I love bamboo. I have 3 types of clumping bamboo in the garden. I admit that blue bamboo (also known as weeping or Himalayan bamboo) wins the ‘best behaved’ award, hands down. The other two however are fantastic for stakes. They do need a LOT of pruning to keep them in control though.
I bought some Zucchini Trombocino, a very vigorous, productive climber that is quite resistant to powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is a big problem in humid Sydney, so I am happy to choose Trombocino on this basis alone. I have grown it before and as long as you pick the fruit when they are about 15-20cm long, they are delicious. The zucchini fruit can grow up to 1 metre! The other advantage of this zucchini for me is that you can grow them vertically, so take up very little soil space. You do, however need a strong trellis. I had planned to go to our big hardware chain store and buy a metal trellis, when I remembered that I have a backyard full of bamboo. So I spent a pleasant afternoon making the trellis. I am not very deft with handy things like this but it was super easy. And I probably saved at least $50.
|Alfonse Karr bamboo|
|Golden Weavers bamboo. I used the new, crazily long culms for the upright stakes|
|Culms chopped to size, ready to be hammered into the soil|
|Upright stakes, ready to have the narrower culms woven between them|
|I used slightly narrower culms from Blue Bamboo (which you can see next to the trampoline in the previous photo) to weave back/front between the uprights. I secured every second join with string then added a couple of diagonals to add strength.|
|Here is one of the seedlings, ready to go crazy climbing!|