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Experimenting (and starting small)

Discuss hardy cacti grown outside all year.

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Postby RayC » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:42 pm

Few updated pics, from earlier this fall (after it got cold)

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Image
Image

The eastern prickly pear went flat and most others has wrinkled up and some changed colors
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Postby RayC » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:48 pm

And as of early today:


Image
Image
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and things are changing this afternoon
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Postby Andy_CT » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:19 pm

Nice pics! Was the same here the last few days

Today's snow has all the cactus buried now :D
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Postby CoronaCactus » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:52 pm

Cool pics Ray!
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Postby ihc6480 » Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:28 am

Nice looking pics Ray :)
I wouldn't try to eat those Opuntia Popsicles :lol:
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Postby Tom2643 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:37 am

Andy_CT wrote:Nice one Ray. I'll be interested to see how the white sands trigloch does, almost tried that one myself.


I've tried white sands outdoors here in the Twin Cities with no luck but it is quite a bit colder here than it is out there. I've had great luck with just the straight up species though, i've got 5 or 6 that are doing great (though none has reached blooming size yet!)
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Postby RayC » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:53 pm

Speaking of the white sands, I think that is the one I lost during the wet humid summer we had.
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Postby Andy_CT » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:37 pm

RayC wrote:Speaking of the white sands, I think that is the one I lost during the wet humid summer we had.


Yeah, this past summer was a royal pain. Heck the whole year was awful with 70 inches of rain on the year, I'm surprised that I didn't lose more than I did.
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Postby RayC » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:32 pm

Image

well one corner of the garden has something besides white showing today (the extended forecast seems to indicate it won't stay that way).

While I'm posting I have a couple questions.

For those that might propagate new starts from their own established Opuntia pads when do you cut them, late summer after new growth hardened off, or early spring before new growth starts, or does it matter?

Fertilizer: I gave mine a little drink of low nitrogen water soluble fertilizer last year in my very low organics soil and may continue this year, but does anyone give them something with a little more nitrogen at some early point to stimulate green growth?

Andy_CT or others in Northeast, about when would our outdoor cacti wake up in a normal spring?
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Postby Andy_CT » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:29 pm

RayC wrote:While I'm posting I have a couple questions.

For those that might propagate new starts from their own established Opuntia pads when do you cut them, late summer after new growth hardened off, or early spring before new growth starts, or does it matter?

Fertilizer: I gave mine a little drink of low nitrogen water soluble fertilizer last year in my very low organics soil and may continue this year, but does anyone give them something with a little more nitrogen at some early point to stimulate green growth?

Andy_CT or others in Northeast, about when would our outdoor cacti wake up in a normal spring?


You can take cuttings anytime but I wouldn't recommend doing in CT in the winter. When the snows gone for good take a pad or two off when there is no rain in the forecast for at least 3-4 days afterward.

For fertilizer I'm using compost this year. I'm going to spread it over the surface and let the rain work it in.

As for wake up time in CT it depends on the plant. Pediocactus will flower in late April. Opuntias will be late April or early May. Humifusa and Macrorhiza are among the last to plump up. Peak growing time is May 15 through the end of June. Echinocereus and Escobarias were waking in late April last year.
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Postby ihc6480 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:31 am

I'll go along with alot of whats been said thus far :wink:
I personnally take cuttings in the spring once my cacti come out of dormancy and before new growth starts. This way they have a chance to get established before the growing season ends.

I work in a little bonemeal around my opuntias each year and they seems to like it :wink: and a few get a little miracle grow when my wife gets carried away watering nearby flowerbeds :lol:
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Postby John P Weiser » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:52 pm

Great advice from Andy and Bill. Two of the most experienced hardy growers on the forum. :D

I have found that it really doesn't matter too much when I take cuttings- spring, summer,or fall. Opuntias will root any time. But then my climate is dryer, with an abundance of solar radiation and marginal moisture.

I feed my cactus with a granular slow release fertilizer in the spring. I do not know if extra nitrogen early in the season is necessarily a good thing. You can certainly give it a try. But if you do, give it in plenty of time to allow the pads to mature before the end of the season.

Bill's method of spreading bone meal around his plants will encourage strong root growth. Always a good thing. 8)
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Postby Andy_CT » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:49 pm

RayC wrote:well one corner of the garden has something besides white showing today (the extended forecast seems to indicate it won't stay that way).


I just started seeing a few of the outdoor cactus as the snow mostly melted away but now their buried again.

All the ones I did see looked perfect, no winter losses yet :D
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Postby RayC » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:08 pm

Mine had just started showing more of the rocks around the perimeter and a little soil around the edges with one tag sticking out (no cacti visible). Now it buried again. Oh well, wait a while longer I guess.
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Postby daiv » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:48 pm

Same goes here - all the outdoor cacti are buried deep!
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