The prickly pear cactus have hatched..ha ha. The pads I planted about two to three weeks ago are adding new pads, and even some flower buds. I am so excited. My first endeavor to transplanting cuttings and it worked.Yippeeeee….See below
As the spring comes to an end….. I think of springs gardening chores calling me..Yes you can have a desert in the arid southwest. Where we get less than 9 inches of rain. Where the hot sun blisters you at 124 degrees during May June July and August. Where it seems it is summer for 8 months of the year….But still when you hear the bird calls, see even the faint wisp of color pop up from under a the shade of a rock. Yes..that is when it is all worth it. So I begin my spring clean up and chores to bring on more of the color, more of the fragrance, and allow myself to soak up the deserts sculptural beauty…
To Do : March, April, May:
clean up the stone circles that need clean up
mulch my trees, and gardening beds, add grit and top stones to the containers and beds
start my container fruit trees-the best in the desert I have found so far are Fig, olive, pomegranate, permission. I am trying as well this year a peach and a nectarine-in pots. They are not doing so well at this point from the winds shredding their leaves-all of them poor things. I may have resign myself that fruit in Terlingua is wishful thinking.
move some rocks and make rock garden, then plant wild flower seeds among the rocks before rains.
propagate my cactus, plant some cactus seeds to see if I can grow them from seed. Remember to wear leather gloves and bring Kraft paper to wrap the cacti in…unless you want the cacti prickles.
take some tree cuttings to see if I can grow more trees in the desert-I am attempting the hardy mesquite tree..right now it is in a small container with 1/2 top soil, 1/2 perlite, and grit from the desert.
plant yucca from our garden, and pachypodium seeds-they are planted yucca in jiffy pots I do not recommend these as they dry out too quickly, and the pachypodium seeds in top soil and perlite with a plastic baggies.
water-once a week if dry.
start to harden off plants I kept in the greenhouse, these are now outside.
Start to rehab my side gardens.
Planted cactus cuttings on the side of the studio-they already have flower buds and new pads-yipee.
Ocotillo cuttings…we shall see how these do. They look a bit dreadful at this point.
Guyacon root cuttings, look about the same as the ocotillo-dreadful.
Divide up some of my Aloe plants and transplant the Kalonoche plants. Start some on the side of the house. They seem to be liking their new area, but I am scared it will be too hot in the summer. We shall see.
Lastly I want to buy and start some succulent cuttings, plant some Adenium seeds, finish planting my cacti seeds, and plant some San Pedro cacti as I love the flowers…Flowers in the desert..Yummy!
Happy Spring..In the desert May starts to heat up like an oven on fire..May your May be a bit gentler.
Okay, I found this picture on the internet and it depicts exactly the pain those darn spines on a cactus feel like. Pain….So here is what you do about it, and I should know as the last few weekends I have been propagating cacti. For those pesky little glocoides from the prickly pear, or Optuia species I use my favorite duck tape. Yup-slap it on and rip it off. Ouch you say but it goes quick just like a waxing job. I wonder if they use duck tape when waxing-Ha.
Now for those big spines that get under your skin. Well, I hate to tell you but you have to wait it out with them. Hot water seems to help a bit, but really only time gets those suckers out. Eventually they work themselves out.
So your best bet is don’t get em to begin with, but really that is almost impossible working with cactus. I wear leather workers gloves, wrap the cactus in paper bags to transplant, and other than that grin and bear it.