Showing posts from 2014

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year

Merry Xmas, Happy New Year and all that jazz.  Yes, I know its been a while. But we were gone on a trip and got back just before Christmas. And we got back to strange weather. It was warm - low 70's warm. But this week, between Christmas and New Year, its cooling down. Our highs are in the low to mid 40's. We haven't had much rain, just little dribs and drabs. For example today we've gotten 0.25 inches of rain, mainly in the form of a heavy mist, and at 2pm its 41 degrees.  So cool, and damp, but not wet enough to call it rain. The weather said we should have gotten rain the other day, but that didn't happen. They also said this would be a colder than usual winter. That hasn't really happened either. We had a cold snap before Thanksgiving, but that was really it. Its so warm some of the plants are trying to set out new buds. Not the best timing. This is Texas. We could still get cold in January and February. We'll see what happens.

First Freeze

I was gone the past few day. Spent some time in San Antonio visiting. While I was gone we had our first freeze. Mid November but we've got a good cold front sitting here.  And here is what my plants look like:
The basil is dying.

  The watermelon died.

Even the beans froze.
Well, can't expect them to live forever. Everything else is covered now. The first freezing night was Thursday, Nov. 13. Last night, Nov 14 it was cold, but not freezing. Tonight, Nov 15 should be cold but not freezing. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights will be in the freezing or below freezing range. We're talking 35-28 degree nights. Then the days and nights should warm back up. 
If you want bad weather Wisconsin had about 50" of snow from this front. And with more cold on the way, not sure how much more they will get.
Its the end of October, 2014. How does your garden grow?  Well, this is how mine is growing.

Anaheim peppers
Ancho peppers
     Basil and kale that won't die
 Yellow Squash
Tomatoes Yes I do have watermelon still growing.
It was a rainy night last night.  We got 3" by the automatic meter system, except the manual rain gauge says we got 4.25".  And we just got about another inch in the last hour. And more rain is on its way. The Weather Channel says we have between 80% and 40% rain over the next 5 days. So it looks like we've hit a wet patch. Its been lightning and thunder, hard to sleep at night. So far all the rain has been either late in the day or at night. Its the night rain that makes it so hard to sleep. But the plants are getting a good watering.  That's the good news. And the temperatures are below 90, so its humid during the day, but at least its not as bad as it could be.
Now this is a cold front.  We just dropped a good 20 degrees, both day and night.  We hit a low of 57 last night, and it's 11:30 AM and only 58 outside. We headed for a high of 75, but if we make that it will be later tonight probably. And we've had 2 inches of rain.  Some came down hard, but then its been a nice gentle mist.  A good soaking wet, and I'm sure the plants are loving it.

The garden is okay.  The tomatoes are growing, and we still have a few watermelons on the vine. Those squash seeds I planted are growing and so are the bean plants. Since this is the first rain in a while we'll see how it affects the plants. Who knows, maybe they'll begin growing again.  We'll find out soon.

I don't think the cold front will last long. But the 10 day forecast shows cooler temperatures, days in the low 90's and high 80's, with nights in the high to mid 60's.  We can hope. If that's what we get, I expect lots of the plants will begin growing agai…
Well it looks like we have finally hit the triple digits days of this area.  Its hot. The low at night is 76. The heat index is over 100 easily. But the garden is alive.  I've got watermelon and cantaloupes growing.  The tomato plants are alive, but not doing anything, and that's expected with this heat. The gardening guides say its time to plant the second crop of squash and green beans so I planted some seeds of both today.  The squash says 45-50 days to harvest so we'll see if they grow.

Things to remember for next year:
   1.  When you plant tomatoes, put cages around the baby plants.  Don't wait for them to grow up before putting cages on them.

  2.  Put trellises up for melon plants.  Otherwise they will take over the yard.  Also remember that melon plants will try to grab onto things - don't plant near the asparagus plants.

  3.  The zinnias and petunias are fairing better then the marigolds in the heat.  Actually there is a zinnia plant growing in the middl…
Okay, its been a bit of a cool summer.  Not cool if we lived elsewhere, but for Austin, its cool.  We are almost to August and have not have a triple digit day yet.  I'm surprised by that.  I would think we would have, but we just have not done so yet.  We've gotten to the mid 90's, but not triple digits.  The weather forecast says we may get them this week.  We'll see.

But we lost all the corn, we didn't get a lot of squash, and the melons (watermelon and cantaloupes) are growing but the squirrels are a problem for everything.  They eat the melons when they get ripe.  The squirrels steal the tomatoes, even the green ones.

The tomatoes - yes well, they ripen on a strange time table. We got a few at the regular time table. But right now the plants are full of green tomatoes that just have not ripened. Last year they ripened late, it was frost and we were still picking them.  I'm guessing this year may be the same.  We got a few squashes, not many, but now the pl…
YIPEE!! We got rain!  We've had about 1-1/2 inches of rain yesterday and about an inch of rain today. Though I admit we've also had a temperature drop.  The other day we were in the mid 70's, almost 80 degrees, and today we barely made it to 64.  And the nights have dropped in temperature too. Last night we hit a low of 53, and at 8:30 PM we are already at 55.  I'm not sure how low we will drop tonight, but at least we got rain. Of this I am sure, we're not likely to drop to freezing.

And come Thursday, we are back into the 80's.  It is weird weather.  Flagstaff, AZ has a low of 33 tonight, and parts of Colorado may be getting snow. Kind of strange weather.

But the good news is my corn is getting tall, my squash plants have baby squashes, my salad patch has more salad then I can eat, and my tomato plants are growing up. My fig tree is growing, the grape plants have leaves, and one of my blackberry plants looks great. The other blackberry is still alive and oka…
We were gone for a week and the garden took off.  Its like everything is coming up.  I have pea plants, bean plants, the corn is coming up, the stick of a fig tree (new) has a baby fig, the thyme is taking over the pot, and even the lemon trees are showing new growth.  I guess spring has actually sprung. 

Oh, and the fruit trees have leaves and some buds left.  But you do have to be careful outside.  Some areas are swarming with bees.  Yes I know, lucky us.  We have bees.

But we still haven't had any rain. They keep teasing us and saying 30% chance.  But nothing has come of it.  We can hope.
The good news is we have warmish weather for the next 10 days. By warmish I mean mid 70's maybe, high 60's.  Not hot by Texas standards, but warm enough for seeds to sprout.  Right now the seeds I planted a while back are growing, at least most of them are.  I did plant new seeds earlier this week.  I planted corn, some squash, watermelon, tomato seeds (probably be better off with plants), and some more lettuce.  We'll see how they do.

The fruit trees are doing well.  At this time, everyone has at least some flowers on the branches.  The Anna apple is the only one I'm a bit worried about.  Its the smallest of the trees and doesn't look so happy after last week's cool front.  I'm hoping with the warm weather it will begin getting happier.  But it does still have some flowers, just not too many.  The Dorsett has far more flowers, but it is a larger, taller tree.

Even the pear is starting to flower and the plum has lots of happy flowers.

I did go out this morn…
Well, today we finally got some rain.  Not a lot mind you, so far only .13 inches.  But the weather has been nice.  We had one night that was supposed to get down to mid 30's, but only made a low of 41.  So we haven't had a cold spell for a couple of weeks. 

So the garden is growing pretty well.  I did lose the tomato plant, but that appears to be all. The lemon trees have lost their leaves, and I've had to cut them back, but the branches look healthy so I'm hoping it will come back. 

The peas are growing well, the strawberry plant has flowers and baby strawberries growing, and the fruit trees are blooming.  Well, the apple trees are blooming and the plum tree is just getting a few blossoms.  The pear is getting buds, but no flowers yet.  The fig tree even looks like its coming back after the freeze.

Since its rained today I will do some more seed planting tomorrow.  The next 10 day forecast show no cold weather so I think seeds should be good to plant now.
What a lovely cold front.  We hit a low of 21 last night.  They had forecast a low of 26, but we hit that around 4-5 PM yesterday.  But this morning is lovely, and we've warmed up to all of 31degrees by 11:30 AM.  Tonight they are saying a low of 31 degrees with a 50% chance of rain/freezing rain.  And we're supposed to hit a high of 47 today.  So it will be a roller coaster weather the next few days.

And again, no gardening for me.  Glad the plants are covered.

Just a side note, I've already had a few irises blooming, purple irises.
We had a lovely mid-70's degree day yesterday.  Today it has dropped from 69 to 48 in about an hour, this morning.  And now we have rain.  Tonight it due for a cold low of about 29 degrees.  We had 80 degree weather just the other day.  The other day when we had the cold come thru I had covered the plants out back.  I had not uncovered them.  Now I'm glad I left them covered.

Weird weather.

I guess no gardening for me today.

Update:  Its 12:30 and it has dropped to 38 outside.  And we've now had 0.35 inches of rain.  Like I said, weird weather.

2nd update:  its 4pm and we have gotten down to 32.  Now they are saying a low of 26 for tonight.  Cold evening here tonight.
So much for our lovely warm weather.  The other day we woke to foggy weather.  Today we woke up to cold drizzly weather.  Cold has been 35 to 37 since 6 AM and its now 4 PM.  Drizzly, we've had enough rain to measure on the weather gauge, but we've only had .16 inches and its taken 4 hours to get that.  Its just been a damp cold web day.  But tonight we might get just below freezing, we may hit 31 tonight.

So this morning we jumped up and covered plants we could cover.  Did not do anything with the fruit trees.  For those, I'm just hoping for the best.  Tomorrow we should hit 61 and on Friday we should hit 76.  So its just one of those things - a short cold spell.  Don't know if its the last one of the season or not.

Oh, and I have carrots, lettuce, radishes, and some pea plants popping out of the ground already.  That's why we had to jump up this morning and cover them.  Don't want to lose them.
We've had nice consistent weather lately.  Had some fog in the morning, just a day or so ago.  But it burned off by afternoon to nice mid 70 degree weather.  Today its 3:30 PM and a nice 75 degrees outside.  The 10 day forecast shows night low not lower than 41, with most nights between 45 and 54 so the nights are not so cold I have to cover anything.

We bought some more large pots for the garden.  They are large plastic half barrel pots.  I have transplanted two berry plants into two of them, put a fig tree (Celeste) in one, and put yukon gold potatoes in the fourth pot.  I have planted 10 more strawberry Sequoia plants in the square planter I used last year.  I did put more potting soil in it.  I also put in 3 asparagus plants (Jersey Giant) in a bed.

The radishes appear to be coming up already, they have leaves.  Some of the lettuce and the mesclun also are popping out of the ground with leaves too.  All in all, I'm hopeful for the coming year.

I'm going to wait until …
We've had a cold few days here.  But yesterday we hit the mid 60's and today, Friday, we made it to 81 degrees briefly.  And we should stay in the mid to high 70's for the next week.  How's that for weird weather.

But I took the time today and started planting a few things.  I put in:

Sugar Ann Snap PeasChampion RadishLettuce Master ChefBroccoli Major HybridCarrot Scarlet NantesLittle Marvel Pea
We'll see what if anything comes up.

I also took some time to slash at the cactus.  We have a cactus patch I'm trying to keep under control.  It has spines so I'm not trying to let it grow.  I'd rather kill it off.  We have cactus in other areas of the yard, but this patch is just in a bad spot.

Another lovely day in paradise.  Yesterday we hit the low 70's, it was nice and sunny outside.  Today not so much.  The temperature dropped over the evening and has been sitting at a nice cozy 38 degrees since about 7AM.  This may well be our high temperature for the day.  Tonight its supposed to drop to about 33, then tomorrow's high should be about 38 with tomorrow low of just below freezing - 30.  By Thursday we should be low 60's the Friday in the 70's.  Not sure if this is our last cold front of the season or not.  Time will tell.

But with the warm weather we did get a grid down on one of the beds.  We ran out of stakes so I need more of those.  We didn't exactly do them as one foot square blocks, like those used in square foot gardening.  The garden beds are roughly 4 feet by 10 feet.  Roughly.  They actually measure more like 4'2" by 10'5".  And those measurements are rough since the walls are actually made from blocks that are not exact.  …
Its been a cold past few days.  Today, Saturday, we've begun to warm back up.  Thursday never really warmed up at all.  It just stayed cold, below 32/freezing cold. Yesterday, Friday it took until the afternoon until we got above freezing.  Then last night stayed just above freezing, 34 for the night.  But today since about 7AM it has begun to warm up.  Its about 12:30 PM, just after noon and we're already up to 56.  Its still cool but not as cold as it was a few days ago.

So now maybe its time to start thinking about the planters.  I need to get actual measurements for the four planters.  Then I need to start thinking about what I'm going to plant where.
Another cold front came thru last night.  At 5PM yesterday we were at 40 degrees, it was downhill since then.  We've been at freezing or below since 9PM.  And we've been at 22/23 degrees since about 6AM today.  Its now 10:30 AM and its still 22/23 degrees.  The weather is just hovering between the two temps.  Though the good news is its been more in the 23 degree mark.

At this rate we'll be able to grow apples in this region easily.  It has definitely been a cold winter here.

Its now after 1:30 PM and we've only hit 25.  I won't bet on making it to 40 today.  And our low for tonight is supposed to be 27/28 degrees.  We'll have to warm up to make that!

Okay, at 5PM we still only made it to a high today of 28, still below freezing.  They say we should still be a low tonight of 27/28.  That would mean the temperature should be steady from now thru the night.  We'll see if that happens.  I'm betting on another cold night.
Weird.  We hit a high of 61 yesterday (Thursday).  Today (Friday) at 10:45 AM its already 60.  And yet next week we might hit a low of 27.  So who know what the weather will bring.

Sorry, didn't post this on Friday.  Now its Saturday (the day before Super Bowl Sunday football game).  At 9:30 AM it is already 66 degrees outside.  Tomorrow night (Sunday night) it should be down to freezing and later this week we should hit freezing nights again.  Quite a roller coaster of weather.
Its 2:30 pm and we have made it up to 31, almost up to freezing.  The drive way is looking better, and I've even seen one car drive down on the street.  But tonight is due to get down to 24 so any moisture left on a road will freeze up once again.  Hard to believe that Thursday we should get to 66 and Friday to 77.

Weird weather!
Well, they warned us of another cold snap and we got it.  We woke up this morning to a layer of ice on the driveway, the walk ways, the back patio, all hard surfaces.  We are, at least for the time being stuck in the house.  Good thing we did our Costco run yesterday.

Weird weather.
Yes I know, its been a while.  But we made it thru the holidays - Christmas and New Years.  We've made it into the 2014 successfully.  Now about this weather.  Its been a bit of a roller coaster.  Just about the new year we had cold weather - really cold for this area.  We had some nights down to low 20's with the days staying pretty cold too.  But then the cold front would leave and we would warm back up.  For example last Thursday and Friday it was cold, cold enough for snow and sleet here at the house.  But yesterday, Saturday we made it up to about 65.  Last night it only go down to 45 and is expected to warm up to mid 70's today.  But we have another cold front coming in tomorrow night.  Monday should be almost 50 degrees, but that night we should get down to 26 and Tuesday night we should get down to 23.  But next Thursday it should be 66 and 47.

We were gone from Jan 4-20 and did a pretty good job of making sure everything was covered in plant blankets.  We these co…