Mark Lockwood-Sykes wanted to make sure that the bamboo planting distance I wrote of in ''Green Fingers'' on Jan 27 was not a typographical error. ''You talked about planting bamboo six to eight metres apart. Is there a good reason for this?'' he asked. ''I live next to a khlong and although there is a two metre fence, the shambles of a house on the other side is an eyesore.
''There were several beautiful large and spreading trees, which obscured the view, but these have been removed to make way for more concrete in the name of 'improved flood control' (we have never had a flood), to make the khlong navigable, perhaps. Now that the trees are gone I have six metres of space next to the fence. Do I buy two balled plants and put them at opposite ends? Or could it be a typo?''
It was not a typo; I did write to plant six to eight metres apart. The bamboo sold at Chatuchak mid-week market are not balled and burlapped singly, but in clumps containing three to five canes. Bamboo grows and multiplies very fast, especially in the rainy season, and in a few years the distance between the clumps is covered by offshoots. However, if you want to have a living fence faster, the clumps may be planted closer together, even two or three metres apart. The canes can be thinned out and the older ones removed if they become far too dense for comfort.
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