Planting a Cactus Garden
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Planting a Cactus Garden

Do you enjoy the look of the dessert and wish that you could have the same look of cactus plants growing in your backyard?  Well you can and with very little work.  Midsummer is the best time to plant a cacti garden.  A sunny location and well-drained soil are the two key requirements. 

Some good plant choices for your garden are; prickly pear cactus, various sedums, and hens and chicks.  You could add some color to the cacti using some perennials.  Most cacti prefer as much sun as possible but can adapt to a somewhat lower light site.  When placing different plants together, take into account their various watering needs and water them accordingly.  These plants grow better in sandy soil, so you want to make sure that you have the right mixture of soil before you plant. 

Once your bed is ready, loosen the top layer of soil with a rake.  You can limestone slabs to create a border if you want.  Remove the soil where the slabs will be placed and then fill it back to ground level with crushed rock.  Place soil around and between the rocks.  Use a soil mixture that is a combination of sand and peat moss to provide better drainage. 

When you put the rocks in place, you are ready to add the plants.  Lay them out first to give yourself an idea of what you want and where you want each plant to fit.  The prickly pear cactus has a shallow root system; so do not plant it very deep.  The lower growing cactus plants look good along rocks or edges.  If you decide to add some perennials, use them as fillers between the plants and add a little color. 

Maintaining this garden is very simple.  Give the new plants a good soaking and then let the soil dry out before watering them again.  These plants rarely need fertilizing.  Watch for the plants that creep into the places that you do not want them.  You can prune them back after they bloom.  Be sure to properly winterize them for the winter and you will be able to enjoy them again in the spring.

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