Use garden compost or manure to work into the soil around your new bamboo planting. This is best done as you are digging the hole for the initial planting -work the new compost into the bottom of the hole to increase drainage, place the bamboo in the hole so that the top of the root-mass is level with the top of the soil.  Make sure the hole is 1.5 to 2 times as wide as the bamboo root-mass.  Mix the remaining compost in with the local soil when back filling the hole. This will provide a nutrient boost and improve the drainage in the soil around the bamboo roots. Put a 2-3 inch layer of compost over the top of the bamboo. Water the new planting thoroughly. We sell a blended organic compost, from Teufel Soil Products that has all the essential nutrients including active microbes, worm castings, kelp meal, and composted manure and bark shavings. We have been using this product for several years and it has been consistent in quality and has produced great results for our bamboo.  We also sell an organic fertiliser (read below for more info).

Most bamboos are happiest in a moderately acidic loamy soil. If your soil is very heavy you can add organic material. It can be dug into the soil where the bamboo is to be planted, but you can also mulch very heavily and let the earthworms do the work, building a berm of nutritious soil (this also helps with bamboo control). Spread two or more inches of mulch in the area around the bamboo, and where you want the bamboo to grow. Bamboo is a forest plant and does best if a mulch is kept over the roots and rhizomes. It is best not to rake or sweep up the bamboo leaves from under the plant, as they keep the soil soft, and moist, and recycle silica and other natural chemicals necessary to the bamboo. A low-growing shade-tolerant groundcover plant that will allow the leaves to fall through to form a mulch without being visible will work if you find the dry leaf mulch objectionable. Almost any organic material is a good mulch. Grass is one of the best, as it is high in nitrogen and silica. Home made or commercial compost is great. Hay is a good mulch too but hay and manure are often a source of weed seeds, so that can be a problem. Any kind of manure is good, if it isn’t too hot. Limited amounts of very hot manures like chicken are OK if used with care. At our nursery we use a large amount of chipped trees from tree pruning services. This can harbor pathogens that can affect some trees or shrubs, but the bamboo loves it.

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