Friday, October 21, 2011

The Whiskey Barrel Project Part Deux

Several months ago, the whiskey barrel project hit a snag.  A freeze killed all my transplants forcing me to go up to Phoenix for clippings from a friend's house.  Today I am happy to report that the Whiskey Barrel Project is complete with some wonderful specimens for the El Presidio Cacti garden.  Take a look at the pics below and the various arrangements.  I look forward to watching these cacti grow over the years.
These were all grown from pads.  They have done well and taken root.  They may become crowded, but for now I'll keep them there until I need to move them.
The one thing I enjoy about cacti is looking at them and their unique forms.  When you put them into combinations with other succulents, they make a powerhouse of a statement in the garden.  However, my rule is that cacti are used for security only on the property because we have children running around and I don't want them to get hurt. I love cacti so much that I was able to find a place where I could place them and meet that specific requirement.
There are 5 barrels on each side
So the question do you do this without sticking yourself?  No matter how hard you try, you will get stuck.  Have the barrels ready before placing your cacti into the pots.  Set out all your cuttings and plan what goes in what pot.  Like a scientist, put on your thick gloves and have tongs ready to pick the pieces up and place into a container or large dish.   With a gentle hand, place the segments/pads into the pots taking care not to press to hard or be stuck. 
Look closely at this end barrel.  The soil is wet due to a rainstorm we had the first week of October. There is rot on the bottom of the pad.  The cacti seem to be okay, for the moment.  If the pads rot, I'll take the top pieces and move them to a new area in the garden.
One of the issues I'm having is with the scuppers shooting water off the roof into the two end barrels(see pic above).  I need something to reflect the water out of the barrels so that the cactus won't rot.  Any ideas?
Remember that when you take cuttings, give your cacti pads/segments a week(somewhere out of the sun) to scab over where the cuts were made when taken from the mother plant. By doing so, you are ensuring a healthy new plant to grow and prosper in our hot warm weather.  It's that easy.  Hopefully you have some friends who can share or swap cacti from their own gardens.  If not, it can be fun to arrange a get together in your neighborhood and have a swap then.  The best time to begin growing new cacti is during the warm and hot now.  I still am suffering from the loss of my night blooming cereus cacti as I had some nice specimens.  The large mother plant is still alive and kicking and putting out new growth.   But unfortuneatly, I had to purchase some new ones at the nursery which can get very expensive.  My vining Cereus was amazing and I found a segment that wasn't killed by the freeze!!!  I was able to keep the clone and hopefully bring this wonderful plant back again.   There you have it.....a cacti garden set into motion:)  Until tomorrow.


  1. They all look so wonderful, I will be watching in anticipation!

  2. The barrels look great to me. Hopefully they grow well and fill in quickly. I didn't know you had to wait a week when taking cuttings so thanks for letting me know.

  3. I like how they all go together but are unique too.


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