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Tasks of Spring

As a result of our last meeting, “The Great Frailea Repot” happened over two days in the greenhouse of one of our members.  Some years ago, he willingly took in a tray of Frailea that had been donated to the club and no one else had room to adopt.  Over the past several years the forgotten Frailea had happily reproduced in the back corner of his green house to the point that he had 13-15 cacti in a one inch pot.  The Frailea looked a bit worse for it, too.  While re-potting we managed to salvage many seeds, some of which are percolating in a flat in my laundry room as I write this.  I have great hopes for many tiny, tiny Frailea babies.

With our warmer weather we are opening our greenhouse doors – out with the bad air and in with the good air.  Repotting of our less crowded plants will begin soon.  And then there is that first watering after the long winter dormancy.

Along with the commencement of growth has come the mealy bug army.  I keep my alcohol spray bottle at the ready as I work with my plants. Unfortunately this year the mealies have gone after the Gasteria and Haworthia quickly decimating some of these plants.  Perhaps since we’ve never had this problem with these plants before, we wasn’t as vigilant as we are with our Echinopsis which seems to breed it’s own mealy bugs.

While watching the tulips unfurl, we are already planning the big break out of plants from under plastic and into the yard.  Each year we try to come up with the perfect design and each year we end up with plants all over the place, often in the walkways.

Our summer promises to be drier, hotter and in other ways following the trend of the past years.  Our plants love this, but the native plants in our yard have begin to struggle a bit.  It’s hard to imagine that our rainy Pacific Northwest is becoming a good place to grow cactus!