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Prickly pears and rain

 
pollinator
Posts: 1841
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
56
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I have been very surprised by the dryness of the earth near wild "tunera", the prickly pear.
I would like to know if some one has noticed the same and knows what is going on...
Of course they sucked a lot of water, I can see their healthy pads!
But their roots have the reputation of waterproofing the ground,
and so I wander whether or not they stop the water from penetrating deeper into the ground...

Was my earth dry because the roots sucked all the rain?
Or did the roots stop the rain from going further than a few inches?

I can add that I have no experience from years before, and that it rained a lot after a long drought. So anyway, a lot of water ran away...
I am just afraid that this plant could be a problem (this exotic here, though we have it for centuries).
I like it for its fruits and for the good compost it brings.
So, I want to work with it, but I would not like to have it prevent the rain to be kept into the ground!
 
pollinator
Posts: 2408
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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While the cacti is using some water, I really dont think that it is using even 1/2 as much water as say a fig/date/almond tree.
And if the cacti is waterproofing the soil surface sending the water downhill to some depression with a fig tree in the center then all the better.
You just have the manage the tendency of the plants you have.
Each "problem" is just a micro-climate that compliment another nearby micro-climate
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1841
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
56
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Yes I agree, that is why I want to check out how it works!
I do not know to what extent cacti roots prevents the water from going down into the ground...

S Bengi wrote:And if the cacti is waterproofing the soil surface...



I want to change the "if" into something more sure, if possible.
What I have noticed may come from the cacti
or may come from my soil because of "a lot of rain after a lot of drought"

My place is steep, so I would not keep all the cacti the same way,
as they are everywhere and as I do not plant only down the cacti....
 
S Bengi
pollinator
Posts: 2408
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
136
forest garden solar
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While the cacti does use less water per year than most other edible plants.
It does absorb "ALL" the water that comes down in a desert flashflood storm, nothing get sent down below.
Its root system has been adopted for such conditions.
It stores the water in itself vs in the soil down below.

I might be wrong anyone wants to chime in.
 
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