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From Maine to Nevada

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From Maine to Nevada

Postby opiliones » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:11 pm

Hello Folks, I'm a Mainer transplanted to the Mojave Desert. (I don't like being cold). I always assumed growing cacti was hard, until I tried. Now, I end up giving loads of pieces away every year, because the dang things grow so well. I'll have to see what the Nevada rules are for shipping cacti, so I can join in the plant swap. Now that I garden with cacti, my pain tolerance has definitely increased. I've also discovered the bane of Styrofoam peanuts. One time, though, I did find a five-dollar bill caught under one of my chollas. I'd like more debris like that!

The big cacti, and the ocotillo, were already there when I moved in about eight years ago. In fact, you folks helped me ID the fellow in the middle (a.k.a. Bob) as Echinopsis atacamensis. He grows about a foot a year, and I'm concerned that he's too spindly. I keep waiting for a good wind to blow him over. Plus, he developed a nasty crack at his base last winter. Oh well... if Bob bites the dust, that will just give me more room to try something else.

Cheers.
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Postby peterb » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:00 pm

Beautiful, and definitely NOT Maine! :-) welcome and happy growing.

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Postby Melt In The Sun » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:56 pm

Bob is awesome! How cold do you get in the winter there?
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Postby opiliones » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:59 am

Glad you like Bob! (The name is from Sideshow Bob on the Simpsons, because of his spiky hair.)

The Mojave is one of the toughest places in the country to grow things, because it gets BOTH hot summers, AND cold winters. Most plants can handle one extreme or the other, but not both. We get plenty of days over 100 degrees, and winter can get below freezing, even into the 20s.

Folks who own saguaro often wrap them in burlap against the cold. A few years back, a hard freeze killed about a third of the branches on each of the two big apple cacti near the house.

In case you're wondering we also get less than 4 inches of rain a year, and humidity levels are routinely in the single digits.

It's quite a place. I love it!
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Postby peterb » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:35 am

I love the Searchlight area, beautiful Echinomastus johnsonii 'lutescens' there as well as purple flowered forms, lots of amazing other cacti. The road from Searchlight over to the lake is a great drive, fantastic Echinocactus polycephalus along there and dense forests of Cylindropuntia.

Another challenge of growing in the Mojave and Sonoran is the biseasonal rain. Many cacti are adapted to dry winters. The winter rain can play hell with those cacti.

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Postby Arjen » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:09 am

welcome! although it seems you've been here for a while
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Postby daiv » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:17 pm

Hi! You are not that far out of Saguaro Habitat really. I think the lower rainfall prevents more species in your area than does the cold.

Great looking garden!
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Postby opiliones » Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:43 pm

Ohhh, the low rainfall definitely doesn't help! I was thinking more of garden plants, which get irrigated. Even then, it's tough to grow things here. My back yard is a no-cactus zone, and the list of things I have tried to grow out there, and failed, is far larger than the list of things that have succeeded.

There are some saguaros planted here and there. Many of them have frost damage. Some folks wrap theirs entirely in burlap for the winter.
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Postby Tony » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:00 pm

Hello and welcome!
When I saw that first image I immediately thought to myself, you were never going to see the front of your house again after a few more years when those two Cereus really get going.
But it sounds like the cold will keep them in check.
Beautiful yard! :)
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Postby opiliones » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:06 pm

Glad y'all like my yard! If yer ever in Vegas, let me know....
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Postby *Barracuda_52* » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:34 pm

:hello2: Hi opiliones and WELCOME to CG, hope you enjoy it here STUNNING yard you have... :wink:
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Postby Peterthecactusguy » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:41 pm

I think that Nevada is a little too far north for saguaros to be happy. The northern most saguaros in Central AZ stop growing about 7-8 miles from where I live. The cold is an issue in the mountains.

Nevada I am sure is different then Maine as well. Maine in the summer is humid. I have been there in August where it was 95F in the day time with humidity, then storms came through and at night it was around 30F. I realize it was a strong cold front but still.

Good growing.
(edit) BTW I dont know if Nevada is any different then AZ but I have sucessfully shipped many pads through the mail. The guys at the post office laughed when I told them I was mailing some Opuntia through the mail.
Here's to you, all you insidious creatures of green..er I mean cacti.
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