Prickly Pear Cactus

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Shagbarkmtcatle, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Shagbarkmtcatle

    Shagbarkmtcatle Hillybilly cattle slaves

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    We are considering purchasing a farm that hasn't been taken care of in a long time. One of the fields has prickly pear cactus in it and this is in West Virginia, not Texas. Obviously the soil is in poor condition and shaley in the area that the cactus is in. Has anyone delt with this successfully? What method or methods did you use?
     
  2. Okie-Dokie

    Okie-Dokie Well-Known Member

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    If you just chop it off at ground level it will come back up from the root. We use round up on them and that will kill it dead. We don't spray it, we use a little mop we got at Walmart and just kind of wipe the round up on it so we don't kill any pasture grass. I don't really know what to do if it is so thick you have to use a boom sprayer. I am pretty sure the ASCS guy could tell you the best management practice.
     

  3. Muskrat

    Muskrat Well-Known Member

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    Depending upon the species, you can harvest it. The paddles are used in Mexican recipes and are frequently sold in farmers' markets where there is a large Mexican population. The United States imports a lot of the paddles. The fruit can be made into jellies and other desserts. With the spines burned off, the cactus can be used as cattle feed when supplemented.
     
  4. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm with Muskrat. There is quite a large market for nopales and tunas anywhere there is considerable Hispanic population. You could do worse than utilize what Mom Nature has handed you.
     
  5. Sand Flat Bob

    Sand Flat Bob north central Texas

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    If you blade it off of the roots in late fall, the freezing weather will kill the leafs that are bladed off and they will not root down. This will greatly reduce the amount of prickley pear. Round up is not the best chemical to kill pear as it kills the grass. You need to spray the sprouts coming up from the roots with a 2-4 D product. Try googling prickley pear and control from Texas A&M university. They have a lot of experience on controlling prickley pear.

    Good luck,

    Bob
     
  6. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We use A hand hoe and wack it out around here.
     
  7. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    jeez, I would love to have more prickley pear than just they tiny pot one I have (only 4 paddles).

    I watched some boar hunting with dogs the other day on tv, and they were dodging prickley pear that was as big as people! wow!
    I wish!
     
  8. kars1995

    kars1995 Well-Known Member

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    Make yummy margaritas! :)
     
  9. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    Dig up the plants, replant along a fence row. It'll keep a lot of dogs off your property if you have barbed wire or the like.

    Otherwise use a hoe & burn the paddles. Each paddle can send down it's own roots if left on the ground.

    There is a hybrid prickley pear cactus with no spines that is used for cattle feed.

    The red seed pods are used for jelly. :)
     
  10. Tricky Grama

    Tricky Grama Well-Known Member

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    If you don't want to use it & really want it gone, please don't use Roundup. It truly does get into the ground water.

    If you have a tractor w/blade, scrape it up into a pile & burn it. Spread dry molasses (feed grade) over the land at about 50 lbs/ac. Or buy it in gallons & dilute it so that you're spraying about a gallon/ac. This will nourish the soil so that the microbes come back. With good soil, the cactus shouldn't return.

    Patty
     
  11. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

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    I am anti-chemicals...and we like those prickly pear. We dig them up in our field and transplant to one area. They don't come back where we dug them up. They have nice flowers on them, too.
     
  12. Shagbarkmtcatle

    Shagbarkmtcatle Hillybilly cattle slaves

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    Thanks for the answers. This cactus is on former hay/pasture land. We want it gone so the cattle don't get into it nor the sheep. It's only on part of the land but there is alot of it. I've been reading up on the Texa A&M site but just wanted to know what others have done too.
     
  13. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Go to barter board and offer it for sale. As soon as you start making money, it will all disappear... :)
     
  14. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    It is good groceries for diabetics and helps control blood sugar.
     
  15. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

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    I would be more than willing to send you some!!!!!
     
  16. TxGypsy

    TxGypsy Well-Known Member

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    Could you elaborate on that please?! I've got a few around here(rofl) and I'm diabetic. Also, those of you that said they were good to eat......any recipe?
     
  17. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    can be cooked just like green beans ( french cut)
    pickled

    and jelly

    gorgeous flowers, i have people begging me for them

    ebay them.....they should ship fine
     
  18. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    We used to just eat them raw and very cold, like watermelon.
     
  19. mtfarmchick

    mtfarmchick Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in Arizona. Our state flower is the prickly pear cactus flower. The fruit off of them is actually not too bad to eat. I think it's full of Vitamin C if I remeber right. Something most people don't think of Arizona for is cattle. There are actually quite a few ranchers there. Alot of the cows are open range. They eat the prickly pear just like it is, without having the spines burned off. Cactus actually has higher feed quality than alfalfa. You can't feed straight cactus because it's not filling enough. You would want to give them grass hay or even straw.
    Another thing you can make witht he fruit is wine.
    I live in Montana now. We have nasty little cactus here that you can't see until you're pulling them out of you.
     
  20. Janette

    Janette Well-Known Member

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    Bolthouse in California use them in their Prickly Pear Cactus Lemonade, which is pretty pricey in the grocery stores, at least in Canada.