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March 15, 2021 - How to make a bamboo planter

Updated: May 5, 2021

We need some privacy!

So we decided to use our potted Golden Bamboo as a new hedge between us and the neighbors. We have three pots of bamboo just waiting to expand and I think it's any minute that they will break their pots anyways. Here's a little how-to on making (and why we did it this way) our newest project: a bamboo privacy screen planter.

Let's start from the beginning with our design and why we had to do it this way. As you or may not know, bamboo is not native to Georgia, USA. You can find it here, but it's not because it started naturally here. Having said that, bamboo does grow pretty well here, but there isn't much to control bamboo unless we haul in a couple of thousand pandas to munch on it all day long. Our neighborhood even has random clumps growing throughout the woods!

The biggest issue with bamboo is that it is extremely invasive. I even saw pictures of bamboo growing on one side of a rock wall, go underneath, and come out the other side into someone's house! It spreads everywhere, mainly due to all the runners it sends out. It's a type of grass, so it grows quickly and as you know, it's extremely tough. So we had to create a planter to grow our bamboo in. It's a half/half style with part of it in the ground and part out of the ground.

Here's how we put it all together:

We had 2' x 4' sections of plywood and some 2x4 boards that we used to make a giant open-top box. This was the basic framework of the outside. Next, we put in some really tough, small holed chicken wire fencing that would go along the bottom. This would help prevent any shoots from easily penetrating the drainage holes in the bottom of the box. Now, this will not prevent bamboos from escaping the box. We purchased some heavy-duty plastic tubs, drilled drainage holes, and filled the bottom with rock.

We planted the bamboo into those boxes and filled with topsoil and leaf mold, and some black kow compost. Bamboo needs a lighter mix so that the roots don't rot. There is an air gap between the plastic box and the plywood, so in case the bamboo pops through the box, the air gap should discourage the roots from going through. This should hold for at least a couple of years but we'll let you know how it survives!

So now that it's built, we love it! We have a fun golden bamboo that has green foliage, but golden yellow stems and trunks.

When the wind blows, you can hear the rustle of the leaves rubbing against each other, and since it's placed near our outdoor table, it makes a great relaxing spot. And best yet, it grows thick and tall, so it's a nice hedge against the neighbors. We like them, but we like our privacy too.

Weather report: Temp in the upper 60's, Nice and sunny with few clouds

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