While bamboo does a lot for this planet on a large-scale level—such as helping fight global warming—it also contributes in more localized ways as well. Bamboo is a friend of both soil and water, and it can do a lot of good for its immediate environment. Let’s take a look at how bamboo contributes in this manner.
One example: Bamboo helps prevent soil erosion that occurs in flood plains, whether along riverbanks or on steep hillsides. Bamboo also can control landslides and keep flooded rivers along their natural course. It does this by slowing the speed of the river’s water flow. And, quite luckily, bamboo thrives in many watershed areas. The abundance of water makes the land around it a perfect place for bamboo to grow. And while this is good for bamboo, the benefit is mutual. Bamboo contributes to both soil and water retention, thereby helping the land that it calls home. A bamboo forest means healthy land.
In part, the reason that bamboo is so good for the land—the reason that it helps with water retention—is because of the potassium that it contains. Bamboo shoots are a great source of potassium, which is required for plant growth. Potassium promotes strong growth, a healthier root system, and, you guessed it, water retention.
For all of these reasons and more, bamboo is considered a great fertilizer, and is often used as such. Using bamboo as a fertilizer helps the soil retain more water. The result is a soil that is more chemically-balanced and oxygenated, which, in laymen’s terms, means healthier plants. But there’s more. The soil is improved in other ways too. Bamboo has a high level of gas production and circulation. This results in bamboo absorbing two thirds more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And since plants and trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, this also means that bamboo produces 35 per cent more oxygen than most other trees, such as hardwoods. In addition, bamboo’s root system helps with preventing soil erosion, and it also improves the soil by removing any excess nitrogen.
For those of you now interested in trying out bamboo as a fertilizer, here’s how. It is really quite simple and there are two ways to go about it. Your first option: simply grow some bamboo in the actual area that needs the fertilizer applications. And your second option: just cut up a few bamboo shoots and spread the pieces throughout the area you want fertilized. Both options work well. Happy gardening!