Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tsuyu and Bamboo

How fast does bamboo grow? I measured this one at 250 cm on Saturday and 310 cm today, Tuesday. It's way too high to get in a photo and getting hard to measure now. Sixty centimeters in 3 days is about 20 centimenters a day, or an inch every 3 hours. Looking back farther at a few photos I took to document it, it was 97 cm on the 18th, making it 210 cm in 9 days, or close to 23 cm a day. This in a cloudy and cool rainy season (tsuyu) and a not-too-great location, so I would suppose some species of bamboo in better conditions grow about an inch an hour.
The four photos were taken 06-06-18_16:35, 24 hours later 06-06-19_16:27, another day later 06-06-20_16:25, and 06-06-24_09:19.
Bamboo is a gardener's dream, but also a nightmare. Your main task is to kill it faster than it can grow. This is best done during the crunchy asparagus/brocolli-like stage instead of the later ultralight-steel/aluminum-alloy-like woody stage, although you can still just saw through it when it gets hard. If you ignore it for a few days you will find the shoots, perhaps nearly as tall as yourself, sproating up all over, offshoots of the root network, really not unlike giant grassy asparagus. (Is the plural asparagi?) Bamboo shoots are good food, but I'm not eating these.
Speaking of words, Asparagus would be a good name for a boy. He would have an inferiority complex toward his brothers, Augustus and Julius, for their successful political and juice-vending careers. I suppose they could be members of the Grass, family, as I was about to mention that bamboo is a very large grass, not a tree or bush. The Grass family is a good name, certainly as good as Tree and better than Bush. Wouldn't you agree, Günter?

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