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Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Pencil Cactus

So I was sitting here thinking about all of the cool things I could do for the New Year that didn’t require money or leaving the house. So I sent out an SOS in a lot of my cooler groups and requested plant pictures. Here is the beginning to my new adventure

This is a pencil cactus. She contributed this because she informed me her love for the Pencil Cactus but let me know that the sap is considered a neurotoxin. This plant can be dangerous if ingested so we have to be careful.

Contributed by Crystal Yeakley

This intrigued me and so I dug a little deeper. This plant produces a poisonous latex that can cause blindness. That does not sound fun but the pictures are absolutely beautiful. The sap is milky, toxic and corrosive.

The blindness is said to be temporary and if exposed to the skin it can cause redness and irritation and burn the skin.

It is native to India and Africa and can be grown in sub tropical areas and greenhouses. I found some Online Tips to help you if you are interested in this lovely and very hard core plant. Definitely deer resistant and just cool to have around.

I think it’s pretty metal that people keep these as house plants. This is a gold star first submission on my mission to keep my kids awake until midnight with cool information and facts that I collected from all over the world.

Where I went wrong and right with my property

My pasture

Well, first let me say I had a general idea of what I wanted in the beginning. It was a rough guess but more like a daydream. I wanted to build this awesome thing but didn’t have a bit of information on how to do it. I decided I would just figure it out as I went.

I did zero research on my property I just knew it had this big huge tree and it had a wide open pasture so I wouldn’t have to clear anything. I do love that big tree, it was a major selling point.

For not buy property for a big tree.

So we put in our house and we starting messing with the dirt. I didn’t even check out the soil until I broke a shovel. That was when I realized that pasture land might have some cons. It does not hold water to save a life. The only things that survive are resilient and durable plants that are native- which did not follow my plan one hundred percent.

So, now I have this property that has been used to run cattle for over twenty years and I need to figure stuff out. Nitrogen levels are low. There is no water source. I did not look into these things before hand because I guessed natural rain would just magically make my plants live.

Still I was happy because look at that sunset 💚

I was still super excited and continued to fight the clay dirt. It was so tightly packed that we had to wet the ground before we tilled it. If we were using a shovel we had to use lots of water.

The garden was tilled and I added NOTHING. I just figured it’s broken up, the dirt will just fix itself. Again, I was hoping for some magic. I planted and watered and waited. We watered faithfully and very few plants sprouted. We planted over five hundred seeds, most didn’t germinate in my soil and the ones that did could not survive a few weeks.

The tree that sold me 💚

When nothing came up I was really upset, but i moved to perennials and raised beds. Now, I am planning for 2021. I will not be choosing another property, I’ll fix it, but now I know that plants don’t grow on hope. I really wish I had done more research.

The memorial marker under our tree that we found when we cleaned up the branches.