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Cholla Cactus for Home Defense


Original Post
Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 90

Had a mentally impaired woman hiding out in my empty guest house. I'm interested if any of you use plants to shield out the unwanted. Please post pics.

I woke early to take out the trash after I found out I had the day off work. As I was about to open my side gate I noticed a dandelion threaded through the latch hole and tied in a knot. This meant that someone had come in and was still on my property.
Walked to my guest house, which is empty and the front door was locked. I leave it unlocked because nothing was in there but a couch and the lock is a pain.
I entered through a window and saw her sleeping on my couch with cushions built around her, tent-fort style. She begged for me to not call the police because some are good and some are bad and the bad ones are after her.
I called the police because I needed her to know this was not ok. Turns out she was our neighbor and has been having issues with other neighbors. She entered my property via a ladder and jumped over my fence. Pretty bold for a late 50 year old woman.

So, I'm thinking of hacking away the giant morning glory forest that has swallowed my fence and planting cacti. I'd like to see some ideas or examples of gardens of your own. Also is cholla cactus ever a good idea or am I asking for it?

I'm gonna die?

jdereks · · Minnesota · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 70

As someone who ran into a cholla on a mountain bike, I'd argue yes they could be used to make a cholla fence. It seems to be an unlikely thing to happen again. I hope she's alright.

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 90

She's ok. I obviously couldn't let her stay but it was also pouring rain and didn't want to kick her out. When I found out she had a home nearby I wasn't concerned and she ran off on her own. I also have a daughter which makes me more protective.
A couple weeks ago I found broken glass, beer trash, and kids toys thrown over the fence in my backyard. She also left half a case of PBR in my room and cig butts.
I feel this could certainly occur again. Ventura sees its fair share of vagrants which are mostly nocturnal.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Joe Garibay wrote:Had a mentally impaired woman hiding out in my empty guest house. I'm interested if any of you use plants to shield out the unwanted. Please post pics. I woke early to take out the trash after I found out I had the day off work. As I was about to open my side gate I noticed a dandelion threaded through the latch hole and tied in a knot. This meant that someone had come in and was still on my property. Walked to my guest house, which is empty and the front door was locked. I leave it unlocked because nothing was in there but a couch and the lock is a pain. I entered through a window and saw her sleeping on my couch with cushions built around her, tent-fort style. She begged for me to not call the police because some are good and some are bad and the bad ones are after her. I called the police because I needed her to know this was not ok. Turns out she was our neighbor and has been having issues with other neighbors. She entered my property via a ladder and jumped over my fence. Pretty bold for a late 50 year old woman. So, I'm thinking of hacking away the giant morning glory forest that has swallowed my fence and planting cacti. I'd like to see some ideas or examples of gardens of your own. Also is cholla cactus ever a good idea or am I asking for it? I'm gonna die?
You could start by locking your doors.
CTB · · Cave Creek, AZ · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 180

You need a gate and wall like this.

My front gate
It keeps all but my drunkest of neighbors out.
PRRose · · Boulder · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 0

Cactus are generally slow growing and hard to maintain.

There are bushes that work very well as deterrents--Natal plum, for example, grows well in SoCal and has nasty thorns that will deter most people. Its also a lot more attractive than cholla.

But locking the door sounds like a pretty good idea, too.

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

Good fences make better neighbors?!?
Call Trump

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470
Joe Garibay wrote:...Walked to my guest house, which is empty and the front door was locked. I leave it unlocked because nothing was in there but a couch and the lock is a pain.
Uh, instead of planting cactus, why not lock the fucking door?
Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 90

The room is more or less a garden shed with minimal finish inside. No access to rest of my house. Empty inside except for a couch. Will be locking it from here on out. Thank you for the suggestions on plants

Sean Haynes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 101

Forget the plants. Get those goats. Maybe a dog.

If someone is using a ladder to break into your fucking house locking the door isn't going to do shit.

DanielHart · · Carpinteria ca · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 5

Had a friend that told me a similar story in Carpinteria odd. There are lots of plants that would work well. I would probably use pyracantha it looks nice can be shaped into anything.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

If chollas are outlawed, only outlaws will have chollas.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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