Texas weather has been strange to say the least. Its been warm, then hot. We’ve had temps in the 90’s, then all of the sudden it can change. The Austin area had some strange weather the other week, even an EF0 tornado touchdown in the outer areas of Austin. If you look up the Fujita scale, you actually have to hit winds of 65-85 mph to be classified as a tornado, and that puts you at EF0. At 86 mph you begin to hit EF1. Check out or another weather site for their information about tornadoes.

But last night we actually got rain. We got over 4 inches of rain. Its just after noon now, and the lightning is getting closer. The skies are dark and I’m betting we will get more rain. I’m not sure what time the rain stopped this morning, but it looks like the ground has had enough time to absorb the water, and the puddles are subsiding.

Last nights rain gauge as seen this morning.

Hopefully after the rain ends, and in a few days I will be able to put up some pictures of how the garden is doing.

With the heat I was able to put in some seeds that have been sprouting. Even though I have raised beds, the weather and temperatures here are different from our last home. We may be close by, not more than a few miles distance, there is a difference in the weather. And of course I don’t have a drip water system in yet. I’m working on that.

I’ll keep you posted. And yes, before anybody asks, the rain gauge is held on the metal post using wire and zip ties. Not the best, but eventually I’ll figure out where I want it then install it better. But not there yet.


Texas weather does it again. Just the other night we had thunderstorms early in the morning. As in wake you from your sleep early, and that much thunder, lightning, and rain. But after that lovely weather we are in a warm up.

This morning, by 9 AM it was a cool 57 degrees. But today we are looking at going to a lovely 86, and in the next couple of days they are talking pushing high 90’s. Who knows, those could end up hitting our first 100 degree day, a bit early.

But I was able to get some seeds and plants into the new planter over the weekend. With the rain we got I should be able to have fresh veggies this summer. I put in cucumbers, peppers, swiss chard, I moved some lettuce, and replanted the squash, and put in more carrots. I did harvest the carrots I had before in a pot. They were very tasty. So I decided more carrots would be a good idea.

And we’ll see how the weather plays out. If we get that hot I will have to get a drip watering system in soon. That is one thing I haven’t done yet. So far, only a few days, I’ve been watering by hand.

New beds

Well one new raised beds is in and now up, filled, and planted. The soil in it is a mix of garden soil and potting mix. Its about 8 feet long, four feet wide, and probably at least 12-14 inches deep in soil. I was able to move plants, seedlings really, into the beds. With help, we pulled the carrots and beets out of their pots and put the excess, left over soil into the one unfilled bed.

I was able to move some of the pots, and their seedlings into the new bed. I moved the basil, which was in a felt pot into a regular plastic pot. I also transplanted the oregano into a larger pot. It had been in an old 1 gallon pot, the kind you get when you purchase plants. The new small rosemary also got a new home, a new pot. We just got it a couple of weeks ago, and its one of those small little plants. So its now in a bigger home, pot.

Those pots that have plants that were not really growing well, like the lettuce that was bolting, were just discarded and the soil moved into the unfilled bed. Some things I left alone. The tomatoes were left in the pot they are growing in. But the peppers weren’t growing any, nothing had sprouted, so I just moved the soil into the unfilled pot.

I also transplanted some squash plants into a new pot. I had put seeds into a pot with not the best of soil. Actually the soil felt more like clay. I pulled out the seedlings, moved them to a new pot, and spread the clay soil into the unfilled pot. Heavy clay soil mixed into a large unfilled bed makes it much less of a problem.

The filled bed has now been planted with some seedlings, and with new seed. I put in peppers, swiss chard, lettuce seedlings, carrots, beans, and cucumbers. I still have room in the bed, and I want to put in some watermelon and some cantaloupe seed, but since they take so much room, I may wait and put it in the currently unfilled bed.

But at least now we will have some fresh veggies for this summer, at least hopefully. Now if we can just get some rain when we need it. Then we will be in good shape.

Sorry, its been a while

Its been a wild few weeks. Covid 19, the coronavirus has taken over the world. Its affected social media, news, business, the economy, pretty much everything. Businesses have closed, the economy is down, we are now into social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from each other), schools are closed, and we don’t know how long this will last. Restaurants are not allowed to serve people in the place, they are allowed to either delivery or have pick up service. Hotels have closed, though a few are open. Schools have closed from elementary to colleges. School is out for summer, just a couple of months early. Many of them closed late last month, hoping to have students to do lessons online, but were not prepared for what it would take.

So what does this have to do with my garden? Well, gardening has kind of become quarantine gardens. Think victory gardens for times of quarantine. Here in Austin we have been in quarantine for a while, as in weeks and its due to last a few weeks more. Getting some items in the grocery store is getting hard. Toilet paper, paper towels, some fresh veggies, and cleaning supplies are hard to find. Some of the fresh fruits and veggies get sold out as soon as they get into the grocery store – its called hoarding.

Its strange to go to the grocery store and find no onions or potatoes. But that’s how it is right now. So my poor little garden is becoming important for me.

I have begun raised garden beds, two of them. I ordered side brackets, like braces for the wood. The braces allow 2×8 pieces of wood to be held together. This gives you a good 15″ tall bed. You can easily raise carrots in these beds. Unfortunately due to other problems, I haven’t been able to get them filled. I’m working on that. I hope to fill them most of the way, then put what I have in my pots into the beds. I will need to add one more bed for permanent items, such as the asparagus. Since asparagus come back year after year, and last 12-15 years I understand, I want a more permanent place for them.

But the beds are coming along. As for the weather, its been all over the place. Last week we actually had a freeze warning for our area. It lasted two nights. And yet now we’ve been in the high 80’s, low 90’s. And yet tomorrow we are due for 90’s and thunderstorms. At least we need the rain, its always helpful. The lakes are full so the rain is appreciated.


Rain at 3 inches per hour downpour

Austin is in rain and thunderstorms right now. This image above is a shot of rain out my back patio. The good news is though this is quite a downpour, it comes and goes. But due to how dry we can be, this kind of rain can cause flash flooding. We are actually under flash flood watch for the next three hours. But we have rain in the forecast over the next 3 days.

Hopefully the next three days won’t all be like this. We may need the rain, but over a few more days, and a little lighter would be nice. But the yard will like it.


Today I was hoping to get work done in the yard, and we got a little bit done. My yard man came over and was able to get the front and back yard cut. Since he had put fertilizer on the yard a couple of weeks ago, the grass has grown. Its truly been a sea of waving green blades. Unfortunately, its been a sea, with a little too much height to it. If you were as short as our dogs, you could get your belly tickled the grass was that high. Bear in mind they are short dogs, only 11 and 9 lbs, not big dogs. So it doesn’t have to be too high to tickle their belly.

But nonetheless, it was that high. So it was in dire need of a cutting. But now that its cut, it looks like a lovely green yard.

Within about 5 minutes of cutting the yard, it began to rain. And its been raining most of the day since. But that was the most important project we needed done, and we accomplished it. And that’s what matters.

So, no getting the raised bed worked on. That will have to happen next week. To make it all the more interesting, we are due for rain over the next few days. And the fun thing is yesterday and the day before were in the mid to upper 70’s. We even had some 80 degree days. So now we’ve dropped a bit, down to the mid to upper 60’s and we have rain and thunderstorms. Earlier today I listened to thunder outside. So we do have storms here right now.

I say right now as we expect the rain to last off and on for about a week. It will be good for the yard and for the garden.

Speaking of the garden, with the warm weather, and now this rain, some of those seeds I was worried about are sprouting. Even my basil has these tiny little sprouts just beginning. I’ve been picking peas, both snow peas and shelling peas.

The only thing that hasn’t sprouted yet are the peppers. Oh, and since the broccoli is bolting due to the weather, I have changed that pot over to squash. I put those seeds in just last night, knowing that we were due for rain. Hopefully they will sprout soon. I’ve planted both yellow squash, and zucchini. Hoping for a bountiful crop this summer.

Shelter in place

One interesting option while doing shelter in place is the chance to do all those things you just didn’t have time for. Maybe work in the garden, maybe organize your clothes or cupboards, hem those pants, etc. You can even spend the time learning new skills, cooking, yoga, exercises, whatever. All those videos you’ve marked and wanted to watch, well now you have the time.

For me, its been walking the dogs, every day. Since they are two small dogs, one is 11 lbs and one is 9 lbs, I don’t have to do long walks, but a couple of walks a day are good exercise for both me and the dogs.

Since DH is in the hospital (he fell) it falls to me to walk the dogs every day. Its definitely bonding time with the dogs. But I am getting worried about having enough dog treats, strange things we worry about.

But on to the garden, the weather here in Austin has been warm, then cool and light rain. We have a nice light rain here today.

We did get the outside deck finished, so now I can figure out what I want to do for raised beds. Since I’ve been using various types of pots, and they do well, I would like to start considering some raised beds. I didn’t want to put in raised beds until I had actually gotten the deck finished. I wanted to know how much room the deck would actually take. And of course I know where the steps will now lead.

Even though you may have a plan in mind, sometimes its best to wait until you really see what you have. Sometimes measurements don’t do justice to reality. I’m not looking at making the raised beds using some of the corners you buy, than just add wood. The advantage of those is the size of the bed depends on the wood cuts. It makes it easier to get a more custom sized bed instead of buying a precut/premade system.

Once I decide on where the raised beds are going, then I can see about where I need or want to put a watering system. I will need to put in a drip water system once the raised beds get in.

Our weather has been cool for Austin, others would probably cal it warm. Today we’re at 73, with 77 for tomorrow. This is good weather to get seeds in. I’m planning on getting some squash/zucchini seeds in this week. We certainly have enough warmth to plant these seeds.

I have had some problems with a few seeds not sprouting, but since we had a couple of nights of cold weather, I replanted seeds for those plants that have not come up. I’m starting to see some of them sprouting, so I’m hopeful.

Overall the garden looks good, I’ve been able to pick various peas, snow peas and shelling peas. I would prefer more plants, but I’m working with what I have.

I”ll let you know how the raised beds go.

Welcome to the new normal

Hopefully this will be a temporary new normal, but coronavirus AKA COVID-19, is upon us. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring for any of us. And tomorrow will be difficult for some, and horrible and horrifying for others.

But we have to remember there are other things still to deal with*. And that includes weather, and what to do. Since I’m a gardener, I will keep up my garden and checking on weather. Here in central Texas we have had another cold front. We’ve had rain and right now cooler weather.

But since many people are probably at home, now is a good time to work on your garden. Its going to help with your stress level, it gives you something to do with your time, you can even use it as a learning process for children, and in a couple of months you will have veggies.

So on to gardening. We’ve been having rain, so I’ve been using this time as work-in-the-garden time. Since we’ve had some strange weather, warm than much cooler, some of my seeds have not sprouted. So I’ve taken this as a chance to put in more seed. Mainly my tomatoes and peppers have not sprouted yet. But since we are well into the nice weather that is coming, ad no freeze at all likely, its really a good time to begin working on your garden here in central Texas. I’m sure other areas of the country are not even close to being able to sow seeds, but this region definitely is.

My parsley is growing well, I even have some strawberries ripe for picking. These are part of my permanent collection of plants. Parsley keeps coming back year after year, as do my strawberries. A while ago I did put some see in. And some of my seed has sprouted. My peas are growing, and there are even some peas ready for picking. My swiss chard, and spinach have just barely started sprouting. But my carrots and beets are looking okay.

Also, we were lucky enough to get our deck put in. Its not a large deck, only 12′ x 15′, and its made of synthetic material, not wood. It has a black metal railing and a set of stairs down to the grass. Its almost finished, I’m waiting for the gate to be installed. But I now have an easy to access area to put my herbs. I’m getting started with moving things up to the deck. So far I’ve moved my thyme, mint, oregano, and baby basil up to the deck. I call it baby basil since its just barely sprouted. It won’t be ready for picking for a while.

If you get Old Farmer’s Almanac growing guide emails, you’ll know what should be planted either under cover or in the ground in your area. There are other ways to know what needs to be planted when, but they are what I use mainly. I don’t personally like using the back of a seed packet as it tends to give you a long period, months, when something can be planted. I want to know when to plant something to give it the best chance of survival and produce veggies for me

So let’s get back into the garden, whether that means in the ground, in pots, or whatever you use. Happy gardening.

*I don’t say that flippantly. I am a caregiver so I know that those duties don’t stop just because of this virus. But I have to keep my spirits up. I have to keep looking toward tomorrow.


Unfortunately this website was hijacked and someone deleted all the information on it. With help, we have been able to restore information back to the website. There has been some loss of data, there is only so much I can do. But I don’t believe there has been too much loss.

But my apologies to anyone that was looking for specific information and can no longer find it. Such is life.

One bit of data that I know was lost was a posting about a cold front. I have that image and would like to post it here.

This is an image of a weather forecast from Feb 2020 showing a cold front. You can see that on Tuesday Feb 4, 2020 we were scheduled for a high of 81, with a drop down to 34 for that day. The following day we had a high of 40 with a low of 29. That qualifies as a cold front. To give you an additional idea of what a cold front looks like, take a look at the following image.

This is actually taken from another residence we had. At that home we had a weather station that recorded this drop in temperature.

This is how quickly the temperature can drop when a cold front arrives.

This is what we had happen in a previous cold front. I have personally found cold fronts interesting.

Wish me luck as I attempt to repost any lost information I can find.

Gotta love Winter in Texas

True to Texas weather, we had a few nice days, then late yesterday the temperature just dropped. Today, at around 3pm we have made a high of 48. How does it manage to go from low 70’s yesterday to not even 50 today? Well, that’s Texas weather for you.

Late yesterday around 4pm the temperature began dropping. It had been warmish, nice, not hot, but then the cool weather came in. And now its just simply overcast and cold outside.

Now I realize if you are living in a snowy area, 48 might seem warm. But here in central Texas this rates as cold. Yes, we can get colder but its still cold for Texas. With luck tomorrow will be 10 degrees warmer, then the day after will be 10 degrees warm that than (or 20 degrees warmer than now). But that is the way it goes in Texas.

The funny thing is I gad received an email from Old Farmers Almanac saying it was time to begin planting seeds inside. Me being the gardener I am just put seeds in the pots outside. With this cool weather we will see what sprouts, or sprouts soon.

One change I have begun this year is since I don’t have formal beds for vegetables, I am planting in pots. I have purchased some of the 10 gallon plastic pots and some 15 gallon grow bags (the heavy felt type of bag). This year these are what I will be using. My thinking is this, I need a way to be able to move plants around as I get to know the sun and shade of my yard. I don’t want to put in any permanent growing beds until I better understand what is available in my yard. Also, I’m planning on getting a deck put in, and that will also change shade and possible heat spots in my yard. Pots for this year while I get to know my yard better.

One funny story- last week I decided to pull the strawberry plants out of a pot that had potatoes growing. I had potatoes and strawberries in the same pot. That’s not a good growing combination (you have to pull the potatoes out of the ground meaning you pull out the strawberry plants to do that, not so good for the strawberries). Well what I didn’t know was there was a fire ant nest in the pot. I put both hands (no gloves) in the pot to pull out the strawberry plants and ended up with about 20 or so ant bites. Unfortunately, I reacted to the ant bites and ended up on oral steroids in order to bring down the swelling. So the moral of the story – check your pots before sticking ungloved hands into them.