Sunflowers to halt invasive bamboo?

(Question)

Hello, several years ago, our neighbor planted running bamboo. Needless to say, it is now running across our property. Since sunflowers are hard on “all grasses” according to what I’ve read on your website, do you think if I purchase a few huge bags of sunflower seeds and “mulch” the bamboo with it, that I would finally have a solution to keeping the bamboo in check? Thanks for your help with this! -Kelley

(Answer)

That is a very creative idea! It probably depends on how long the bamboo has been growing in your yard and how well established it is. My guess would be that it might affect the health of the bamboo over time but it won’t kill off the bamboo immediately although it may weaken it over time.

The most reliable way of getting rid of bamboo would be to dig up the running underground stems and create a physical barrier in the ground between your yard and your neighbour’s.  It is very labour intensive but the most reliable.  On the website of the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK they suggest that you dig a trench 2ft deep and put a barrier in the trench such as pavement slabs or corrugated iron sheets as the underground stems are very strong. You would need to do this all along the side of your yard where the bamboo is coming through. They also suggest that the barrier stick up out of the ground about 3inches to keep the bamboo from running over the top.  It would still take time and diligence for you to  eradicate the bamboo totally from your yard.

I truly hope the sunflower seeds help and wish you the best of luck with your hard work. Sorry I don’t have a better solution!

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