Bamboo can be useful in a polytunnel garden in a range of different ways. Many gardeners will simply buy bamboo canes for garden use from a garden centre or another supplier. But if you want to save on costs and be more sustainable in your gardening efforts, you could consider growing this useful plant somewhere else on your property. Growing bamboo in the vicinity of your polytunnel could be a great idea.
Reasons for Growing Bamboo
Bamboo can be useful in a polytunnel because it can provide a yield of strong, straight canes which can be used to support vining plants. As well as providing individual stakes which can simply be pushed into the ground, bamboo canes can also be used to create a range of different structures. For example, they can be tied together to create a trellis, or bunched together near the top to create a wigwam type structure.
What is more, some bamboos can also provide an edible yield of young shoots – bamboo shoots are popular in Chinese cuisine. Thinking outside the box, bamboo can also be used to screen off an unsightly feature, to partition a certain area of your garden, or to provide some valuable shade for other plants.
Choosing the Right Bamboo
When growing bamboo, it is important to consider which variety would be best for the situation in which you wish to place it. Many bamboos are ‘running’ varieties which can quickly grow to overwhelm an area. More vigorous varieties may easily get out of hand if they are placed in too favourable a location. You may wish to consider a clump forming, less-vigorous variety in certain situations. At other times, however, the vigour of bamboo can be an advantage.
It is also important to remember that some bamboo varieties are best suited to shady spots, while others will prefer full sun. Some will do better in moist conditions, while others can cope with a more arid location. Many bamboos will suffer in very exposed locations, while some are better able to cope with a little wind.
If you are harvesting canes on a regular basis, it is unlikely that your bamboo will get out of hand. Do you grow bamboo where you live? Perhaps you have some tips for other gardeners that you could share in the comments below? Growing bamboo can be a wonderful choice for many UK gardeners, and having your own supply of bamboo canes can certainly be a boon for any polytunnel gardener.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.