Moso bamboo diary 3

Third part of my "moso from seed" project begins here. The idea to take photos and write down my observations and activities regarding bamboo growing came in 2011. Since then there was a lot of work done; some successful some not but I learned a lot from and about bamboo. Growing bamboo was and still is enriching experience and there is always something new to be learned.

With this third part of the diary I will continue my online work the same way I did it so far. Approximately every 30 days or less I will update post with new information about moso. If there are any questions feel free to ask and I will answer them according to my knowledge and experience or I`ll refer you to some other sources of information. 

Moso bamboo diary 2 (moso seed germination instructions at the end of the post) 

Winter 2013./2014. was very mild and short. All in all we had only 3 weeks of snow and the lowest temperature was not very low; only -10°C ||  14°F. That was good for bamboo because they had a lot more time to develop rhizomes. Many bamboos suffered a leaf damage from the cold northern winds but I think that is normal because all of them are still young and at this stage not very cold tolerant. When they get older they will be more cold tolerant. 

Spring came in early so there is a lot of work to be done. Temperatures during the day go up to 20°C || 68°F and during the night they are around 10°C || 50°F. Plants broke their dormancy a month ago and started to develop leafs and flower much earlier that expected. Bamboo followed their example so there are a lot of new shots. The problem that remains is the danger of frost which might easily kill new bamboo shots. But a member of American bamboo society told me that moso shoots very early but it also has a second shooting period that comes later, after the frosts have passed. I do hope there will be no frost in the first place but in case there is frost it is good thing to know that moso has a back-up plan :).

21.03.2014.
There is not much green leafs left on the stems. As I mentioned earlier that is the result of cold northern wonds that we had during the winter. Not heaving leafs does not mean much because the main part of the bamboo is underground. If rhizomes are alive, bamboo is alive and from what I`ve seen all of those on the photo are alive. They just need some time to grow new stems...and that is exactly what they`re doing now.
Here is the example of bamboo that looks like it is dead. Have a closer look...on seemingly dead stem there is a bud from which new branch will develop. 


Now some photos of new shoots...(first two are showing the biggest shoot so far)






Under the straw there are slugs that like to eat almost everything that is green. So they they had a feast on some of the shoots. At first I thought it was a wild rabbit who bite the tips off but after closer examination I realized that slugs are the culprits.



Even though it wasn`t the rabbit that bite the tips off I must place some protection against rabbits because he will be coming soon. The easiest way to protect something from them is a plastic bag on a pole. Rabbits are easily scared so rustling of the plastic bag will scare them away.

30.03.2014.
Temperatures are still high and after few rainy days there are many new shoots coming from underneath the straw. For now I must say that I am pleased with the way things are going although there is still danger of frost and rabbit. 
Today at noon I measured the biggest moso shoot and it has reached 96 cm || 37.5 inches. Tomorrow I will measure it again to see how much it grows in 24 hours.

I also placed some chicken manure in the middle of every bamboo. When rain comes it will take it down into the soil.
24 hours later moso has grown 12 cm || 4.7 inches. 




31.03.2014.
Since shoot on the photo above is my first big moso shoot I decided to monitor its growth every day for the next 16 days. Every day at noon I will measure it and later during the day enter measurements into the table below.
I started measuring when stem was at 96cm || 37.8 inches.


Day Size Difference Day Size Difference
1 96 cm  || 37.8 in - 9 188 cm || 74 in 8 cm || 3.1 in
2 108 cm || 42.5 in 12 cm || 4.7 in 10 195 cm ||76.8 in 7 cm || 2.8 in
3 122 cm || 48 in 14 cm || 5.5 in 11 199 cm || 78.3 in 4 cm || 1.5 in
4 135 cm || 53.1 in 13 cm || 5.1 in 12 200 cm || 78.7 in 1 cm || 0.4 in
5 146 cm || 57.5 in 11 cm || 4.4 in 13 203 cm || 79.9 in 3 cm || 1.2 in
6 162 cm || 63.8 in 16 cm || 6.3 in 14 0 cm || 0 in 0 cm || 0 in
7 175 cm || 68.9 in 13 cm || 5.1 in 15 0 cm || 0 in 0 cm || 0 in
8 180 cm || 70.9 in 5 cm || 2 in 16 0 cm || 0 in 0 cm || 0 in

I`ve noticed that most of the growth happens during the day. For example on Day 2, between noon and 6 pm stem grew 8 cm || 3.1 inch. That is a lot of growth in a 6 hour period. I guess that happens because days (20°C || 68°F) are much warmer than nights (8°C || 46°F).

All in all I am very surprised by the growth rate and it is somewhat hard to believe that this is possible. But I do the measuring the same way every days and the numbers don`t lie. Can`t wait to see how tall it will grow.

At day 6 development of branches was evident. 4 days later they are much larger and I guess that is why growth is slowing down.

19.04.2014.
Grass around bamboos is growing like crazy so first thing after holidays I must mow it and do some cleaning up. Last week we had very rainy and a bit colder weather, some days down to 5°C || 41°F but that didn`t stop bamboo from growing. Two days ago we even had ice falling together with rain 4 times in one day. Luckily it was half melded by he time it touched the plants/ground so there was no damage. 
I am pleased with the growth rate of new shoots. There are more shoots than I expected but that must be the result of the warm and short winter we had. 

Tallest stem that grew so far is the one from the table above and it measures 203 cm || 79.9 in. It belongs to one of the first bamboos originally sowed in 2011. On day 6 development of branches became evident and by the time shoot stopped elongating there were a lot of new branches. They are not fully developed so there is still no leaves. That same bamboo has 5-6 new shoots that are slightly smaller in diameter than first shoot (one from the table). 

When previously mentioned rainy weather came something interesting happened with some of the branches; they bent under almost 90° angle. Branches were exposed to strong wind but it is hard to believe that they bent that way just because of the wind. At first I thought they were broken but after taking a closer look it was clear that they just bent ant they remained that way.


Here are some photos...
10.04.2014. white leaves (they will become green later)

10.04.2014.

10.04.2014.

13.04.2014.

13.04.2014.
13.04.2014. Notice growth rate marked by bamboo
itself in a form of white powdery substance.
18.04.2014.

18.04.2014. Shoots of bamboo on the left

07.07.2014.

For all this time I was convinced that I updated this post in May, and now I see that it was actually April. My apologies to all followers. It was a busy spring in my gardens so I simply didn`t have time or energy to write.

Spring was good when it comes to weather. We would have 1 week of rain followed by 1-2 weeks of sun. Temperatures went from 13°C || 55°F during the night to 25°C || 77°F during the day. Bamboo loved it and grew nicely. At one occasion there was a strong northern wind that split some leaf in half but it didn`t do much more damage than that. 

In the end of the June summer temperatures kicked in. Luckily rain hasn`t leaf us completely so every week there is at least one rainy day. If I`m not mistaking last year drought started in the middle of July and lasted until August 17th. We will see how it will turn up this year. 

Bamboo grew nicely during the shooting period but now a lot of them have pale yellow leaves. Structure of the leaves is good, there is no damage to them they are simply pale. Steve Lau suggested that bamboo might be missing magnesium. So in order to resolve that I started applying foliar feeding and that helped a little. I also gave them fertilizer that has magnesium in it, and I watered them with solution of epsom salt as Steve suggested and they look a little better. Foliar feeding is applied once a week.
There is one more excellent natural solution for fertilizing plants in general. Combination of nettle and comfrey has a lot of macro and micro nutrients necessary for plants. General recipe is 1kg || 2.3 lbs of nettle stems/leaves and 1kg || 2.3 lbs of comfrey stems/leaves is soaked in 10 L || 2 Gal of water and left for 2 weeks to rot. When it is done ie. when all the leafs are liquified it can be used for watering the plants. it is good idea to dilute it because this kind of fertilizer can be very strong. I will be using 1L || 0.25 gal of fertilizer on 9 L || 2.37 gal of  water. This liquid stinks so it wouldn`t be a bad idea to cover it with something.

NOTE on nettle and comfrey. Nettle has a lot of iron (alongside everything else) and comfrey has a root that goes very deep and extracts minerals from the soil and stores them in their leafs. These both plants have a very powerful medicinal properties. Nettle is for iron deficiency (anemia) and comfrey root is one of the natures best remedies for wound healing (it contains famous allantoin).   

Now the photos...

02.05.2014. during the heavy rain that flooded one of my vegetable gardens (behind the bamboo)

11.05.2014.

11.05.2014. Most of the leaves fell off and new ones grew later on (01.06. photo below)
Grass between bamboo grows fast so after shooting period ended it was safe to use lawn mower to get rid of it. 

27.05.2014.



01.06.2014.


01.06.2014. After almost all leaves fell off new ones grew + some new stems.

15.06.2014.



07.07.2014.



07.07.2014.


18 comments:

Steve Lau said...

Looking good especially with all the leaf burn. You may be able to sell every other plant if they are able to spread out a bit this year.

Steve Lau said...

I think your mosos may be shaping up to eventually look similar to mine where there have always been lots of culms and shrubby like this.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/5151782789/in/pool-396452@N21

Grannos said...

I want them to grow much stronger and then I`ll sell some and move some to bigger plot (in 2-3 years). I`m curious to see if there will be some variegation when they grow bigger ie. develop real stems.
Your moso looks excellent! No leaf damage nor any other damage. One of my moso was a big shrub for 2 years and this year it is finally showing some serious growth. That was a confusing situation because it is planted in very nutritious soil and it had moisture most of the year.

Steve Lau said...

That picture is actually my green moso from back in 2010, not this winter. The bicolor is now in its place. I am currently brewing some alfalfa tea which I intend to add some unsulphurated molasses and epsom salts to for my greenhouse plants to hopefully get them a nice boost of energy.

Grannos said...

Steve have you tried using horse manure pellets? My sister used them in her garden and says they work like crazy so I plan to buy and add some to bamboo. Also, consider hydrogen peroxide for your greenhouse plants. It disinfects the soil and stops root rot (if there is any) and brakes down into water and oxygen giving plants additional oxygen in the soil.
What does epsom salt do?

Steve Lau said...

I already use horse manure on the bicolor, and so far, it's been making decent progress.

The epsom salts helps makes the leaf greener by maximizing the chloroplast production, thus resulting in better photosynthesis.

One issue with hydrogen peroxide is that you really need a ton of it if you want to add oxygen to the soil. It's a lot more cost effective to physically aerate by using a steel broad fork.

Tarzanus said...

You seem to be 2 or 3 weeks ahead with Moso shooting this year. Did the one that was showing white variegation last year start shooting? Is it going to be white-ish again this year?

Mine just began shooting, none of the large shoots emerged just yet. Shoots that emerged so far were not nearly as red colored as they were last spring. Perhaps this year there wion't be any variegation.

Steve Lau said...

I've sold off the rest of my mosos, and the only thing I have shooting would be indoors. We are still 3 weeks or so away from shooting season for moso. I really didn't think the color variagations were that impressive so I never kept them.

The bicolor is clearly elongating it's leaf buds now so that should wake up in 5-6 weeks. I think it would be interesting if you tried one of the other mosos just to see how it compares to green.

tarzan said...

I'm talking about variegation that Grannos, several French growers and me saw last spring, when shoots appeared in albino style. First leaves were all variegated, but it soon faded out.

Doesn't seem likely that I see that thing this year. All current shoots are green from early beginning - I can only count on the largest ones outside it's original pot that are yet to come. Hopefully.

Grannos said...

Steve I was thinking about adding H2O2 to plants in containers. I agree that it would take a lot of it for plants that are growing in the ground.

Tarzanus we had extremely short winter so everything started shooting much earlier. There is still danger of frost. In my opinion white stripes on leafs or even completely white leafs appear after plant has been for some time in water. For example that moso you were asking about was for several weeks in water and when he started shooting there were white stripes on the leafs which disappeared later on. I see the same thing on some other moso and I do remember them being in the water for some time (when snow melted). Now they have all leafs white.

tarzan said...

Mine did the same and was not exposed to waterlogged conditions. There was a lot of snow, though, and when it melted, perhaps it was a bit flooded even though it's raised 30cm above surrounding ground. I did notice two shoots that show similar colors as last year, so it might repeat.

Grannos said...

I can`t say for sure but that is my guess. Real reason might be something totally different. I will upload photos of these white leafs tomorrow.

Steve Lau said...

Sounds like your shoot made a quick spurt of growth before shutting down for good eh.

tarzan said...

You must be closer to the sea than I am, because your moso shoots are much taller. We now have mild frosts again and cold weather which instantly paused growth. Luckily, shoots are still relatively small and probably won't even notice the cooldown.

Steve Lau said...

You may have a magnesium deficiency based on the lack in green pigmentation of new shoots. This is what you probably should expect to see for seedlings you have. I'm not completely sure, but I believe some applications of epsom salts may solve it.

Here's the picture.
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f28/vglynch/20140412_140637_zpsgydkozvj.jpg

Legendary said...

I have a Moso Grove 8 years old and this year have a 3"culmn.
am retired so making a Bambo Nursery.

Anonymous said...

Granos update!

Anonymous said...

Hi, great blog, here is theoretically possible, if you put Moso bamboo shoots under young deciduous trees, the bamboo in the first years of his life will be easier to carry the direct rays of the sun in the summer, there is little evaporation of water from the soil in partial shade and shelter from the winter winds will be.
Eventually, when the bamboo root, gaining strength, he could "strangle" the shelter and subsequently protect itself from attack nature.
What do you think, whether such a symbiosis (more parasitism) in the early stages of growing Moso bamboo in uncharacteristic, cold climates?

 

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