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Working with Bamboo General discussion: All aspects about design, construction, tools and techniques.

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Old 1st July 2007, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 2
Raised bed gardens made from bamboo?

New to bamboo. Not new to gardening. Must admit y'all are an impressive group. Hope you can help. Does anyone have any tidbits of wisdom regarding the construction of raised bed vegetable gardens out of bamboo. I have grown weary of the traditional landscape timber or 2x8 planks. Is it doable? Advice for a novice? Are there any pictures one could send?

Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 1st July 2007, 07:19 PM
Mark Meckes
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 2,374
Hi jimdeline,
I have seen bamboo used, laid horizontally to border a garden bed or prevent soil erosion on a steep incline, though it is more often done if someone has an overabundant supply of bamboo growing around the place, and is a suitable alternative to using logs, timbers or rocks.

The thing is that when bamboo is laid in contact with the ground, it will break down within 2-3 years (depending on species) just like most other woods.
There are other wood species, like cedar etc that are more rot resistant than bamboo.
Then there are pressure treated timbers impregnated with arsenic and copper compounds etc.
I'm not familar with any commercial bamboo treated in this way in the US.

What dimensions you're thinking of for a raised garden bed?

If it was something that had higher side walls, one idea is to build the 'box' out of treated timbers and then attach split (half round) bamboo strips to this for decorative effect.
They could be individually attached, or lashed together separately, then tacked in several places to the side of the bed.

I think the bamboo could make for a very attractive raised garden bed, but unless you have a ready inexpensive source of replaceable bamboo, I would try and use it in a way that it didn't come into direct contact with the ground.

Mark Meckes -

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Old 2nd July 2007, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 2

Thanks greatly. This was helpful. I was afraid of this.

Dimensions would be fairly large. The area I have to work with is 18' x 24'. I have yet to determine the exact shape and/or layout of the garden, but know that the sides will of each bed will be at least 12" high.

So yes, it seems, I will need a sizeable amount of material.

I like the idea of using bamboo to decorate. This I will explore.

Thanks again.

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Old 22nd October 2007, 08:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 4
I have some raised beds made from bamboo. They consist of a long culms placed horizontally with shorter pieces on either side to hold them up. It has done pretty well as a garden bed. A little soil loss but not too bad.

I'm thinking of building a larger one for next year.
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Old 8th February 2008, 06:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Japan- Ibaraki, Takahagi
Posts: 5
Three years ago I bordered all of my garden beds with moso bamboo. We cut out a few thousand culms when building the house and gardens, and I needed a use for it.
I basically made mini-terraces out of it, since my garden area is on a slight slope.
On the downhill side I laid a 6 meter pole, braced with 4 madake posts. Then I dug into the uphill side until it was level. Then I added another pole, and repeated the process until the terrace was 1.5 m wide.
So now I have ten 1.5 x 6 meter (5x20 feet if you prefer) garden beds. Works great with Biointensive gardening plans.

Of course, the bamboo is rotting and splitting now, but they can be replaced easily enough.

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