How to Remove Cactus From Your Yard

Cacti are classified as succulent plants because of their water-storing stem.  Which enables them to survive in dry, hot regions.

While some people grow cactus gardens intentionally, not everyone enjoys these prickly characters. They are known to overtake an area and become hard to control.

Part of the problem is that the root system survives even when the above-ground portion of the plant is dead.

You should be cautious of the spikes of the cacti while removing it.  They are very difficult to get out of your flesh, and sometimes you must surgically remove them. 

Another thing is to ensure every single piece of the cactus, whether the branch, root, or fruit, is collected. Because if left behind, they will grow into a cactus due to their self-healing attribute.

After uprooting, you have to dispose of the cactus correctly. You can’t just remove the cactus and throw it on the junk heap. Because it will grow and spread from there.

The best option would be to bury it with a minimum coverage of 50 cm or more of soil and mulch. This will inhibit its growth and spread.

Wear protective gear, which includes heavy gloves, a thick, strong long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy, long trousers.

Begin by chopping it with a panga or a saw; if they are small enough, you can clip them off with a large clipper.

If the cactus belongs to the larger, bigger species, you will need a group of people. Some people will chop off the bigger branches and put them further away from the bush.  While the others use tongs to chop them off into smaller pieces so they can be easily disposed of.

Once you have trimmed the whole cacti down to a stem, you will need a pick to dig out the roots. So that they don’t grow again.

The cacti also spread like a flat blanket, forming wall-to-wall impenetrable areas. However, the good news is it is very easy to lift. You just use a fork, dig down to the root and gently ease it upwards.

Then lift with a fork or tongs and put it in a wheelbarrow.  You should watch out for the fruits dropping off.

The cacti also form long tenders along the grass that routes to various points. Start by lifting off the tendrils to know where the roots are. Then cut it into pieces to be easy to dispose of at the pit where it will be buried.

The prickly bear cactus can grow into a tree if left neglected for a long time. Use a panga to trim the edges. A fork to load it on the wheelbarrow. Then dig around the cactus area to fully get to the roots. About 2-4 inches below the soil.

Cactus can reduce grass yield in a yard or farm and be toxic to lifestyle. The grass is a very valuable resource, especially in hot climates, and the quality and quantity of vegetation are usually affected.

Maybe you are a cactus lover, and instead of throwing them out, you would prefer relocating them where they will be of no inconvenience.  Or where they will be receiving more sun.

All you have to do is dig out the whole cactus in a way that it comes out with its whole root system. The circumference of your dig-out will depend on the size of the cactus. 

If it is too big, trim the branches first to make your work easier. Instead of carrying it from the bottom, consider pulling it with a rope or an old horse pipe that is no longer in use. You can avoid the possibility of the cactus toppling over you while preventing the stems from breaking.

The location where you are transferring it should be prepared in advance. It should be wide and deep in an accommodating way.

The good thing about having cactus as a plant is its low maintenance. All it needs is adequate sunshine, and it will thrive. Cacti have the desire to grow.

The prickly cactus could also act like the fence of your property. They spread in an umbrella-like pattern, wide and long. This is how they will make the area inaccessible. Even to the animals.

A garden rake tractor could do the job of removing the cactus efficiently and in a short period. Provided you already have a place to dispose of it. Because it puts it in a nice little perfect bunch for you.

The size of the cacti could be very small, almost the size of the short grass on your lawn. Here you have the option of pouring apple cider vinegar or the white vinegar directly on the cacti. It will kill the cacti without damaging the soil.

Occasionally, a cactus takes root in a rocky landscape. In this case, it is the Indian fig. They produce lovely flowers and edible fruit. This plant is known to host cochineal bugs. These bugs make fuzzy white webs that look like tiny clumps of cotton.

They live on the webs and feed off the cactus. On the other hand, when collected in large quantities, these bugs could be a red dye source.

Use a saw to cut off the pads at the edges, be careful with them because they easily break.  You should be wearing your protective gloves. Once cut, place them in a plastic bag.

You can either use one of the pads to start a new cactus in the pot or completely get rid of them. After that, cover the trunk using a plastic bag and a tree saw to cut through the trunk as close to the ground as possible.

Place both trash bags in a larger trash bag to prevent further spread of the bugs and fungi. Kill the stump with a herbicide or dig it out of the ground.

What would you do if you wanted to get rid of a dead cactus that has long spikes? Put a metal chain around it or a thick rope, then hinge it to the back of the car. You don’t want to yank it so hard that it hits the back of the car. Just enough to pull it out and away from the yard.

The most challenging part when dealing with the barrel cactus is how to handle it because it is coated with spikes. You need to be extra careful, so you don’t hurt yourself badly.

You will need thick gloves. If you don’t have any, wrap a thick cloth around the barrel to properly secure it. Then dig around the plant at a safe distance with a shovel while trying to uproot it.

The cloth will come in handy while adjusting the barrel so that you cut off the root system. Once you have uprooted it, use the cloth to put it in a plastic bag to dispose of it.

If you burn off the pricks of the cactus, they are super nutritious. If they didn’t have the thorns, they would be like normal grass, edible to livestock.

If you don’t have any livestock, you can still burn it off using a propane-powered flamethrower. Ensure you get it from the bottom while being cautious not to light up the whole area.

Another way of burning them would be digging them out first. Then instead of disposing of them with a plastic bag, you put them in a pile and burn them. They will turn black and shrink in size.

The prickly pear cactus has barbed spines and a vigorous spreading habit. Most varieties spread through pads that break off and form new plants. Cutting the prickly pear below the soil kills the plants.

Good garden hygiene prevents the prickly bear from spreading. Normally they spread when their pads get attached to clothing and gardening equipment.

To be able to be in control of the prickly pear successfully, you need to do aftercare of the area where they previously were.

Water that area thoroughly and spread about 3 inches of organic mulch. Such as well-rotted manure or garden compost. Ensure the soil remains moist.

An alternative aftercare method is to cover the area with weed-suppressing landscape fabric. Then pour inorganic or organic mulch such as gravel or pebbles.

High-strength herbicides control cactus growth, but home gardeners have limited options. The herbicides that kill the cactus also kill the grass and every other plant in the garden. 

Moreover, they can leach into the groundwater and persist to kill the organic matter.

Even after being sprayed, the prickly pear can take close to three years before they are fully controlled.

Instead of causing damage to the soil. Ask for professional assistance who has been trained to handle the herbicides safely.

However, as discussed above, there are many ways to kill the cactus.