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Bamboo trellis and grow bags

Discussion in 'Building DIY, Machinery & Tools' started by Cathy, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Cathy

    Cathy Member Premium Member

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    I have giant bamboo in my backyard and decided to put it to good use.
    I also am trialling grow bags. I am gardening on top of grey water and septic systems and after 2 years I think the spot where I am growing actually has a lot of stones and cracker dust close to the surface and they heat up and it gets too hot.
    As a renter I decided to use grow bags instead of raised beds as they are foldable and portable. I got them fairly cheaply online and so far they are working although I am still only in the seedling stage . I am getting 30 bales of cane trash shortly that will also help protect from the summer sun.

    P.S better water retention in the bags, if it is a gravel pit for water drainage under my garden spot no wonder there was no moisture retention! 20180628_102751.jpg 20180619_172456.jpg 20180618_135153.jpg
     
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  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Are these grow bags made from rubber or recycled plastic bottles?

    I think the recycled ones that look like felt fabric are a very good idea but they only last a year or so in our tropics. So it's a big expense for what you get.

    The energy required to make them (including the whole recycle stream from purchase of drink to bale bag full of crushed plastic bottles) is wasted on a product that lasts only a relatively short time. The total cost of that end product would be a lot more than what you pay.
     
  3. AndrewB

    AndrewB Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I grow in bags too & have been having great success. After trying out a few different soil mixes, I have settled on 100% compost with a few handfuls of perlite mixed through to help drainage. This seems to make the plants the happiest.

    A good layer of mulch really helps in summer. As does shading the sides of the bags to stop the direct sun from drying them out.

    You can get a moisture gauge from bunnings that is really handy for checking if you are under or over watering the bags. They will get dry on the tops & edges, so it's easy to think they need more water & end up drowning the plants.

    I have also found it a good idea to keep an eye on the soil PH & adjust as needed.
     
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  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Something I recently discovered is that the type of mulch makes a difference to the long-term pH of the container medium.

    I have used bulk baled sugar cane mulch for many years but since growing in containers, my medium has been plagued by changes to the pH over the course of a season.

    Recently I revamped some containers, so I took the time to check the pH at various levels inside the container.

    I also save on expensive potting medium by creating a wicking well situation by half filling the container with the course cane mulch first then topping up with potting mix. Then mulching over the top after planting. When I set up a container I put the drainage hole about 5cm up from the bottom so I get a wicking well.

    Several pH zones emerged through the vertical profile. The mulch in the bottom rotted down as expected but it became very acid. The lower root zone of the potting mix sometimes became alkaline depending on what was planted. The upper root zone often remained as it should. But the top of the potting mix directly under the cover mulch usually also went acid.

    So this showed me the fertilizer was settling into or being trapped by the lower root zone. My mix recipe of 50/50 good quality potting mix with coir fibre was doing its job. However the wicking well getting acid was not good because the plant suffered when accessing that region for moisture. Surface rooted plants suffered as the surface mulch broke down and became acid.

    This showed me that cane mulch isn't the best mulch for garden plants that need a little alkalinity into which catagory most vegie plants fall. They need a high pH relatively, 6-7 & above. As the mulch begins to break down, the upper root zone quickly gets too acid for good growth unless lime or alkalizing substances are used.

    A more fibrous mulch breaks down far slower. Currently I am using a mulch made from coconut tree logs mostly. It is a more alkaline timber to begin with, so when used both on top of the potting mix and below in the wicking well zone, the whole container stays more neutral to slightly alkaline.

    I think munched up bamboo would also provide a slightly alkaline mulch that would last a far longer time than a soft grass type mulch.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
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  5. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I am growing/transplanting my fruit trees I had growing in pots into 250L root pouches I got from Rob at this link https://bitsouttheback.com/root-pouch/

    They have a life span of around 7yrs from memory. Rob has been using them for some time with good results. I have half of my fruit trees in them since June last year and they are thriving. They are on an automatic watering system.

    The soil is straight good quality garden soil that I’ve added wrock minerals and chook poo pellets, with sugar can mulch as mulch on the top. As I said they are all doing great. I plan on mixing some perlite through when we get into transplanting the next lot.

    Good use of bamboo Cathy, painful stuff, we have lots of invasive bamboo along our back fence we are slowly clearing. Our neighbours have huge giant bigger than in your pic bamboo that leans over our place and drops its leaves all over the place. Horrid stuff .
     
  6. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    That bamboo leaf mulch is the best mulch you can possibly get!
    Greatest for preventing weeds if applied thick.
    Or put through the chipper then into the compost or directly onto garden.
    Or rake up a big bag of bb leaves and moisten inside the bag then leave for a couple weeks to see absolutely fantastic material.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
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