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The cold cometh

We have a good cold front coming our way. Its now Saturday evening, we had a high of 63, we've dropped down to 47 and its still dropping. The temperature is due to drop another 10 degrees tonight. Tomorrow, New Years Eve we're due to get down to 23. It doesn't get much better for a few days. Starting Sunday night, and on thru Thursday night the evening low will be in the low 20's. Monday and Tuesday during the day will be right about freezing. Welcome to central Texas winter.

At this time we're hoping we've got the entire yard ready for this cold. Pat helped get the yard ready. He drained hose bibs and drained hose lines. Today we went thru and covered those hose bibs that were attached to the house. We made sure the hoses are disconnected. We also looked for standing water and dumped it. That seemed like a good idea. With this kind of cold any standing water will freeze. And I don't want to worry about it freezing, expanding, and breaking something.

Since …

Merry Christmas

Its been an interesting month. I was gone early this month, and it snowed while I was gone. Not for long, but it was enough to stick. Apparently it went from record high to snow the next day. then it warmed back up. That is a true cold front. Well, we've gone from warm to cold. It dropped 30 degrees the other day. It went from the mid 70's to the low 40's.

That was on Friday. Last night Christmas Eve we got cold again. It got down to 30. We'll be cold, for Texas, staying in the 40's, and we're expecting rain. So it will be a cold rain. No great warmth coming this way for the next few days. At least the fruit trees will be happy. The garden has gone into winter time cold. That will be good.

I don't know how long this cold will last, but I'm glad it finally came. The only bad thing is with cold the mountain cedar will begin producing pollen. That's the way cedars are. They need cold, then a warm spell in order to produce pollen. And they those conditi…

Well, cold front didn't last

Its almost December and the temperatures are in the balmy 70's, some days hitting 80. The garden is growing, squash is still on the vine, even the roses are still blooming.

WHAT HAPPENED TO WINTER!!

Well, winter will show up some time. We've been preparing the yard for its arrival. We've begun pulling up the tomatoes, removing the beans, and putting in new seeds. We've been moving plants around. We have some dead trees along the fence line, they need to come out. We have some trees around the fruit trees that also need to come out. Since the fruit trees are doing well, no reason to keep shade or wind trees around them for protection. So the spare trees are being taken out and planted elsewhere. Actually the spare trees are being moved to replace the dead ones along the fence line. Seemed a reasonable action.

I admit I have a fear. We're having such mild weather, I'm afraid when winter comes it will hit with a vengeance. Even if we only get cold weather for a sh…

The cold front cometh

Its not exactly winter but we have had a cold front. Yesterday we hit a high of 80 degrees. Last night we hit a low of 42. Today we hit a high of 61, and it should cool down again tonight. The next few days should bring temperatures in the 60's to the mid 70's.

Not winter, but kind of autumn. We'll see how this new weather change plays out. And yes my garden does still have tomatoes, thank you.

Crazy Texas weather

How crazy is it you ask? Well we are in the high 80's, my tomato plants, that that are alive, are producing nicely. Still picking fresh tomatoes. My tomatillos are producing, and since we had half an inch of rain this week, my potato plants are growing. Last week we had about a third of an inch of rain with fairly warm weather. We have had a few days of cool weather, but overall the past week has been warm. Strange weather.

I'm sure winter will show up, but right now its anybodies guess when and how it will happen. The forecast says by mid next week, well into November, we should cool down to mid 60s, about a 15 degree drop from current temperatures. We'll see.

Melons in October

Yes, we are picking some wonderful cantaloupes and watermelons, in October!! They were ripe sweet and delicious.

Life is working in strange ways. The weather has been warm, high 80's to low 90's. The nights are warm but not too warm. The nights are still in the 70's. We're supposed to get a cool down, we'll see.

We truly have a second season here in this area. And we're getting it now.

Part of the fun will be our new additions. We just adopted two new dogs. They're Morkies - Maltese and Yorkshire terrier mix. They are little brothers, and about 5 years old. We got them from a dog rescue. They don't seem to be in to tearing up the yard. We just brought them home yesterday. Unfortunately, today I took a fall trying to get over the makeshift doggie fencing inside. I don't think I broke anything, I landed on both knees and both hands. But I'm sore all over and won't be up to doing much for a few days at least. In addition I've been sick with…

Fall is trying to come

It looks like fall is trying to make its way into Austin. It may not seem like much but the nights are getting down into the 60's, albeit the high 60's but that's better than it was. Even the days are a bit cooler - high 80's to low 90's. No triple digits right now and that is nice.

Its still humid after all the rain we got, but that's to be expected. That's not the say I enjoy it, but with all the rain we had any heat will make it humid. But at least most of the plants seem to be doing well. That rain got everything nicely watered. And its been more a light breeze than any real wind. So Austin has a chance to recover a bit from the storms. I've noticed some trees and limbs down in the area, so tree services will be kept busy.

One other recent problem that seems to be occurring since Hurricane Harvey - run on gas. A friend warned me that lines were long and that some gas stations were running out of gas. I didn't quite believe them. But just to be o…

What a week!

We started Monday, August 21 with an eclipse. I wasn't here, I had to go out of town so I don't know how much of it was visible from home. But by Friday evening our area, and south of us, was in hurricane survival mode. Hurricane Harvey landed in Rockport, TX on Friday night. Even here in Austin we are feeling the effects. Yesterday, Saturday we had 4 inches of rain. Today, Sunday we've already had over 2 inches and we are still getting a slow steady light rain. Last week we had a high of 94 degrees and yet today it has barely made it to 72. At 5:30 pm we sit at 69.

Harvey is large enough (landed as a category 4 hurricane) that even parts of Louisiana are getting rain. And at this point, Houston is practically underwater.  What a difference a week makes.

A slow steady light rain may not seem like much, but the ground is now saturated. And they expect rain for many more days to come. Flooding is happening in many areas. Here where we live we're actually okay since we ar…

Its hot!

Its been nothing but a hot summer. We have been in the high 90's here at the house. Austin itself has been triple digits. Heat index has been triple digits even here at the house. Not my favorite weather.

I planted seed, salad, lettuce, squash, and some other things. With the heat they are coming up, but its taking lots of water to keep them alive. Such is life in Texas during the summer.

We got RAIN!

Finally. After weeks of threatening/promising/teasing us, we got rain. As in 1.8 inches in a fairly short period. Well lets say we got 1.7 inches quickly then the rest of it took all day. But we got rain nonetheless. And we needed it. Just in the couple of days since it rained trees are looking better, leaves are greener, weeds are growing, the ground and seeds are responding. It was good to get the rain.

I've also replanted some seed. Since the squash plants didn't do so well, they died but looked like they had been eaten at ground level, I planted more squash seeds. I also put in some broccoli, salad, lettuce, kale, and our beloved beets. With the few days of cooler temperatures the squash and salad/lettuce seeds are already coming up. Since we're still early August I think we have time for both sets of seeds to produce crops before winter sets in. At least I hope so.

Other than that Pat and I had some interesting gardening challenges. We found that DH had put water pres…

101

Yes, its over 100 degrees here. If you're wondering why you haven't heard from me its because not much is happening in the yard. We've been hovering in the high 90's with the nights barely lowering to the mid 70's, and the yard is just trying to stay alive. We've lost the squash plants, and the peas and bean plants. Its just too hot. But the carrots are staying alive, and the swiss chard is hanging on.

We also realized we had one other funny problem. As you might recall my DS took ill about 9 months ago. We had a friend helping in the yard. For the winter we had closed off water valves so they didn't freeze. Well we forgot to turn some of them on. We recently spent some time going thru the watering system and finally go everything turned back on. Which was good to do as its been simply hot. So hopefully we won't lose much of anything. We have had to make some replacements. The soaker hose in the yard died - actually it broke. And some of the water heads…

I have a new toy - a smoker/grill

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I got a new garden toy. I got a smoker/grill, and yes my husband put it together. I had to help as it really is a two person job. Here's what I got:




I picked it up at Home Depot. Its small, since I don't cook for large crowds, and it was inexpensive, since its for me to learn. I'm glad I went this way.

Things I've learned so far:

You will go thru more charcoal briquets than you think. I lot more! I did chicken thighs last night and it took me quick a while (over 2 hours) since I didn't use enough briquets. I added more briquets every 30 minutes, so I went thru a lot of them. Also, its helpful to figure out an easier way to add briquets. I found a small pail that I used to scoop the briquets from the bag into the side box. But it took so long I actually had to finish the thighs inside on the stove. But they still came out well.If you get an inexpensive grill/smoker, don't use wood - use briquets. I put soaked wood chips and that was fine. But I put in some dry wo…

Rain, how nice

We've had rain off and on for the past two weeks. Its been nice. Its been just a couple days of rain last week, and we've had rain off and on this week. Here, we've had just less than an inch, though other areas have had flash flooding and hail. But the plants love it.

Right now everything is growing well, plants are lush, trees are growing, grass is green, and the four legged lawnmowers, aka deer, are fat and sassy. I bet we'll have quite a few young ones this year.

Right now in the garden we have pretty much everything coming up well. The only problem we've had is bugs eating the collard greens. Other than that the peas are coming up, we've been getting asparagus, even the apple trees have apples already. With the warm spring we've had I'm not surprised at how things are growing. The concern is how warm will summer be and will it arrive early? We'll have to wait to find that one out.

Tired of losing you tools in the yard?

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How to find tools in the yard I figured with this sunny yellow I would be able to find my gardening tools when they are in the yard. I hope it actually works. The tools all have wooden handles, and most are in bad shape. So it was sand them down with sandpaper then paint them. I used good old Rustoleum paint, in a can not spray paint, and gave them two coats. They were still drying when I took the picture. I set them in the holes on the table so they would not touch anything and let them dry. Now we'll see if this color works. Hopefully it does.

Yes its been a while

Weather here has been strange. We had such a cold, but short spell of weather. Then it warmed up. Overall its been warm now, at least warm enough for plants to begin growing. Seed has been sown and lettuce is coming up. The artichokes are growing back as are the asparagus. We've even begun harvesting a few asparagus. The snow peas are just starting to produce though I haven't picked any yet.

Since we did have such a cold spell, when we got down to 17, the fruit trees (apples) have already begun flowering. One weekend we even went out and used paint brushes to pollinate them. Small apples have already begun growing. But with that cold we did lose at least a few trees. Some of the citrus frozen back as did at least one avocado. All in all I don't think it was too bad.

Even the green house lost a few plants. Some of the house plants that had lived there froze and died. Though overall most everything survived. Even the aloe is still growing. But I think the bougainvillea is hi…

Well its been nice weather

Its been so nice the fruit trees are trying to bud. Not the best time for that. But the weather has been mild, even though some nights have gotten down to 35 or so.

Planting reminders (old farmers almanac emails):
Under cover or indoors - start seeds now:
broccoli, summer cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, kale, leeks, leaf lettuce, onion, peas, peppers, spinach, large tomatoes.

We started most of these outside in the garden since the weather has been mild (no eggplant or leeks). If we actually get cold I'll cover them. But I'm not expecting that.

We did have some problems with our watering system. We had a pipe leak and had to get it fixed. We actually lost quite a bit of water (almost drained the tanks) from that. Luckily after we got it fixed we got rain so the tanks are full again. That was not a good experience. But we are back up and running again, sort of. The pumps used to be able to be started by an app on the cell phone. Well that is not running so we have to go manual…

A New Low

We hit a low this morning/last night of 17.4. That's low for anywhere. We're supposed to warm up to 42, but drop down to a low of 24 again tonight. Crazy Texas weather. Not sure what all has frozen, but I'm sure we lost plants. I'm hoping we didn't lose too many pipes too. Plants are so much easier to replace than plants.

New notes:
Plants to sow indoors or under covers:
summer cabbage, celery, eggplant, leeks, leaf lettuce, onion

Update

Our high today was at midnight. Its now 4pm and the temperature is dropping again. We got up to 30, but its now down to 28. They are saying tonight should get down to 20. It will be interesting to see if we drop below that.

Tomorrow will hopefully be warmer during the day, but tomorrow night will be cold again.

Cold again

Yesterday we hit 60, but last night we dropped to 25. The next couple of days should e cold. Day's will be cold - today we should be just above freezing. And tonight they are forecasting 21. Tomorrow they say we'll get up to low 40's, maybe 42, but tomorrow night should be another 21 degree night. Then it warms back up. Crazy weather. Let's hope this time nothing freezes.

Our last freeze about 2 weeks ago, one pipe for the rain water did freeze. We were able to get Pat to fix it. Pat came over last weekend and did some work. He actually got a lot done, which I'm very glad about. I'm just hoping we don't lose any more pipes in this freeze.