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Now that I have beaten my Bermuda grass somewhat into submission, and have otherwise been treated kindly by so many of you fine people here, I'm kinda in a good mood.

So, thanks for that, Kossacks.

Prickly pear can make a great fence, a really good barrier. But you should make spaces between the Opuntia and your fences, or pathways.

Opuntia in the morning #2

Also: once you get it going, prune it up so you can get under it and cut out the Bermuda grass.

Also, better to go with the spineless prickly pear that isn't. The glochids (the tiny spines) are a bitch to deal with, but at least you can get in closer. Plan for this in advance, Kossacks. Do you have coverall clothing that is kind of wearing out? Great for glochid encounters.

Lots of spineless prickly pear (Opuntia)

Spineless prickly pear flower with bee

Now: if you happen to get yourself heavily involved with Opuntia, to the point where it's taking over your place in a problematic manner (spineless or fake spineless, or whatever)

Here are some tips.

Tools you need:

A good handsaw, a good pair of loppers, and a manure fork or a pitchfork. I'd add good gloves, but those spines just get into everything. Maybe I should add "disposable clothing." I worked the grass out of a lot of my spineless prickly pear that isn't yesterday. Usually I don't get so intimate with it, but I wanted to get a lot done fast.

The glochid shirt could now be worked religiously, for its hairs. Ouch!

It already had holes in it, so that's cool.

Another tool I invented, and haven't used yet.. that will be useful for the fine tuning...coat hangers, two of them, worked into a double twist at the end. I can use those to pull the Bermuda grass strands out of the Opuntia so I can cut them off without getting spined.

I'm planning on sending a lot of the Opuntia off to the city composting program, but I'm not quite sure how they want it packaged. Putting it in bags would just rip it apart.

I'm thinking: scavenged boxes. Tied up with a bit of jute twine. All perfectly compostable.

Whaddaya think?

Originally posted to The Miep Channel on Tue Jan 04, 2011 at 11:39 PM PST.

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