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Re: Labor weekend

Don't know if it will do there, but there's also Cereus peruviana, which produces an apple that is a bit blander than dragonfruit but otherwise much the same. And then there is Myrtillocactus geometrizans, the whortleberry, which produces lots of little fruits that look and taste like blueberries. Both of these are columnar, not fiercely spiny, and very low maintenance. The whortleberry is also gray-blue and quite striking.

The commercial prickly pear, incidentally, is Opuntia ficus-indica, which is nearly spineless.

On Sep 6, 2006, at 3:41 PM, Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT wrote:

I like to look at cactus gardens, but I'm not that into growing them -
especially the thorny ones. That dragonfruit looks interesting but says
it will only tolerate short periods of frost. We freeze regularly from
November through March, so if I wanted it, it would have to move into
the greenhouse like my lemon tree does.
I have an opuntia cactus that I was hoping to get prickly pear fruit
from. But the tunas are not very big, I think I chose the wrong variety.
There's a guy down the street with a HUGE one, very few thorns, nice
fruit and I've been hoping I'd see them outside so I could ask for a


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On
Behalf Of james singer
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 11:30 AM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Labor weekend

I'm impressed!

Do you like cactus at all, Cyndi? Sounds like you've got an ideal
location to grow some of the more interesting ones. Don't know if
Hylocereus undatus would do for you, but would sure be an interesting
addition to your orchard.

On Sep 6, 2006, at 1:02 PM, Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT wrote:

I finally got through all the mail you guys generated. Sounds like
everyone had a pretty good weekend and there was even some rain where
it was needed.
We labored much over the Labor Day weekend but alas, not much of it
was in the garden. Mostly we are adjusting to the new horse. Thursday
we had corral fences delivered to extend the two stalls. After looking

at the original installation we decided it didn't take as much space
as we'd expected and we were able to give them more room, so we bought

the extra. So, take down the old, move the horse out of the way, take
down the cross-fence to allow in the delivery truck. All I can say is
thank heaven the delivery guys were willing to install the new fences,

because they were 24' long instead of 12' and correspondingly more
heavy, and while I'm not weak I'm no match for guys - husband and I
would have spent hours wrestling those things into place and instead
it took maybe
45 minutes.
Since we just gained so much time we then put up the fences for the
round pen. That was only a couple hours too. Of course it's getting
hot by then so we collapsed in the hammock under the tree. But husband

could not rest...he decided to start the concrete work under our
vehicle gate.
Between the back and the front there are several big gates, and this
one had a long section of cattle panel - very heavy welded wire - over

the ground to keep the dogs from digging out. We decided that we
didn't want the horse walking on that and if we dug a trench and
filled it with concrete right under the gate, it would work as a
barrier. So off he goes with his shovel. It's dead of summer of
course, this is the desert, so the ground was like rock. The shovel
was discarded in favor of a pickaxe. After watching him turn beet red
within seconds I figured I'd better help so there's the two of us,
pickaxing away at a 12' long trench. Then we had to go get the
concrete, 25 bags at 60 pounds apiece which we loaded into the truck.
Then we mixed the concrete and filled the trench, and since he was
mixing, I got to move all those bags again.
And when we were done with THAT, I went for my 3 mile walk with my
friend, who was getting snarky about me giving her all these excuses
for not walking because I was busy with the horse.
So that was Thursday. If you think that was a lot of work, why yes it
was, thank you for noticing. :-) I'd also like to know why all that
calorie expenditure didn't show up on the scale. Life is not fair. But

The good part is that what we did on Thursday was my husband's entire
to-do list for the weekend. He got a lot more little jobs done over
the next few days so that was helpful. We worked the horse a number of

times, quite educational for all of us. I picked bell peppers and
stuffed them for the freezer, and I made pesto and froze it. I had to
tackle a heck of a lot of grass in the herb bed to get to the basil,
but the worst of it is out of there. The basil has gone to seed pretty

much but I cut it back and with luck I'll get another few cups of
pesto before it freezes in October. There are few zillion peppers, I
have plans and just need the time to deal with them. Zucchini and
cukes still producing but a massive attack of aphids has arrived - I
sprayed with light oil, so we'll see if I did any good. Maybe I'll go
in there with the hose and spray real hard in a couple days. I'm
getting enough eggplant to make me happy, there are no tomatoes to
speak of, and the melons are pretty much worthless. I'm not growing
honeydew ever again - despite reading many descriptions I am having
terrible luck guessing when they're ripe, either I get dry and
tasteless or fermented melon bombs. I like cantaloupes better anyway.
I'm surprised I am not getting much okra, I thought that was like
zucchini in terms of mass production, but there are only a couple pods

a day out of maybe six plants. Not enough water maybe.
I had planned on digging and moving a lot of bearded iris but never
got to it, that needs to be done. The dry garden still has russian
sage, salvia greggii, germander sage and the desert willow blooming. I

haven't seen the zauschneria blooming yet and I'm kinda curious why
not. There are a few roses and the sedum is making big blossom heads
but they are not open yet. Liriope looks very nice this time of year
with its purple spikes, I should start dividing some of the bigger
At our fair I talked to a guy from one of the local conservation
districts, he has native California juniper available. I have been
looking for that for my back fence so next month - if I remember -
I'll drive that way and see if I can get one or two. He said they grow

slowly but I'm hoping with a little extra water I can speed it up. He
also said that they are pretty hard to germinate which may explain why

I never see any seedlings around the one in my yard. I am sure having
a time getting stuff to establish back there. But I have two mesquite
planted this spring that look pretty good, another two saltbush, and
even the manzanita is not looking too bad. The elderberry all croaked,

oh well, and one each of mesquite and saltbush didn't make it.
Well...another ten or fifteen years I guess before it looks
good...then no doubt we'll decide to move.


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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the message

To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the

Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the

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