SOURCE: Innovator Steven Blackburn

Innovator Steven Blackburn

September 02, 2014 17:00 ET

Bamboo Farming: Steven Blackburn Offers Valuable Tips

WEST PALM BEACH, FL--(Marketwired - Sep 2, 2014) - Bamboo is not only one of the fastest growing plants on the planet -- some species can grow four feet within only 24 hours, its popularity in backyards and on farms across the United States is growing just as quickly. Reasons for growing bamboo are aplenty: Farmers use it around their fields to reduce erosion and protect fields from wind. And for hobby gardeners this evergreen perennial is an attractive alternative to hedges in order to provide a screen that does not only block curious eyes, but also catches dust and other small particles. On top of that, bamboo is a perfect solution for going green: One grove of bamboo releases 35% more oxygen than a comparable stand of trees and is thus a crucial element to keep the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

While bamboo has played a significant economic and cultural role in Asia for centuries, American growers are still learning and perfecting their growth methods for this versatile plant. Steven Blackburn, Business Development Manager in North America at Vegalab, a manufacturer of environmentally responsible and sustainable agricultural products, started his own 19-acre bamboo farm in Labelle, Florida, to learn about farming and find out whether it was possible to successfully grow this oriental plant in a Western country like the United States. It turns out it is possible. Keeping just a few rules and tricks in mind, bamboo can even thrive in a tiny backyard. Selecting the right bamboo species for the respective climate is crucial, Blackburn explains. A great bamboo for colder climates is the Yellow Groove, he advises, which will grow in Zone 5 climates and warmer. Using mulch will help to hold the water, preventing it from evaporating in warmer regions and protecting the roots in colder areas. Last but not least, using the right fertilizer will trigger bamboo to grow at a speed that no tree or hedge can compete with.

Naturally Steven Blackburn was curious to try out Vegalab's fertilizing products on his farm and was thrilled about the difference in growth he could witness as a result. According to Blackburn's experience, it is best to fertilize bamboo twice a year, ideally in early spring, to encourage new growth, and a second time during the growing season, to replace nutrients that may be getting depleted. Crucial compounds that a fertilizer used on bamboo should contain are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Other factors that play a role are the absorption rate and the PH balance in the soil. Vegalab offers a wide variety of all-natural fertilizers for different climates and species along with expert advice from Blackburn and his team to make sure customers select the appropriate product for their respective purpose and environment.

Steven Blackburn is a successful entrepreneur and expert in the fields of organic fertilizers, pesticides and agriculture. In his role as Development Manager for Vegalab, he puts special focus on supporting sustainable farming and developing environmentally friendly products and does not shy away from getting his hands in the dirt to try products out himself. Blackburn's motivation is not higher sales numbers, but creating all-natural products that foster a healthier world and contribute to a sustainable future. With Vegalab he found a company that follows the same goals and principles, resulting in an extremely fruitful cooperation from which farmers and gardeners across the U.S. and all around the world can now benefit.

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