Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Artificial Light and Cactus Cultivation

     It is about time I touched on artificial light, since my cactus cultivation relies so heavily upon it. A lot of people think they need to go out and buy some $300.00 dollar light fixture, fancy meters, and gadgets, in order to grow cactus indoors; this is total BS as far as I am concerned. I don't know if better results could be obtained with this type of equipment (they probably could), but to get started they absolutely aren't necessary.
     Let me start off with a little background on my own situation. I started out with 3 fully rooted pereskiopsis, each maybe 6 inches tall. Outdoor cultivation was out of the question because I am in the northwest (cold) and didn't possess the funds (or the real estate) necessary to construct a greenhouse. So I constructed a cabinet out of strand board with 5 shelves, and wired 1 standard light socket into each shelf, into each of which I put a 23 watt Compact Fluorescent bulb...One year later I had nearly 500 fully rooted pereskiopsis, as well as a large number of well developed grafts (now I'm at the point where I have to throw them away sometimes)...The point I am trying to make here is, you can build your cactus collection on the cheap, no matter where you live, with inexpensive fixtures and relatively low-watt CFL bulbs. If you already have an unused cabinet or small enclosure, you save yourself the cost of lumber and screws (the biggest cost with this type of setup).
     If you have the real estate and the money, build yourself a greenhouse!!! Jump on it if you have the ability...But for everyone else, never be discouraged; with a little money, a little work, and some grafting skills, you can build up a great cactus collection a lot easier than you think.
     That's all for now. Subscribe and comment if you like. Until next time

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