MAINTENANCE

Especially for young plantations weeding is an important maintenance factor. Bamboo shoots receive more sun than other types of timber plantation because of the relatively wide separation of the culms. Sunlight encourages the growth of weeds which consume nutrients intended for the bamboo. Weeding can be performed using a hoe to scrape the ground surface. During the period just before the shoots emerge, weeds should be pulled up by hand to protect the shoots.

Starting after the second summer of growth, the bamboo needs to be thinned out.  Only a few of the oldest canes should be cut (these will most likely be the smallest in the clump. No more than 1/3 of the total mass of the clump will be removed and leaving all of the newest growth. The canes should be cut near the base, just above a node, which is the 2nd or 3rd node above the ground. Once the bamboo has reached 4 years it has reached its peak density as an energy crop and is ready for harvest.

 The right choice of intercropping might have several positive effects for the plantation: shade the ground, lower soil temperature and thus retard shoot emergence

An important step in land preparation is the use of right manure for mulching. All what is available as local compost should be considered as potential mulching for the young plants. Mulching the shoot plantation with hay, straw or composted bagasse is very important for the successful growth of the plants. Depending on its composition, mulch furnishes various nutrients; reduces weed growth and improves soil condition. Mulch protects the shallow growing rhizomes both from summer drought.