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 Christmas was just a couple of days ago, I got the doggies blankets, for inside the house, and jackets for walking outside the house. I wasn’t able to get them shoes or socks, but we’re are covering some areas with towels so help keep their tootsies from freezing. At this point that’s the best I can do. Now we just hope for the best.

I’ll keep you posted.

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 conditions here in Texas.

Welcome to wonderful Texas weather.

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.


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 short time, I’m worried the temps will drop into the 20’s and we won’t be fully prepared. Last year we got about 5 days of 20 degree weather. I had some things freeze (outside PVC pipes). I would rather not have a repeat of that again.

Pat has been over the past two months helping and he says he has the yard winter ready. Let’s hope that’s true.

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 some sort of cold or flu. I’ve been coughing and sick for three weeks. So taking a fall was not helpful for my health.

But luckily plants grow regardless of how I feel.

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 on the safe side, and since its Labor Day weekend and I only had half a tank of gas, I went to fill up. Well they weren’t kidding. The lines were 3-4 deep with vehicles when I got there. By the time I had finished pumping my gas the lines were even longer. And to make it work, gas prices had gone up by around 40-50 cents a gallon. Not great, but I have gas and nowhere to go this weekend. I did my grocery shopping so I can just stay home this weekend and cook and relax.

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 are on a slight hill. The water still drains down hill, so we’re okay. That’s not to say the roads below us are in great shape with no flooding, its just to say that where we are is draining.

But its still warm enough that plants outside are green. I fear grass, weeds, and who knows what else will become a problem in the coming weeks.

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 pressure restrictions on some of the valves. Unfortunately it meant that quite a few plants were not getting enough water. So Pat changed a lot of watering heads. The plants have been happier. But these are some of what we’ve been checking out. We also found out that some plants were not getting water at all. The valves were closed. Because of the way DH had set these up, we did know until we actually attempted to water and checked the heads. That’s how we found out some plants had not been getting water all year. No wonder we have had unhappy plants! But all is doing better and the plants are happier.

But now we’ll need to begin looking at what to do for next winter. It will come, even if we have a few months to go. Time passes quickly and we need to start preparing for it. Scary thoughts.