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Southwestern Flair: The Cactus Garden

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

Cacti are some of nature's most beautiful and exotic plants. Most cacti are native to the desert and arid regions, but most species can grow anywhere with a little accommodation.

As with many other garden projects, the most difficult part of your job is planning and digging the area. Your cactus garden will grow its best positioned on a hill or down slope which allows it to drain properly. Once you've chosen a location, dig a flat plane for planting. Make sure that you get enough of the dirt to get rid of weeds that will hamper growth. The shape of your garden can take on any arrangement, so be creative.

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Materials for Your Cactus Garden:

  • Tile Stones. Outdoor tile stones will be used to build a protective wall around your cactus garden. These are expensive, but necessary ingredients.
  • Plastic Sheet. You will need to apply a plastic sheet the length and width of your garden on the ground in order to prevent harmful weeds.
  • Cactus Soil. You can purchase cactus soil at your local gardening center or make your own by thoroughly mixing two parts potting soil, two parts sand and one part gravel.

Once you have gathered the necessary materials, it is time to build your garden. Spread the plastic over the prepared ground to keep weeds from growing. Then begin staking your tiles, or rocks, to make your protective wall around the garden. Once the wall has been constructed, add your cactus soil to the plot evenly and generously. You are now ready to begin planting your cacti.

Planting Your Cactus Garden:

  • Choose Your Species. Choose plants that will do well in your particular area. You should be able to get this information wherever you buy your cacti.
  • Planting. Plant the cactus, pot and all into the ground. When winter time rolls around, the plants can easily be transported inside for safe keeping.
  • Maintenance. Your cactus garden will not need any additional water other than normal rains. Feed your cacti with 10-10-10 fertilizer once in the spring for best results.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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