|Site and Soil Preparation|
Most bamboos grow best in deep, well-drained, fertile soils, and they generally prefer neutral to slightly acid soils. If your soil is deficient, the extra time and expense of improving it is usually well worth the effort.
Sandy soils and alkaline soils may be improved with the addition of organic materials such as compost, peat, manures, nitrolized sawdust, or bark chips. These materials help retain moisture, acidify the soil, and also provide nutrition to the plants. Acid fertilizers can also be added to compensate for extremely alkaline soils. For overly acidic soils with pH of 5.5 or lower, add lime to reduce acidity to a pH of 6.0 - 7.0. Clay soils may be improved to provide better drainage with the addition of sand and organic materials. Most bamboos suffer root damage if submerged in water for several weeks. Drainage may also be improved by mounding the soil or ditching around the planting. Bamboos can be grown well in very shallow soils if adequate fertility and moisture are maintained. It’s always a good idea to consult with your local nurseryman about how best to amend your local soils. (Note: If you have gophers in your area, be sure to read the section on Pests before planting).
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