Q: My neighbor and I are trying to control the bamboo he planted along his property line. The patch was planted three years ago. Today I was out cleaning up my landscape and found runners about one-half inch in diameter throughout my garden. I can chop them out, but I think each year this problem is going to get progressively worse. Any suggestions?
A: The best bamboo barrier I know of is made from the corrugated fiberglass roofing panels sold at home improvement stores.
Cut the panel(s) into two-foot long sections. Take two panel sections and overlap the edges by two “ribs”. Use tape or clamps to hold the sections in place while you drill one-fourth inch holes through the two sections, at six inch intervals, from top to bottom. Use one-fourth inch round-headed bolts one inch long, plus a washer and a nut, to fasten the two sections together permanently. You’ll have a flexible panel forty six inches long and two feet high when you finish.
Add additional fiberglass sections in the same manner until you have a piece long enough to form a barricade between the bamboo and your garden. Rent a powered ditch digger to make a trench twenty one inches deep between the bamboo and your property. Insert the fiberglass barrier and backfill the trench. Allow three inches of the barrier to be exposed aboveground. This will stop below-ground runners from further invasion.
The next step is to kill the bamboo shoots on your property. The simplest way is to vigilantly knock down every spear you see emerging this spring. Without sunlight on its leaves, bamboo can not survive. For more bamboo growing (and controlling) information, check this link:
Bamboo in Georgia
Detail of joint between two fiberglass roofing pieces