Category: Bamboo Production

Bamboo Farming Step By Step Guide

Well come to this section.You will learn here details about bamboo farming in this step by step guide.Our goal is to give you the best information about Bamboo farming.

Contents

01. What is bamboo farming?

02. Benefits of bamboo farming

03. Climate and site selection

04. Soil condition

05. Propagation

06. Planting

07. Flowering

08. Manure and Fertilizer

09. Mulching

10. Weed and Pest control

11. Harvesting

12. Marketing

01. What is bamboo farming?

Bamboo is a commercially cultivated crop grown for ornamental and medicinal purposes. Today, India and china are the largest producers of bamboo. This type of farming has high demand that comes from landscapers, beer manufacturers and construction companies. Bamboo plant takes the shape of a tall tree structure with many rods and branches.

When it’s well managed and fully established, it can be harvested yearly. However, this will vary depending on site factors, species and end use. Similarly, you don’t have to re-plant after several years of harvesting. Once you establish a bamboo farm, it could exist for years while still giving considerable income.

If you want to grow the crop commercially, you need extensive planning and space. Depending on the species you choose, some grow up to 100 feet. Your initial cash outlay will depend on the state of the land you intend to cultivate. Today, bamboo farming can be done in almost any climate.

02. Benefits of bamboo farming

Almost all parts of a bamboo are used. The plant offers an Eco-friendly solution to our modern requirements thanks to the many benefits of the plant. It’s a versatile natural resource. Bamboo farming comes with an array of benefits which include;

· Using bamboo in sustainable building 

Bamboo is cut and laminated into planks or sheets. It’s three times harder than oak and is commonly used in flooring to give an attractive décor. Further, it can be used for interior and exterior design elements. If you are farming bamboo for construction purposes, you can harvest it every 3 to 6 years. One of the benefits of choosing bamboo instead of wood is it’s strength and durability. It’s water resistant, light in weight, flexible and does not easily warp. Secondly, it’s one of the most affordable construction materials available.

· Health benefits

First, bamboo leaves aid in treatment of different diseases. They contain natural anti-inflammatory properties which help in detoxification. It’s also effective in relieving respiratory related issues. Secondly, the plant helps in lowering the blood sugar and is good for weight loss. In fact, one cup of bamboo shoots contains half a kilogram of fat and 13 calories. Thirdly, it helps in relieving digestive related problems like excessive gas, bloating and constipation.

In addition, the leaves can be used to make caffeine-free tea. Bamboo leaf tea makes the body warm and fresh. It can also be mixed with lemon or fresh mint to add aroma. Other uses of bamboo leaves include; healing and closing of wounds, prevents hypertension and makes effective skin care products.

· Clothing

Bamboo produces a durable and resilient fibre. It’s soft compared to polyester and cotton which gives unparalleled comfort. Further, it has durability properties; it’s stronger and has unique moisture absorption capabilities. To produce a high-quality bamboo fabric, it can be blended with cotton and other assorted fabrics. Bamboo is biodegradable, hence 100% Eco-friendly leaving minimal environmental impact.

03. Climate and site selection

Most bamboo species grows well in warm temperature and tropical climates. The area should not have strong winds, since bamboo trees have shallow roots. Although most species tend to be drought resistant once they are fully established, it’s recommended do bamboo farming in a low-lying moist area. Further, one should consider the availability of water since some are drought-tolerant than others. However, it should not be swampy.

However, if you are planting in heavy soils, you should incorporate gravel to prevent water logging. Although bamboos are tough plants and will tolerate any space, it’s advisable that you identify a spacious piece of land with adequate sunlight.

04. Soil condition

Bamboo trees can grow in almost any type of soil. Bamboo farming requires well drained loam, sandy loam and clay soils that allow good drainage and water retention. Ensure you test the condition of the soil and maintain a pH of 6.5 to 8. Rocky soils should be avoided. The type of soil you choose should promote accelerated growth and encourage healthier root systems.

In addition, the soil should be light in structure, rich in organic nutrients and well aerated. If you choose an area that is over saturated with water, the roots are likely to rot. In case the soil is too sandy, you should incorporate compost material to improve soil drainage. Make sure the bamboo variety you choose is suitable for the soil in your area.

05. Propagation

Bamboos are propagated either by vegetative or seed method. The vegetative method involves the use of branches, culms and rhizomes. Although seed propagation is a rare method, seedlings can be raised in a nursery bed and allowed to grow for about a year before being transplanted on the main field. This is the best method of bamboo propagation, since most bamboos generally die immediately after flowering.

When one is using the vegetative method, a culm is cut on a slanting direction and sealed with mud. To prevent the rhizome portion from drying, it should be covered with banana leaves. There are three methods of cutting the node. The two-node cutting method leaves one open inter-node and one full inter-node. Secondly, the one-split-culm method contains 2 to 3 branch nodes which are about 30cm.They should be placed on the propagation bed as soon as they are cut. Thirdly, the whole-culm method involves selecting healthy parent clumps and trimming them before burying them on nursery bed.

06. Planting

Planting should be done during the rainy season. The process of planting is similar to most trees and garden plants. First, you should till the land 50cm below the surface. Dig a hole that is not too deep of too shallow and remove any impenetrable material like hard plastic.

This will ensure the rhizomes are able to gather the right nutrients. Mix the soil with compost material like hay. You may need to improve the drainage of the soil depending on the area you are planting. Secondly, place the plant in the hole and use the soil-compost mixture to fill the hole such that winds can’t knock them down.

Since the roots are delicate at this stage, you should ensure you don’t damage them. Thirdly, do the initial watering by adding one gallon of water to give the plant additional strength. If you are practicing bamboo farming, it’s recommended that you do frequent watering 2 to 5 times in a week. You should choose quality bamboo planting materials with the right structural strength.

07. Flowering

For most species of bamboos, flowering is unpredictable. Once a bamboo starts to flower, it is in danger of dying. However, it’s a rare and unique occurrence in the kingdom. In fact, depending on the species, most bamboos will flower once in every 50 to 130 years. There are three types of flowering depending on the species; sporadic flowering, gregarious flowering and annual/continuous flowering.

· Continuous flowering

It happens in herbaceous bamboos and sometimes on woody bamboos. This type of flowering has no effect to the parent plant.

· Sporadic flowering

This is usually induced by genetic and environmental factors. It happens on a small scale and the plant usually dies. This type of flowering is common in species like Phyllostachys Elegans. Sporadic flowering occurs when bamboo forests are heavily exploited.

· Gregarious flowering

This is where a particular species of bamboo flower at the same time, regardless of climate or geographical condition. This usually happens between 60 to 130 years. Depending on the species, flowering is programmed once the species reach it’s life expectancy.

For some species only it’s only the stem that dies and the rhizomes becomes activated again to start the natural regeneration. In this case, mature stems produce seeds that ripen before falling off. Gregarious flowering takes 3 to 7 years until the entire bamboo forest has died.

08. Manure and Fertilizer

Manures and fertilizers play a big role in bamboo farming. In addition, they promote vigorous growth and the plant becomes more vibrant. Since a bamboo tree is a member of the grass family, it consumes more nitrogen. Therefore, fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen content are highly recommended to compensate for nutrient deficiencies.

However, manure is most preferred, since organic fertilizers need water or rain to distribute nutrients. It can be applied through top dressing. Fertilizers and manure should be applied during the shooting season. The best fertilizers are those in liquid form. They get absorbed almost immediately and are easy to mix.

09. Mulching

The rhizomes and roots benefit from top dressing mulch. They thrive and are naturally attracted to mulch. Mulch acts as an insulator by preventing moisture and important nutrients from evaporating. Further, it helps in controlling weeds. For those areas that experience severe winter period, mulch ensures the rhizomes and roots are not exposed to freezing.

Different materials can be used for mulching. For instance, leaf, manure, compost material and sawdust recycle the nutrients back into the soil. Although bamboo leaves form natural mulch, it’s advisable that you consider other options to protect the plant. Generally, you should cover the plant with 5 to 15 cm of mulch depending on size. If you have grown bamboos in areas that are prone to winter season, it’s recommend that you cover the plant with 30cm of mulch.

10. Weed and Pest control

The most effective methods of controlling weed when farming bamboos are mulching and hoeing. If weed is not controlled; it will compete with bamboo trees for nutrients, water and light. Weed usually grows in an area with plenty of sunlight. Therefore, it’s advisable that you take advantage of closer spacing to close gaps. This is one of the most effective methods of shading weeds. On the other hand, different herbicides can be used to get rid of weed.

Selective herbicides can kill certain targets while leaving the tree relatively unharmed. Today, there are more than 800 species of pests that can attack your bamboo plantation. Although some species of bamboos are resistant pests, it’s recommended that you take precautionary measures. Some pests have limited on your bamboo farming while others can do a serious damage to your plantation. There are four methods of controlling pests from attacking your plantation. They include; physical methods, biological methods, cultural and chemical methods.

· Physical methods

This is controlling pests manually. For instance, you can erect a fence on your plantation to keep them away.

· Chemical method

This is the use of pesticide to control the different species of pests

· Cultural method

It includes timely harvesting and introduction of other crops in the plantation to control pests.

11. Harvesting

Timing plays an important role. Depending on the bamboo species and environment, harvesting usually takes 3-5 years. However, commercial farmers usually harvest on the 6th year onward. Harvesting takes place at different stages. You should select the calms with the greatest strength if you are harvesting for building purposes. To ensure the poles retain their strength, one must use good harvesting practices. Harvesting should be done during the dry period since this is the period the plant is conserving nutrients for the next rainy season. In addition, proper plantation management must be observed .Harvesting is done according to 3 cycles;

· Annual cycle

This is harvesting before the wet season starts. Sap levels are at the lowest level. The clump is less disturbed during this period.

· Life-cycle of the Culm

culms have a life cycle of about 5 to 7 years. For harvesting to be done, the plant is allowed to fully mature prior to harvesting. The life-cycle varies depending on the species; some take 2-3 years while others take 5-7 years.

· Daily cycle

Photosynthesis is usually at the peak during the day which makes it the ideal time to harvest. Scientific research has shown that between 6am and 6pm, the starch is still in the roots of the plant.

A bamboo harvested in any of the above methods is easy to transport and is less prone to attack by pests. Cutting should be done either on the 1st or the 2nd node above the ground level. Only healthy culms should be selected.

12. Marketing

Marketing is an important exercise in bamboo farming. It’s recommended that you research on your market before you start marketing your bamboo. First, you need to identify the markets that need the bamboo product throughout the year. Secondly, consider the geographical area and the competitiveness of the market. Thirdly, select the most effective marketing channel.

There are different methods you can use to market your bamboos. For instance, you can place adverts on construction oriented magazines. Since they are frequently produced, people will get to know about your business. You can also use infomercials to ensure people familiarize themselves with your bamboo farming. It’s recommended that you try to concentrate your product on the processing markets. If you market your bamboo farming well, you will get huge returns in the long-run.

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How To Kill Bamboo Plant

There are various instances where one would like to know how to kill bamboo smoothly. Perhaps they just don’t want the plant they once planted in their garden anymore. Or in some cases, the growth of these bamboo has gone out of control, and as a result, they are looking to get rid of the excess growth. The good news is that irrespective of whatever the reasons are, it is very much possible to remove bamboo efficiently.

It is also likely that you may face some difficulties while trying to remove bamboo. This is because this particular plant was having the reputation of being a very aggressive one. The complete removal process, therefore, might just take you a couple of months but eventually, you would be able to remove it. This is why in this article we are going to show you proven methods by which you can get rid of the plant while utilizing minimum effort.

Before starting out, make arrangements for some herbicide and pick something which is thicker and is less likely to affect the rest of your plants. This process begins two weeks before removing the bamboo. What you need to do is to use shears or other gardening equipment and get rid of all of its leaves. Next step is to apply the herbicide which should be sprayed over all of the areas where leaves were connected. What we are doing here is destroying the source of plant food.

Over the course of the next week, you will have to make sure that no leaves grow back since you want to make the root system starve. After a week has passed, pick up the equipment and hack at the base of their shots. This should, however, be done only once at a time.

Once the base of the shoot has been cut-off, the hard part begins. We call this the most difficult because you will only have fifteen seconds to apply the herbicide on the fresh wound. This will ensure that the sap carries poison to the roots, thereby killing the plant in the process. On the other hand, if you take more than 15 seconds then the shoot will retreat to the roots during that short time frame.

These steps mentioned above should be repeated at least a couple of occasions before the plant stops growing altogether. Alternatively, you may also decide to dig out the plant completely off the root. If it is a clumped root, then remove the whole bunch at once and if it is a running source, remove most of the rhizome.

Pesticides may be necessary to protect the plant from pests like insects, fungus, and microbes. They will cause spots to appear on the bamboo.

Bamboo requires specialized seasonal care. If you embed the plant inside during the winter months, you need to take precautions. In cold weather, the soil tends to pack in too tightly. Therefore, ample protection is necessary.

It is suggested that to preserve your lawn you follow the first method. Patience is required to kill bamboo as the complete process may stretch to about three months.

I hope from the above discussion you understand how to kill bamboo plants.

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Pruning Bamboo:

Pruning bamboo is the process of cutting and eliminating the culm branches that have out grown in the bamboo plant. Also, damaged leaves and branches are cut off the plant. Bamboo pruning is done to allow control of the size and other dimensions of the bamboo plant. This is obtained since once any part of the bamboo plant pruned cut off can never grow.

Apart from the dimensional development of the bamboo pruning also enhances the health of the plant. In cases where you want to maintain the height of the bamboo, a special type of pruning called topping is recommended. However, this type of bamboo pruning can only be done once a year. This is because, the shoots in a bamboo, are only known to emerge annually.

What is the process of pruning bamboo?

Therefore, having understood the importance of bamboo plants and also pruning of bamboo, the process of pruning is essential. Pruning is the actual cutting off any outgrown stem or danged leaves in a bamboo plant. The choice of equipment to use is dependence on how thick the culm is. The equipment you will require for the pruning process is;

₋Rubbing alcohol
₋ Solution with 10% bleach (where you do not have alcohol)
₋ Spade
Saw
₋Axe
₋Shears
₋ Secateurs
Hence, ensuring that your secateurs are sharp, the steps you should follow when pruning bamboo include the following;

•Using alcohol or any solution containing 10% bleach, wipe your pruner blades. This is to ensure the health of each plant is maintained. Also, remember to wipe the blade after pruning, if you are working on a diseased plant.

•Starting with the oldest leaves, which are dead and colored brown hanging on the bamboo stem, make a clean clear cut. To keep the bamboo plant looking neat, the cut should be should be close to the leaf.

•Thirdly, you will then move to the overgrown and dead stems at the base of the bamboo plant. Cut off the dead stem using your pruner.

•Take a close look at your bamboo plant and identify any damaged stems and leaves. Also, look out for pests which can be scales or MEALYBUGS. In case of any damaged parts, pruned off such parts.

•If you are pruning the culms in the bamboo, ensure you make a cut above the culm node. This will prevent rotting and deterioration caused by any left stub.

•Prune off any canes ensuring you are cutting from a ground level. Similarly, to prevent any dangerous falling, after running of the canes, flush the stump. This is a very important step that should not be ignored if you want the best results.

Summary

The process of pruning bamboo is also done in specific seasons. Normally, it is done after the shoots have developed or the end of summer. This is because pruning bamboo at any other time may reduce its energy reserves. Also, the bamboo’s ability to develop new shoots is also compromised. Therefore, regularly check the growth of your bamboos and identify any outgrown stem or dead leaves. In the end, the population of the outgrown stems will be reduced enhancing the appearance, health and development of your bamboo.

pruning bamboo is very important for better bamboo growth.We should not ignore it.

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Thinning Bamboo

Bamboo is an attractive plant to grow. It adds character to a gardening display. There are some necessary steps to successfully bamboo gardening. One of the core steps to successful bamboo gardening is thinning bamboo . This maintenance depends on the climate and the soil condition. Bamboo likes to grow in the ground that dries between watering. To allow this Bamboo gardening requires thinning. After the first gardening year, you should thin the bamboo by removing old bamboo. After this, you can thin the garden as needed to separate clumps and get rid of old bamboo.

What is thinning bamboo ? 

Thinning is the removal of the whole culm by cutting it at ground level. Thinning will allow more air and sunlight to infiltrate through the foliage shelter, advancing more healthy and controlled growth. The excellence of the individual culms can further be segregated by thinning, instead of having every one of the culms mixed into one thick mass. Depending on the thickness of the culm, a lopper or saw can be utilized to make a perfect flat cut.

Remove any dead, scarred, or feeble culms by cutting them at ground level with an even cut. On the off chance that you are targeting the bamboo to be used for timber or art, make a point to cut sticks the ones that are no less than three years of age, so the wood reaches the correct thickness. 5-6-year-old canes are perfect. Thinning keeps bamboo from being too congested. Permitting more light into the center of the grove frequently leads to bigger overall growth, and is useful for controlling bugs, for example, aphids or vermin.

What is the best time for thinning bamboo ? 

You can thin bamboo into whichever shape you want. For instance, one can cut a path into a hollow are in the middle of a grove, making a peaceful sanctuary. Avoid thinning when the bamboo is creating new shoots. Try not to remove more than 33% of the grove every year. The perfect time for Thinning is after the new culms have developed in late summer.

Thinning out Clumping Bamboo in the ground 

Clusters are to stroll around and to remain back and see, as opposed to walking through. New shoots develop around the outside edges near the mother culm. The center of the cluster is the first plant, the oldest segment. As the bunch winds up plainly settled, new culms will get continuously greater. In this way, occasionally say, at regular intervals, and when the cluster gets huge, you’ll have to thin it out.

The focal point of the cluster is the place to expel the oldest culms. Some outside culms may be removed to get to the center. This will end up being a “U” shape, which is helpful for progressing thinning.

Thinning out Running Bamboo 

These frame groves when planted in the ground. New shoots are framing some separation from the mother culm. Recently shaping culms are called daughters. They depend on the mother and encompassing culms for sustenance.

Should you wish to deal with a grove for strolling in then leave say, one meter least, between culms. Evacuate culms older than 3 – 4 years. These are less useful to the grove and can be culled. Sliced near the ground so as not to stumble over them. Cut the culm, so the glass is left, pour some compost into help decaying ceaselessly and for bolstering the neighborhood culms. The tool of decision is a reciprocating saw. A hand saw is fine.

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Bamboo Harvesting:

Bamboo harvesting need a great timing since this is a vital phase. Having the knowledge of when and how to harvest bamboo has remained among the best traditional preservation method in regions with modest resources.

In bamboo harvesting, studies have indicated that when bamboo poles are not collected and treated appropriately, they lose quality and become susceptible to borers. Therefore appropriate bamboo harvesting practices will boost the resistance of the poles and preserve their strength.

To understand bamboo harvesting more, timing is important. You need to check at its composition which includes the possession of massive amounts of starch which are vital nutrients of borers, fungi, and parasites. Carbohydrates need to be reduced; this will help the bamboo culm to remain naturally resistant to these organisms.

The Paramount Season for Bamboo Harvesting:

Sugar content in a good number of plants varies with seasons and dormancy period takes place during the dry season. During this time of dormancy, bamboo plant is acquiring and conserving nutrients for growth in the approaching rainy season. Therefore starch content is at its peak at the end of dry season, here, harvesting bamboo increases the chances of attacking the fungi and borers!

Carbohydrate content is lower during the rainy season because all nutrients are consumed by new shoots although moisture content in the culms is high, this increases the likelihood of subsequent splitting and cracking of the poles after harvest. Bamboo harvesting at this period damages the new shoots. Therefore, the most recommended time to harvest bamboo poles is at the start of the dry season.

How to Identify a Mature Bamboo:

The age of the bamboo indeed determines its sugar content. It is lower in the beginning year and higher at 2-3. It is evident that no one would like to harvest an immature bamboo since its lignifications process is not complete which can lead to crumple on drying. A matured bamboo is considered to be of between 4 and 7 years. Harvesting mature bamboo stems is a crucial part of appropriate bamboo plantation management as it will manipulate the sustainable growth of the farm.

You can recognize the stage of a bamboo by the physical appearance; shoots, young stems, mature stems, and finally the old stems. It’s also possible to recognize by striking a machete, the sound it produces when hit is very noticeable to know if it’s matured or not.

Harvesting Bamboo:

When harvesting bamboo, the basis of photosynthesis is taken into consideration, during the morning hours, starch transportation begins from the roots to towards the leaves. At the height of the day, the process is at its peak. Thus, this is not the right time to harvest. Therefore the best time of harvest is before dawn, at this period the starch transportation has not begun. This will ease transportation after harvest,make them less prone to insects and helps to ease drying.

Felling and Managing Bamboo:  

When harvesting bamboo, the pole is cut right over the first or second node above the earth surface using a saw or a machete. By doing this, there’s no way in which the rainwater will be collected. Rainwater in the culms weakens the bamboo plant and leads to rotting. Avoid as much as possible, the exposure or damage of the rhizome when harvesting because it will result in severe destruction and affect the future health of its clump.

Don’t pull bamboo culms on the ground because it causes harm to the outer layer which leads to blemishes and stains.

Bamboo culms should not be thrown hard on the ground; this kind of pressure induces cracks on the length of the culm.

Great products are made from upright culms. Therefore, selection of strong culms is crucial. Bamboo poles with cracks, splits and bends and diseases are not appropriate as building material, these can be used in other applications or industrial uses.

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