Sulcata and cactus

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tbone21

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I recently ordered Spineless prickly pear cactus pads for my sulcatas. I accidentally checked thicker pads for growing instead of thinner pads for feeding. I have decided to try to plant a couple. So first what soil to use? Are the extras ok to feed to the sulcatas even though mature? I have read some places say mature pads are high in calcium oxilate which is bad?
 

Yvonne G

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I generally pick the new growing pads because the spines haven't developed yet and because they are more tender and easier for me to cut up. If there are no new pads and I have to pick an older, thicker pad, then I have to peel it. First I scrub it with a Scotchbright scouring pad, then I peel it with a potato peeler. I hadn't heard that the older pads were high in oxalates. If that really is the case, then you don't want to feed it too often, but you CAN include it as part of a varied diet.

You can find almost anything on the 'net. Here's what I found when googling "opuntia high in oxalates":

http://exabytetechservices.com/xml/678-all-20120605-k/23254725B.article.fulltext.000001.pdf
 

Cowboy_Ken

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So…for planting and soil type you want to go with a very free draining soil. I would and have suggested a soil mix of 1/4 soil to 3/4 sand. The larger the sand the better to keep it from becoming compacted. As a rule, cactus can tolerate and survive snow and freezing temps, but they don't like their feet wet. Hope this helps.
 

Tom

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Plant them in dry dirt. Hopefully a sandy solil that drains well. Put the pad about halfway in the hole and backfill. Don't water for a month. After the month is up, water about once a week in the hot summer and not at all in the winter. This regime works for dry areas of the country. Where are you?
 
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