APRIL- Project of the Month, Yard Clean-Up Prickly Part 3

Today I planted  some starts for Prickly Pear Cactus. If you like any Mexican dishes made with Nopales, this is the cactus that it comes from. Oops… did you not know that you were eating cactus? Well, now you do.

I’ve always wanted to grow one of my own, and The Brother-In-Law had paddles falling off his big ol’ cactus in his back yard that were already starting to set down roots. The last time we came up to visit family he went out and shoved at least ten starts into a paper bag for me to tackle eventually… three weeks later I am finally setting them in the ground. I think I transplanted some of the ants from his back yard, too.

Side yard where the cactus will go...
Side yard where the cactus will go…
Bag o' Cactus Starts
Bag o’ Cactus Starts

All I did to prepare the ground was to dig out a few invasive ice plants and loosen the dirt where the paddles would sit. They break off the main plant, fall to the ground and take root all on their own, so this is a pretty easy project, really. My Fine Cactus Benefactor said to just keep the ground watered until they take root, and I will water them every few days for about a week.

Prickly Pear Starts
Prickly Pear Starts
...another patch of starts...
…another patch of starts…
...and the third patch of starts.
…and the third patch of starts.

Half an hour later I had three patches of cactus! I wonder how long it will take before I’m slicing off my own new paddles, cursing the spines I missed, and preparing my own Nopales Con Chile Colorado? Nopales, when simply cooked, taste like a mild green vegetable- I’ve always thought of it as a cross between asparagus and a green bean. They are quite mucilaginous, like okra, and I was taught to parboil them once or twice to get rid of this sliminess. Works like a charm. They can also be frozen after this parboiling. Remember the Mom-In-Law and her recipe for Enchiladas from an earlier post? Well, she also taught me how to make Nopales with Chile Colorado, and I’ll share that recipe… eventually. Maybe when I pick my own!

APRIL Project- Stop being *Those* Neighbors…

you know who they are. Their lawn could use a trim. They have some bushes that are half dead. And are they ever going to do something about that spot with weeds? Yeah… that’s us.

Smart people who can maintain their yard...
Smart people who can maintain their yard…

I have four spots in the front and back yard that need work that I keep saying I will do something about-

  1. Put another citrus tree in a pot in my backyard- do the work myself this time instead of making The Husband do it all
  2. Find a water-wise plant and rocks for the front of our walk
  3. Also, more water-wise plants for my window boxes instead of committing plant abuse and killing off a bunch of flowers again 
  4. Plant the cactus The B-I-L has so generously offered to share from his plant many times- fresh nopales in my future!
Potted tree- fine.
Potted tree- fine.

I don’t know why our citrus trees are dying slow deaths. Yes I do. I don’t fertilize them, the snails are eating up the new leaves. and then there is the entire North American population of Whiteflies living on one little Meyer Lemon tree/bush in my backyard, struggling to overcome these pests.

It isn't arborcide if your tree has blossoms, I tell you!
Unpotted tree… It isn’t arborcide if your tree has blossoms, I tell you!

Hopefully, by the end of the month I’ll have gotten out there and made our incredibly nice neighbors proud, and turn over the job of being THOSE neighbors to someone else.