Bamboo makes an ideal garden plant and grows quickly to provide privacy and beauty. There are many ways to control bamboo. Here, we cover the use of an in ground plastic root barrier. Many designers and contractors are nevertheless hesitant to recommend bamboo to clients unless a root barrier is installed.
Bamboo is not magical, but persistent and its root system can find ways to grow in unwanted areas. Plastic barrier is a more permanent solution and when properly installed will contain around 95% of the growth.
Installation of a barrier will also accelerate the grow of a bamboo screen. New growth will emerge in the desired area. Also, the growth will be more dense because of the confinements and stimulate the screening effect.
Plastic thinner than 30 mil has been shown to crack when ground temperatures get below -15 degrees F. For this reason, we recommend at least 30 mil and greater material. The plastic barrier has a better chance not crack when frozen like other materials, even concrete will freeze and crack over the years. Driveways are poured 4 to 6 inches deep and they frequently crack. Concrete was used many years ago at Byron Agriculture Station in Byron, Georgia. It was found to crack below the frost line allowing bamboo rhizomes to emerge on the other side. One of the many myths of bamboo is its ability to crack solid concrete. While a clumping type bamboo may do this, a running bamboo is not as forceful and just turns following the path of least resistance.
The Polyethylene barrier has been made from recyclable post industrial regrind material when possible.