Thursday, August 25, 2011

Use The Dumpster For Support

If you have to lop off a droopy Mexican fence post cactus arm that has started an inexorable slow-motion downward trajectory (that takes weeks or months to droop), it is best to use your rolling 96 gallon city dumpster for support, underneath the arm, before you lop it off with a sharp Colombian Inconel machete.
Have the foresight to place newspapers under the cactus arm, and you'll find it easier to pick up the amputated arm, and transplant it (note the black 5 gallon bucket in the lower right hand corner of the photo).  In the case of this arm, it was about 4 inches (100 mm or so) lower than the top of the dumpster's lid, but I used the newspaper to lift up the arm, and gently roll the dumpster just beneath it.   

After this recent amputation, I DID NOT take the extra step of drying out the arms before planting, as the DBG had previously advised.  I did that in years past, and it proved futile in avoiding bacterial infections that turn the cactus arms black at the tip and then slowly destroy the transplant.  I had to bury 4 of my children the week before, that were nearly 2 years old, when I found all 4 of their tips rotted with the black ooze.  We'll see if this 4 foot long arm thrives and sprouts new children, or if it rots from within as the other children have.

Thanks again to Dr.Claudia for the awesome machete she gave to me dozens of years ago.  It remains one of the most handy and frequently used tools in my garage.  I do hope I don't have to use it in a Zombie Apocalypse any time soon. 

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