The joys of being a house owner, amongst many cool and not-so-cool duties, is that we get to decide how wild the garden should be. Are we going for the ‘garden of the year’ award or do we take a more relaxed attitude, believing in reinstating the natural ecosystem?
I’m probably torn between the two choices, and the only in-between option is called concrete. An option, but not a fan of concrete. My choice is, unfortunately, the natural ecosystem, with some sprinkles of the garden award. Probably a fair 97-3 split.
However, on one of my gardening adventures, I decided to kill what to some is known as garden cancer. It spreads like an evil network of underground roots, tightly intertwined with roots and tiles. Literally impossible to get rid. It also happens to be the favorite dish for the overly obese and cuddly panda bear.
Yes, you guessed it. It is fecking bamboo. It looks great at times, but a pain in the behind to prune or remove.
My bamboo bush had taken over parts of the garden and was slowly moving across the garden pathway, finding little openings between the tiles and slowly expanding. So began the battle of the bamboo.
Only minor problems. I do not have access to koala bears, pandas or sloths. And, it was close to 95F/35C during the past summer. It was a battle I was destined to lose.
There are a few ways to kill or get rid of bamboo. They mostly require a lot of patience, plenty of time and interesting chemicals. None of which I possess.
But, I discovered the best trick in the book, which came to me in a dream. A dream that involved my old biology teacher, who was laughing through his Santa beard. Freaky I know. It was basic schoolboy knowledge that proved to be the trick to break the neck of the overly enthusiastic bamboo bush.
What was it? Well, I will give you this DIY trick for free, and also share that you will lose weight while killing your friendly neighborhood bamboo bush. It is simply photosynthesis!
Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the Sun, into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the organisms’ activities (energy transformation).
Bamboo bushes use all it’s leaves to regenerate and expand. You can cut away at the edges, pull up roots, but you will lose unless you remove the opportunity for generating photosynthesis.
The trick is, which reminds of the old Metallica song ‘fight fire with fire’. You have to fight photosynthesis with photosynthesis. It’s simple my friends.
Step by step instructions in your photosynthesis battle. Something that Syn Tzu forgot to mention in his ‘Art of War’.
- Find your garden handsaw
- Put on work gloves
- Put on a long-sleeved shirt
- With one hand, grab a bundle of bamboo, and cut it about 5 inches from the soil
- Repeat step 4 until you have eradicated the bamboo bush
- Inspect the bamboo patch for a ridiculous amount of sprouts
- Remove all small bamboo sprouts and leaves you to find
- Repeat step 7 every other day for two weeks
- Take a shovel and start to dig up roots
Step 9 is a very tiresome exercise, which is excellent cardio and fat burning. I spent several hours a day, over the course of three weeks, and honestly believe I lost 6-7lbs.
I’m sure you can use chemicals to do the killing faster, but I do not like to pollute my garden, and is a strong supporter of hard labor – except when I have to do the work!
In the end, it was my awesome and creepy biology teacher who in my dream taught me to fight photosynthesis with my knowledge in biology :-). Sometimes you can actually achieve a lot with stuff you learned in school.
Other options include inventing recipes for eating bamboo, building a bamboo raft, build a bamboo shed, design cool pens with bamboo casings, weave baskets, create mats, design furniture … the options are endless. Only your imagination sets the limitation, and of course your ability to do it.
(btw, my old biology teacher was actually a pretty alright dude, and he did not do anything to freak me out)