Guadua Bamboo Planting Layout
I am planning my mini Guadua farm on a half acre and some things I need to know are: If you start with 25gal pots of Guadua, how much distance should you space them apart?
What is the estimated diameter of the clump after 5 years, and is there an average number of culms that come up each year or am I right to expect that the number of culms will increase each year?
I'm Trying to make a rough estimate on the diameter, length and number of culms I can harvest after 4 years.
Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:
Guadua can be planted at 3x3 meters up to 10x10 meters depending on the objective of the plantation. For riverbank and soil erosion it is recommended to plant closer together at 3x3 m, for biomass purposes 5x5, and for the production of large diamater stems 10X10 m would be the most appropriate (theoretically). However, spacing Guadua angustifolia that far appart wouldn't be economically feasible. Therefore, the optimal spacing for a commercial Guadua bamboo plantation is 6x7 m, which forms the perfect balance between producing large diameter poles and the shortest possible time to produce reasonable revenue from such plantation.
To plant the bamboo seedlings, clear the area around the seedling from all possible weeds and vegetation in a radius of 50 cm and dig a hole of about 40 cm wide and 30 cm deep. Since the rhizomes grow just under the surface, it's best not to plant them too deep. The area around the plant should be kept free of weeds at all times!
You should also turn the soil a little so the ground is lose and the rhizomes can spread easier. Mix some dry manure with soil and put it in the hole before planting the Guadua seedling to stimulate its growth. Not too much though or it could burn the roots! It's best to plant any bamboo at the start of rainy season, or at least irrigate them daily for the first year.
After 5 years you can expect culms of 4" in diameter. How many, depends on climate, and soil conditions. Guadua is not a traditional clumper but an "open clumper" so it can spread quite a bit. But remember, mature Guadua culms of average 4"-5" in diameter can only be harvested approximately 9 YEARS after planting, not 4 or 5 years after planting, that's the year where they appear not the year they can be cut.