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By: Nelson Summerlin
A garden is a place where a lot of people go for a little bit of rest and relaxation. In this picture our son Toby (how little he was in 2004!) is standing next to a 10-year-old stand of Bambusa multiplex silverstripe (Green Hedge Clumping Bamboo). Homegrown poles are not as smooth as either the imported or domestically grown designer-quality canes nor are they as straight or even colored. The imported poles are very traditional looking with smooth tan surfaces occasionally patterned with a natural patina. The imported poles tend to be very regular and straight although they occasionally bow outward and might have slight hairline surface cracks.

To achieve their smooth shine, freshly cut poles are dried in a low-oxygen high heat kiln. These poles are generally straight and crack-free although, like all bamboos, occasional fissures and bends sometimes occur. Different types of poles as well as different lengths and diameter poles can be mixed together. Some people want all their poles to look similar while other people prefer a more irregular look with varying thicknesses of canes, different color finishes (like mixing black canes with the tan ones) and different length poles. If you've grown a big variety of bamboo plants, then you could be ready to sell to them.

Later Swedish steel and Aluminum poles became more fashionable but serious vaulters continued to search for poles with more flexibility. In the late 1950s, the sport saw the first flexible vaulting poles manufactured with fiberglass and/or carbon fiber. This is one of the major advantages of the fiberglass poles over their bamboo and metal predecessor's.

You should water the bamboo twice a week during mild weather and daily during hot and windy weather. Once your bamboo plant has reached the mature size, it will survive with much less water, but until then, a lot of water and fertilizer is necessary to achieve the best possible growth. It is actually the lack of water, especially in the summer that is the leading cause of death or poor growth of new bamboo plants. Thomas Edison's first successful incandescent lamp (light bulb) used a filament made of carbonized bamboo.

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