Monday, April 1, 2013

Potted Cactus Gardens

Taking a class at your local Botanical Gardens, you would expect to come away with some great information.  Last summer I did just that, concerning Cactus.  I was so impressed with what I heard, I had to try it myself.  For years I have had a small perennial cactus garden in a corner of my yard that gets extreme heat and sun all summer long.  Armed with additional knowledge, I planted cacti in several coconut lined baskets, and placed them throughout the yard to enjoy.
Cactus can pretty much take care of themselves in this dry environment.  In fact, given their short summer season, they thrive.  The experimental part of this project was going to be in the over-wintering.  The instructor said you could bury the potted cactus and in the spring they would come out of the ground as if they were just planted.  I bring in more than the average amount of potted plants for the winter, so this concept peaked my interest.
Fascinated with this technique, I was determined test it.  In early December, when the plants were shutting down, we dug a trench in the vegetable garden for the pot's winter home.  First covering the entire row with a sheet, then piling on the dirt.  They remained buried for nearly 4 months.
Last week we removed the soil and uncovered the pots so we could amend the garden for summer.  The plants came out looking just as good as when they went into hibernation.
Looking at them, you would have thought I had kept them in the house all winter.  They were green and lush.
I'm still amazed.