How do I get rid of green bamboo stalks? They are not like tall tan bamboo. They are growing so abundantly in back of the garage. I would like to plant grass, some flowers, and have a place to sit, sun, and BBQ. I bought some weed killer for other weeds, but didn't think it would take care of bamboo. I tried pulling some up last year, but it keeps growing back! Please help. Any advise will be appreciated. Thank you.
By Karen from Pawtucket, RI
We have bamboo everywhere. We can't use chemicals because it is close to our well. We had the yard cleared with a backhoe and this did not help. I understand the the main root can be miles away.
About 30 years ago, I saw a few stalks on the border of my property. It's a very rural area, zone 4 and I stupidly thought they were cute. For the next few decades, the bamboo and I have been at war. I have tried my very, very best to kill what is now a 40x80 foot area. I have called in specialists after several non-chemical methods failed. No matter what the weather, they merrily continue to grow babies underground and appearing 3-5 feet away from the group. Now I need a cane and have cried "uncle". They have won and are giggling at me.
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Q: Does vinegar really kill bamboo? We've cut it down, gut out lots of roots, sprayed with Roundup and weed whacked, and mowed daily, but it keeps growing. What can I use? Where I can I purchase 20-30% vinegar?
A: Mer serkel,
I'm assuming your trying to rid yourself of Japanese Stilt Grass, also sometimes referred to as bamboo. Perseverance is a necessary virtue when it comes to eradicating this prolific invader. The seeds from this grass can remain viable for up to 7 years, so the key is to stay on top of it and keep it from setting more seed (usually in September). Try spraying an "over the top" mixture of 1 cup salt, 1 gallon of vinegar, and 1 tsp of Ivory dish soap (to get it to stick). This mixture is non-selective and can kill other plants and grasses, so apply it with care. Don't expect to see any changes for at least 24 hours, maybe even several days. Be patient. If you can't find 20-30% acid vinegar at a local feed store, you can strengthen regular 5% vinegar (the kind sold at grocery stores) by boiling it down to half its original volume. An effective commercial alternative is Ornamec, a herbicide available at many hardware and garden centers.
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This information might help from the American Bamboo Society website: http://www.americanbamboo.org/GeneralInfoPages/ControllingBamboo.html
Get that vinegar at Home Depot. (07/29/2005)
Here is a link to some more ways of getting rid of bamboo.
I like the bit about sending in the pigs. (11/17/2006)
I cut down the stalks; some 30-40 feet high. Then I used a large sump grinder which goes pretty deep and disintegrated all the roots. (04/27/2008)
By Joe from Ft. Wash, MD MD