"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Build muscle...........with cactus!!

if not muscle.........I promise your arms will be very sore if you use the
method I am using!
The house sits on 13 acres of wild , untouched prairie land.
Among the wild flowers, grasses, and crooked mesquite trees I love so well.........
is cactus.  Cactus is pretty.......in it's own way,
it blooms and attracts bees

and adds color and beauty to the prairie.

However, if left un-controlled, it is very invasive and takes
over and destroys natural prairie land. It harbors large numbers of rats and mice,
which attracts large rattlesnakes. 

And the cactus plant can grow 6 ft high and several feet around. 
We at first did not have a cactus problem , but when the wind blows, the cactus
seed scatters and takes roots. So for the past few months, I have been whacking down 
and picking up with a large fork this never ending cactus. 

Where does the muscle building come into??  After whacking the large paddles off,
they are full of water and very heavy. I use a heavy pickaxe to knock the cactus down,
which wears out my arms, 

then I load it all with the big pitch fork into a wheel barrel.....
"instant sore arms and one day muscles. "

The wheel barrel is very heavy to push and I carry all of this cactus
to the very edge of our property .......where the dirt from the cotton 
fields blow.  Cactus will not burn, and where ever it is left, it will resprout and 
take over that area. So I decided that since I have no other way to dispose of it.....
I would make a natural fence on our back property line.  It will be beautiful in bloom, will feed the bees, and hopefully will be easier to control .......no more cactus problems for me!

I am not destroying all of the cactus here on the grounds.........as I say, 
it does have it's place and it is pretty..........this is that large plant
I showed in the fourth and fifth  photo............after I whacked and pruned it .......a bit

It had a heart shaped paddle, which made me smile........
I hope this will stay and it will bloom.

The days here have been so pretty and fair........my daffodils have
awakened and are sprouting . I cant wait to see them bloom!
So tell me all..........what invasive plant do you have to deal 
with in your back yard? I would love to hear!


Nancy J said...

Nothing like your cactus, with huge leaves and so heavy. No wonder they thrive. We have one plant name unknown??? Maybe called " Wandering Jew" which spreads thought the grass under the trees, but it isn't in any of the flower parts yet.

Sherri Farley said...

They are beautiful when they bloom. I didn't realize they could be such a problem or such work to deal with them. I think you came up with a great idea of making a fence!

lil red hen said...

We have this same cactus, mostly along fence rows, but nothing in numbers like you have. Most farmers spray in the spring for weeds and I think the cactus has declined somewhat. I have considered bringing a plant into a flower bed but my better judgment told me not to. Thistles, with pretty purple blooms, are a real problem here too. Their feathery seed pods fly everywhere in the fall.

Debra said...

I love your photo of the wheel barrow full of cactus! For me, that's an unusual sight! We have gill-over-the-ground, which is in the mint family I think, but it's a low growing, tangling weed that just takes over. It will flop over on top of mulch. Very hard to control. It has tiny purple flowers that the bumblebees love-so of course, there's a place in the world for it.

Sally said...

I don't know how you do all the things, but you do it! :)

The most invasive thing here in FL is "dollar weed"; it can
take over in a heartbeat and there's not much we can do about
it except dig up the entire yard.

Cactus is really pretty; your photos say it all. :)

Connie said...

I love your idea of making a cactus fence! I wasn't aware that they cause so many problems, though.

Laurie said...

I can't believe you have such strength to remove that!! But I love that you're "recycling"? We have a beautiful plant in Michigan that grows along the ditches, a pretty color of blue. However it chokes out the native plants, as this one is not native to Michigan at all.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

When we were living in VA, I would try to keep the flower beds free of some invasive plants, but nothing as large and imposing as the ones you are dealing with, Kathleen.

Karen said...

We would never find cactus growing outside here, I have seen ones like yours for sale in stores, isn't that funny! The flowers they have are beautiful!

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