Moso bamboo diary 5

Fifth part of the Moso bamboo diary starts a little later than expected. Previous year was slow and there was not much happening with bamboo in my garden.

Below are links to the previous parts of this mini research I`m doing with moso bamboo. I`m glad that so far bamboo has shown good growth rate over the years. Keeping in mind that they are all grown from seed it is great to keep track of them and observe their progress. Seed was start in 2011. and from then onward some of the stems grew beyond 3 meters in height and almost an inch in diameter.

Links to the previous posts:
Moso bamboo diary 1
Moso bamboo diary 2 (moso seed germination instructions at the end of the post) 
Moso bamboo diary 3
Moso bamboo diary 4

As every year, 2015. had negative and positive side. Negative was very hot and dry summer with 30+ days without rain. Last rain before summer drought began was scarce and not enough to wet the roots of the plants.
Positive side of the previous year is warm winter. With temperatures no lower than -12°C || 10.4°F and a lot of rain bamboo had good optimal winter conditions. Cold northern wind was a problem but at least cold period did not last for long. Majority of winter temperatures were around 0°C || 32°F accompanied with sun.   

This year bamboo will be mulched with straw again. Crop rotation will make straw to me available so it will be used like in 2014; around the bamboo in rows. Hopefully that will help with another dry summer. Except for watering and fertilizing that is pretty much it for this year. 

First moso shoots were noticed on March 19th and from that date they grew like crazy. Weather was warm and wet and that speed up everything.

Since shoots grew so fast I decided to measure 2 biggest shoots on the plot. Measuring is done at noon every day and by the time I started measuring shoots were already very big.

Measuring started on April 15th.
Day Size - shoot 1 Difference Day Size - shoot 2 Difference
1 145 cm  || 57.1 in - 1 99 cm || 38.9 in -
2 167 cm || 65.7 in 22 cm || 8.6 in 2 119 cm || 46.9 in 20 cm || 8 in
3 192 cm || 75.6 in 25 cm || 9.9 in 3 149 cm || 58.7 in 30 cm || 11.8 in
4 223 cm || 87.8 in 31 cm || 12.2 in 4 181 cm || 71.3 in 32 cm || 12.6 in
5 249 cm || 98 in 26 cm || 10.2 in 5 204 cm || 80.3 in 23 cm || 9 in
6 261 cm || 102.8 in 12 cm || 4.8 in 6 210 cm || 82.7 in 6 cm || 2.4 in
7 271 cm || 106.7 in 10 cm || 3.9 in 7 221 cm || 87 in 11 cm || 4.3 in
8 288 cm || 113.4 in 17 cm || 6.7 in 8 234 cm || 92.1 in 13 cm || 5.1 in
9 303 cm || 119.3 in 15 cm || 5.9 in 9 258 cm || 101.6 in 24 cm || 9.5 in
10 321 cm || 126.4 in 18 cm || 7.1 in 10 278 cm || 109.4 in 20 cm || 7.8 in
11 338 cm || 133 in 17 cm || 6.6 in 11 285 cm || 112.2 in 7 cm || 2.8 in
12 cold, windy days no measuring 12

13 end measurement will be done 13 when branching starts

Growth rate of the shoots is amazing this year. There is enough humidity in the soil, daily temperatures are between 20 and 25°C || 68 and 77 °F and I guess that makes it a perfect combination for shooting. On April 5th I gave them fertilizer and then again on April 17th some foliar fertilizer. 

Blue colored row in the table indicates the day when both day and night temperatures dropped very low. Day temperature was around 12°C || °F and night temperature was around 3°C || °F. There was even some frost in the morning but it didn`t damage the shoots. It is interesting how much bamboo slowed down its growth when temperatures dropped.

On April 26th we had a big frost and during the night temperatures dropped to 0°C || 32°F.  That is the day I stopped measuring the bamboo. After that weather became cold and very windy. Wind from the north made it impossible to measure the shoots + rain came day or two after so that made it even more difficult. Branching usually means that there will be no more growth in height so that will be the time to do the final measurement and add it at the end of the chart.

Strong wind has done some damage to the softer shoots. One shoot that was 2.8 m || 9.1 ft got broken almost in half. Some of the shoots became bent and continued to grow that way. Even though they look relatively good there is still chance that they will die off from the place where they are bent.
Bent in 2015.
Bent in May 2016.
Bent in May 2016.
Here are some photos...

March 19th
April 6th

April 15th
May 5th


Steve Lau said...

It looks like moso does pretty well in your climate eh. It definitely looks like you have enough of it to start digging up,and selling off a lot of it perhaps even to local nurseries.

You may want to start looking into the rarer forms of moso which should not be that hard to obtain for you being in Europe.

Tarzan said...

You seem to have had warmer winter and it starts shooting like at least 2 weeks earlier. I guess my seedling is growing at similar speed. Well, we're actually not living that far apart :D

Are your seedlings thicker than the ones on my photos? I have used 1 Euro coin for comparison. They are the same diameter as that coin after the sheath fell down. I dounbt they will go up to 2.5m like one of yours did. I love how your leaves remained intact during the winter, no damage whatsoever, congrats. :)

Juan E. Hartwig said...

Congrats, great Job!
I'm having my own try here in Santiago de Chile, my experiment is right one season behind yours so your blog has been very clarifying for me all these years. Whish you good luck!

Juan Hartwig


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