Monday, February 12, 2018

Project Spiky

Before: hole patched
On Friday I got another fence repair quote, this time "only" $500, but I also got the phone number for a maintenance supervisor for Caltrans from a NextDoor neighbor, and have him a quick call.

Chris the Caltrans guy went right down to the garden and fixed the hole. BAM! :)

Then, on Sunday Matt and I went down and started Project Spiky.  This tried-and-true method for preventing nefarious behavior involves planting spiky plants in areas that seem to attract encampments and drug abuse.

After: less inviting
We cut several large pieces of Opuntia subulata aka Austrocylindropuntia subulata aka Eve's Pin, the mildly terrifying cactus native to the Peruvian Andes which grows so well here. We planted them right where the hole was, being careful not to be stabbed ourselves, and mostly succeeding by wearing two pairs of leather gloves and wrapping the cacti in tarps.

Then we added some Opuntia ficus-indica - your basic prickly pear - several large branches of Yucca, and a few Agave americana. All of this will root into a morass of spines.

More Yuccas. Better protection
Now, I'm under no illusions that the plants will take off overnight, or be unmolested - two of the Yucca branches we planted last week had already been broken or uprooted by homeless people. So we'll likely have to add a lot more, and they'll likely get stomped on and look raty for a long time - just like the other Opuntias we planted there years ago, who have suffered a lot. But it's a start.

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