo relatively recently but we're already in love with it.

When I left school I was a scaffolder for a number of years and I always wanted to have a go at the bamboo scaffolds in asia but at $1 a day, there was going to be a pay dispute, possibly leading to union involvement.

About 10 years ago, Jan and I visited Hong Kong and Singapore. I remember looking out of our hotel window one afternoon and seeing a bunch of building workers on a vacant allotment alongside of the hotel......about ten stories below.

About 3.00am the next morning, I was awakened by a noise outside of the window and, as I swung the curtains back, I came face-to-face with a person erecting a bamboo scaffold......right outside the window. The second surprise was that the scaffolder was a woman.

She was part of a team of women that was building the scaffolding. I enquired the next day......they are very quick and the whole thing is tied together.....not a scaffold clamp in sight. Oh.....and no safety harness.....or OH&S representatives and no union disputes.

Anyway, the only thing that's stopped me putting it to clients as a possible material is I don't really know how to make joins. It doesn't seem to like to be drilled or screwed as it splits easy which I gather is why they tie it. It seems like it would be perfect to make those domed green houses and pergolas would look great in it.

I have yet to make anything from bamboo (other than tomato trellises) but I've seen photos of bamboo structures made by Japanese craftsmen that suggests that it is very versatile.

Of course you have to be carefull of the variety. The running ones that take over your whole yard, and the neighbours yard, are what gave it a bad name in the first place. My parents spent thousands when I was a kid trying to get rid of some and never really won the battle. I shudder to think what they put in that yard. Agent orange probably would have been under consideration by the end.

We bought clumping varieties.....and, so far, they are performing beautifully.

Gary

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If you could get some of that giant stuff that ends up 100mm diam. or better you could do some amazing stuff. It looks like your projects are going to be fairly ongoing so a free versatile building material would come in very handy. Heres a video on the knot. By the way, bamboo could make for some attractive bracing on your pergola.

http://www.ehow.com/video_4807673_tie-japanese-knots.html

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Guest DaveOponic

This is a geodesic dome I am making to cover my swimming pool to keep leaves out.... bamboo leaves mostly that border one end of the pool. The finished diameter will be about 4 metres, so this photo is the top one third of the dome.

The black ag pipe forms the dome structure. Pipe is not strong enough on its own to support the weight so I have attached bamboo with cable ties. I intend to cover it with either shade cloth or plastic sheet.

Dave

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Guest DaveOponic

No. The pool is rectangular (40 x 15 feet) and one end is under a fence of bamboo and a huge tree that drops 100 leaves a day.

I intend to mount the dome on rubber wheels that straddle the pool. Most of the time it will remain at the leafy end of the pool to keep the leaves out. The second purpose of the dome is to provide shade so that we can swim in the pool in the heat of the day. (Brunei is in the equatorial tropics - the sun is intense in the middle of the day)

It is actually I prototype for a much stronger dome (made of steel conduit) that would also have a hammock suspended from inside and a water slide could be attached/hung from the inside of the dome.

PS.... domes should never be made less than 300mm in diameter (lol )

Dave

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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 months later...

hi

i've got a couple of bamboos, oldhamii, budda belly and a thin black one that was sold as a clumping but turned out a runner - a bit of frantic digging to get it all (now in a pot)

we eat the shoots of the oldhamii and try and use the poles (its about 20+ m high now) for as many things as we can but i've discovered that in our small suburban back yard its a bit labour intensive.

the shoots need a lot of boiling to flush out the bitter taste and the poles arn't much good if they are not treated to stop rot and borers. the leaves etc take forever to decompose as well.

end up giving the poles away on freecycle

just as well i like the stuff!!!

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Hi Ian,

We planted Gigantochloa wrayii across the front fence line - to screen traffic noise, dust and light spill.

We've also planted several Chinese Dwarf bamboo to screen morning sun and neighbours from our farm kitchen area.

We've also got one Gigantochloa maxima. I love bamboo and I'd like to plant a lot more of them.

While they've all continued some growth through the cooler months, I'm expecting some serious growth during the wet season (our summer).

Gary

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  • 6 months later...

Hi,

Our bamboo have continued to thrive.

We've trimmed those at the end of our pergola area and they grow back very quickly and the foliage becomes finer. We've used it as mulch on our raised beds and it works more effectively than anything we've tried previously......and it's free.

Gary

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Well, for me I have seen bamboo used for almost eveything living here in asia, the wife uses it as a clothes line, I see roofs made of it. and yes scaffolding around build here is only done with Bamboo. I hear some was trying to use it a piping for an Aquapoincs system, But I really don't think it would last very long as the inside is prone to rot if exposed to the elements.

At anyrate Bamboo is very useful, I like the pictures keep them coming.. I think I have some good PDF's about bamboo let me know and I can send them to anyone who wants it..

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  • 6 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Hi,

 

About four years ago, we planted bamboo across our front fence line.  Aside from its other benefits (screening traffic noise and providing some privacy), these amazing plants shed loads of leaves and twigs.   I use a lawn mower to chop the trash up.  

 

We use it for mulching our plants, as bedding for our chickens and quail.....and to mix with nitrogen-rich materials to produce a premium compost.

 

The really good thing about this material is that it is weed free.....essential for composting.

 

Gary

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Edited by GaryD (see edit history)
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  • 2 years later...

What exactly is eating bamboo besides panda bears ? I've always been interested in practical building and landscaping methods. Lots of different kinds it seems . We have 3 kinds on property but unsure what kinds. Often wondered how good it may work in irrigation systems... Only thing I've made with one so far is a fishing pole. 😀

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