Answer: Bamboos make terrific screens and there are many types to choose from. Clumping types are easiest to contain in a specific area; running bamboos really do need permanent barriers to keep them from overtaking the neighborhood. Soaker hoses will do and adequate job of watering.
'Golden Goddess' is a clumping type bamboo, reaching 6'-10' in height, with 1/2" diameter stems. It has a graceful, arching, dense growth habit. 'Alphonse Karr' can reach 15'-35', with yellow striped green canes. Bamboo is a relatively fast-growing plant, especially when given lots of water and fed regularly with a high nitrogen lawn fertilizer. So if it's height you want, I'd go with 'Alphonse Karr'. How closely you space the plants will determine how quickly your screening hedge will fill in. If you plant 1-gallon containers 4'-5' apart, your bamboo will grow together in a dense mass in 2-3 years. Clumping bamboos can be planted without concern about the roots taking off and invading gardens. Running bamboos should have barriers placed to keep the roots from growing out of control.
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