When it comes to bamboo farming, one thing is never in doubt; the demand for its products.
As a viable area of agriculture, it has continued to raise interest among aspiring farmers on what it takes to start one. This article seeks to provide real answers to this question.
Here, we will be discussing the most effective ways to begin your journey as a bamboo farmer.
Starting a Bamboo Plantation Business
There are pressing questions you might have or might have raised regarding bamboo farming. One of the most important questions has to do with its suitability or adaptability to an area’s climatic and environmental conditions.
In other words, will bamboo plants grow in my area?
First, we need to establish the fact that bamboo is a tropical plant. Hence won’t do well in subzero temperatures.
However, winter temperatures holding consistently above zero will support the growth of this plant. Another factor is the soil condition. The ideal soil for the cultivation of bamboo should have a pH level of around 7 which is neutral.
The Need For Adequate Space
Adequate space as it relates to bamboo farming depends on the cultivation strategy you decide to adopt. There are farming strategies that involve the use of pots to grow bamboos. These will take up less space and can increase the yield of an area of land.
The best part is, bamboos don’t take up much space.
Choosing The Right Varieties
Another important consideration you must make before starting your bamboo farm has to do with choosing the right varieties. There are over a thousand bamboo varieties to choose from. However, not all of these will thrive in temperate climates.
Some of these will do well in temperate regions.
Some of the cold-resistant varieties of bamboo include solid bamboo, the yellow groove bamboo, incense bamboo, and umbrella bamboo. Others include blue fountain bamboo, and dragon head bamboo among others.
The Best Bamboo Varieties To Grow
Having mentioned the right varieties for a temperate climate, you’ll also need to choose the best varieties. You should go for both the smaller (consisting of a dwarf and midsize bamboo) and larger bamboo plants.
There are good reasons for this. the smaller bamboo varieties are best for lower-priced volume market while the larger varieties can be sold at a premium to landscapers.
One of the decisions you have to make as a farmer is to choose a site suitable enough to support the growth of bamboos. To do this, you must be knowledgeable about what these plants require.
First off, bamboo plants are drought-tolerant. However, you’ll need to ensure they have adequate water is provided during the early stages of growth.
Your preferred site should be a low-lying area with adequate moisture to support bamboo growth. Although this is necessary, you’ll need to ensure that the soil has good drainage.
Plant Them In Containers If You Wish To Sell
A bamboo farm almost always involves commercial activity.
In other words, it is a plant cultivated for the sole purpose of selling. We’re more interested in commercial cultivation. In this case, planting these in containers or pots will serve you best. Bamboos planted in containers can be sold at any time.
What more? The difficulty or labor involved in digging up these plants from the ground is eliminated when you need to sell. The benefits of this are obvious when landscapers come calling. These clients want to simply pay and load up these plants.
Having to dig them up won’t be funny at all. Clients may not have the patience to wait.
Bamboo plants require minimal care. In other words, these are resistant to lots of diseases and insect attacks.
However, this applies to most but not all varieties. You’ll need to find out what affects your particular bamboo variety. Watering is an important part of the maintenance process.
During the first few months after planting, you’ll need to water these plants at least once a week. Other basic maintenance strategies to adopt include pruning and cutting overgrown leaves or branches. You might want to seek some help from existing successful bamboo farmers.
Most farmers will be willing to discuss and provide you with vital tips on what to expect and how best to care for your plants. Such information is invaluable and should be strictly adhered to.
As a bamboo farmer, you need a great deal of patience. This is necessary due to the time required for these plants to reach maturity. Only after this time will you start harvesting. It takes about 6 years for bamboo plants to reach maturity.
As such, this should be considered a long-term investment.
Your first harvest opens the door for annual harvesting as the plants grow much faster. Harvest continues every year for up to 50 years. This is a worthwhile investment that pays off over the long term. Nevertheless, you should expect to incur major initial expenses.
Bamboo Farming Can Be Run As A Part Time Business Too!
Unlike lots of other businesses, starting a bamboo farm won’t take up much of your time. Remember we said these plants require minimal care. This can be done while handling your other businesses.
Potted bamboo farming decreases labor relating to maintenance. A drip irrigation system greatly reduces labor costs.
In starting a bamboo farm, you’ll need to figure out your marketing needs. This is where you seek for buyers of your products. There are several ways to do this. Direct retail sales allow you to connect with your buyers on a one-on-one basis.
Selling to landscapers is another way to market your bamboo products. Landscapers purchase bamboo in bulk and will stick to a seller that has shown the capacity to deliver quality products coupled with effective service delivery.
Garden centers are places where a variety of products including bamboo are in demand. Such places have their specific requirements. You might want to find out what these are to fill in the demand.
The steps listed above will help anyone interested in establishing a bamboo farm get started. These are plants with little need for maintenance, yet having huge potentials.