As part of a book order last year, I picked up a copy of Bamboo Rediscovered by Victor Cusack. This wonderful book draws on decades of experience to show that bamboo doesn’t have to be an invasive monster, and that bamboo poles are tremendously useful, in the garden and elsewhere.
So when it came to protecting our apple harvest against fruit flies and other pests, I turned to bamboo. I sourced a bunch of 3m long poles from All Stakes Supply, who had them delivered to me in just a few days.
Now, how do I actually tie bamboo stakes together into useful structures? Youtube to the rescue, with several handy tutorials on tying square knots. These are the instructions I ended up following:
The first use was to create a support structure for my tomatoes. (It’s enormously high, by the way, so I didn’t have to cut the bamboo poles, thus retaining them for later uses.)
I also created box frames around my key apple trees, covered by insect netting. The result is rather impressive looking, I think.
Full disclosure: my knot skills are still pretty patchy, so some of the frames held up, and others slowly slipped apart. Practice makes perfect!
I now have a good collection of robust bamboo poles, which should last many years, and be useful for a dozen different projects.
(Inspired by the book, I also planted out a number of clumping bamboo varieties in the land behind our house. These should grow to give us better screening from the railway line, and I’ll blog about them at a later date.)