Strange weather still

The forecast said low 70’s. We didn’t get there. We did get to the mid 60’s. But it’s been cool and drizzly all day. I can’t say we really got rain where I am. It has been more like an all day mist. But now, at 10pm we have measured 0.25 inches, so a quarter of an inch of moisture.

It hasn’t really been rain. It has been just a drizzly mist. You did need windshield wipers if you drove anywhere. But from what I noticed, we only really had one short period of what I could call light rain, and that didn’t last long.

But the good thing is it is moisture, its been low and slow. Its watered plants and the ground. And hopefully it should soak into the ground. That’s what we need.

They are still talking about rain later this week. We’ll see what we get. Hopefully it will actually rain, and not just continue with this mist.

Its cold

The hoped for rain didn’t materalize here. We got all of 0.04 inches, nothing really. On the other hand we have cold and wind. This morning was a lovely 41 degrees. And now, 10:30 it only 45. Humidity has dropped to 53% so I’m hard pressed to believe more rain will show up today. They have warned that a few small areas could see snow this weekend. How’s that for strange weather timing?

They say this is unseasonable cold. I’d agree with that.

Is this our new normal? If it is, I’m not quite sure what to call it.

Yesterday I did do a good look outside in the yard. You may recall I had mentioned I had taken down my gardening beds. The sides were of wood and a friend removed them for me. Well, I guess there was left over seed on that soil. The grape I had thrown out there trying to get it to die has new leaves. Carrots are coming up. So are some beets. I even saw some lettuce coming up. I do realize without those wooded sides, any water from the sprinkler system is now getting to those seeds. That is probably what is keeping them alive. But it only waters 2x a week, and then early morning (like 2am) and only about 10 minutes. Is that enough? We’ll see.

Weird Texas weather

Yes, we again have some strange weather. Today, Monday it’s a lovely 61 degrees outside, at noon. Saturday we hit a lovely 90 degrees outside. Since the start of the month we’ve had mainly 80’s and high 70’s, with a 90 degree day for good measure.

But wait, there’s more!! Today we will not hit 70. We will stay in the mid 60’s. It is a cold front. And its a bit dry, not much humidity.

Rumor has it we might get rain Thursday night, maybe something Friday morning. But it will not be a lot, if we get anything. Think well less than an inch, probably less than half an inch. But with the possible rain we might get back up to 80 for just Thursday before dropping once again on Friday and next weekend. We could even had daytime highs in the 50’s next weekend. How do you like that weather forecast?

Yes, plants may need to be covered again next weekend. We could get night temperatures back in the 30’s. Hopefully if we get into the 30’s it will be high, not near freezing.

So how is this affecting plants? Well, my two grapes in pots have leafed out beautifully. My rose, in a pot is also leafing out and even has buds. I was apparently gone when the asparagus come up, now they are more like ferns. But I did get shoots. Even the plants in the grow bags are still struggling, but alive. They probably would do better if I remembered to water them. But my snow peas on the deck are blooming.

Such is the growing early season in Central Texas.

Some people have said that when pecan and mesquite start blooming, we’ve passed our last freeze. But remember, no freeze doesn’t mean we can’t get cold, hence the 30ish degrees coming, but not freezes, and not hard freezes. I don’t know if this is true, about the pecan and mesquite, but hopefully its something to consider. Considering our crazy weather, I’m hoping it has some truth to it, maybe we’ve actually had our last freeze. If that’s true, it would be something worth remembering.

Texas warmth

Yes, it was but about two weeks ago that we had ice breaking trees. Now we are in the 80’s. Yesterday we hit a lovely 88 degrees. Today we have cooled, if you want to call it that, down to 80. Yes its February in central Texas. They are saying we should get a cool down this weekend, but we don’t really have a good rain in the forecast. And the cool down is not exactly cold. We will be down to the low 70’s during the days, with mid and high 40’s in the evenings. Hardly what you could call cool.

But this is what central Texas weather is all about. Since our last frost date is still on the horizon, its March 27 in this area, we could get cool or cold. But its still a problem for plants. Its always the question, do you start plants outside, or wait for the last frost date? It’s a question each person has to decide. But that’s what gardening is about.

Just an FYI, Cat’s Garden will be on the move. I will be moving in a few months. I’ll post more information later as I get closer to the actual move.

Old man winter

Old man winter has actually come. The other day we got a cold front, temperatures down to freezing. They had expected a drop in temperature but when the forecast is off five-ish degrees, it means that 35 suddenly ends up being 30. In this case we off a bit over 5 degrees. Today for example it should have been above freezing. Instead it hovered between 29-30. And it only hit 30 briefly. Now, our evening temperature is 27. We’ve had freezing rain, some ice and cold, cold weather.

My dog got a short walk, all of about 10 minutes. I didn’t see many people out walking their dogs, but I did see one other. I tried putting my dog in the back yard for potty breaks but we ran into other problems. Because the back deck is raised, and even though it is covered, any moisture on it has turned to ice. To give an idea of what’s happening, my down had to go down stairs to get to the lawn. He made it down with no real problem. But the stairs were so icy he couldn’t make it back up easily. I actually had to find a blanket, I found a fuzzy sherpa type, and holding a corner threw it down so my dog could use it to make his way back up. He did his best to grip the blanket and I helped pull him up. It was an interesting partnership. But he did make it back up and made a beeline to the back door, and into the house.

As for my plants, I expect a few more will die. Today we’ve had enough freeze and thaw cycles for icicles to form on eaves. The weather forecasters have said we should expect more freezing rain, and some ice tomorrow. They are still saying Thursday the weather will begin warming up to high 40’s, almost 50 degrees. This weekend will be in the mid to high 60’s. So what ice we have, will melt and the roads will be in much better shape.

I did watch the news today. They mentioned there were a number of accidents. One included a big rig that jack knifed and an entire road had to be close because it was blocked by the big rig. The accidents today included at least one fatality. One problem that was happening was people would get in a fender bender, then they would step out of their vehicle. The problem with that was that cars were sliding because of the ice and people were getting hit by the skidding vehicles. And of course because of the ice emergency vehicles were going slower. There were a number of accidents, and at least one fire due to weather.

And we’re expecting tomorrow to be worse.

Stay posted for more info.

Change of plans

Well, they got the temperature forecast off by a few degrees. Instead of a low last night of about 35 I woke up to 30 degrees by 9AM today.

The new weather forecast includes just below freezing weather, 29/30 degrees, rain, freezing rain, and possible ice. And the weather forecast is saying possible snow somewhere, probably north of me.

At 10AM (just after) its 30 degrees with 99% humidity. Its like a very cold mist outside, and cold.

UPDATE: its late, 11:15pm and it has dropped to 28 outside. still 99% humidity. Cars and my deck are lightly covered in ice. My dog was even sliding on it a bit. I did take my dog for a walk earlier, it was 30 at the time and I will tell you it was cold. As the day has gone on I’ve gotten notices for possible power outages. So far so good, we haven’t had any, but they could happen still. I’ve put an extra blanket on my bed just in case. But so far the plants on the patio, up close to the house are doing okay. Hopefully they will all survive.

Some of the schools have decided on early dismissal (think let students out early), and will be totally closed. Some will close for Tuesday, some for Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m sure parents are loving that. We’ll see how bad this storm gets.

New week begins

Last week saw light sprinklings, but not much in the way of a good rain. By a sprinkling we got in the hundreths of inches. Barely measurable rain. It was just enough to get things wet, but not enough to give us a good watering. I’m not even sure if other areas got much more than we did.

For example today I walked my dog and got caught in a short shower. It wasn’t much. It got the ground wet, wet my dog, but it wasn’t enough to measure.Today did get 0.05 inch and that was before 7AM. So we really haven’t gotten much rain.

But it looks like we are in for a change of weather.

Tonight we are expected to get down to 35. Tomorrow, Monday we are looking for 39 and 32 with some afternoon/evening rain. Tuesday will be similar, including evening showers. Wednesday we will warm a bit and get rain. Thursday and Friday are warmer days, and again cold possibly freezing nights. By Friday we should get sun. Next weekend we will warm back up.

Hopefully we will actually get rain, measurable. We need it. This area is still in drought conditions. Some rain would be well appreciated.

One interesting thing about our crazy weather is that my pak choi is sprouting as are carrots, some lettuce and even some swiss chard. Not only that my pomegranate tree has some fresh green baby leaves on it. And that rose I put in a pot has lots of green leaves too. We’ll see how they take this new cold snap we have coming.

Let’s see what Mother Nature brings us.

UPDATE: the cold front is on its way. it’s 11:15PM and we’ve dropped to 38 degrees already. It will be a cold night.

More wild weather

After more warm weather, we had another sudden change. After warm night and warm days, we did another sudden drop. Today was a fairly cool/cold day, complete with rain. Here at the house we got just over 3/4 inch of rain. The gauge says we got 0.78 inches of rain. Most of that came in light to moderate rain fall, starting before 8AM and finishing around 2-3PM. We did have some breaks in there with no rain, but most of those breaks were rather brief. Right now, at 10PM we’ve dropped down to 42, going for a low of probably 34 degrees tonight. And the next few days are expected to be similar, with cool/cold days probably around mid to low 50 for the day and near freezing at night.

And so central Texas makes its way through winter. And the 10 day forecast stays pretty similar to what we now have. Its not the worse weather, and actually so far its been okay. We did have some cold days, but we haven’t had terrible weather. Though parts of Texas, outside Houston, saw tornadoes today. We have seen wind today, so….

This is why plants here need to be strong and yet flexible. They never know what mother nature is going to send there way.

Warm winter

After our significant cold snap, we’ve managed to warm ourselves up to the low 80’s. Talk about being unsure of how to garden! Will we get another cold snap? Should we just plant cold weather seeds regardless of the outside temperature? Who know!

I recently went over to my closest big box garden store and did a bit of shopping. I happened to arrive as new bulbs and bare root plants were being put out. I took the opportunity to pick up a few items. I’d been wanting to replace a grape, a Flame seedless. Unfortunately I didn’t see one of those, but I did pick up a Reliance red grape, it was listed as a table grape. And that is what I want, table grapes. I already have a Thompson seedless, even if it hasn’t yet bore any fruit. It is growing well.

I also picked up some potting mix, 6 bags worth. It seems to me that some of the pots I’ve been growing in could use some refresh. So I figured I would mix some new soil in some pots. It couldn’t hurt.

In addition to the grapes, I picked up some asparagus crowns. I’ve grown asparagus before, at a previous house. There, I seemed to have the correct conditions and often gave my excess asparagus away. I’m hoping that they will like the new garden.

I also picked up a peony, Sarah Burnhardt. I haven’t had the best luck with peonies, but I’m determined to try again. Another flowering plant I picked up was a rose Mr. Lincoln. Last year I noticed one of my roses is not doing well – it looks dead. It a red, heritage, old fashioned rose. I don’t remember its name. But it was a deep red/magenta color, with a strong fragrance. Since I don’t recall what it is, I figured a Mr. Lincoln would be a good option.

I’ve working on a new gardening bed this year. Its a wood raised, waist height bed. Rather than just put soil in it, I’ve put those grow bags in it. I managed to fit 8 bags in the bed. This should allow me to grow less, yet more. Each bag will have some seed separate from the next. Right now I have lettuce, pak choi, swiss chard, and carrots. So I still have 4 bags that have soil but no seed.

In addition, the above ground beds, the ones I took the sides off, still have soil on the ground. That means I can put seed in there and attempt to grow something. I did sprinkle some old lettuce seed on it and we will see if anything grows.

New year, new garden. Hopefully we have a successful yet.

Good bye cold

Weather here in central Texas is and can be so variable. We made it through about 4 days of cold. And it was bitter cold for this area. One day we didn’t eve make it above freezing. One friend of mine that lives nearby had pipes freeze. They finally defrosted when we got above freezing.

On a previous post I posted an image of our drop when the cold front arrived. We dropped 20 degrees in a matter of hours. For this area, that was dramatic. The cold front arrived on Thursday 12/22 with that dramatic drop in temperature. By that evening, it was 15 degrees here at the house. At 2:30 AM we had hit a low of 13 (I had to let my dog out for a potty break so I checked). By Friday it was cold, not getting above freezing all day. Saturday (Christmas Eve) we got above freezing, up to 45 degrees. The nights were still cold, well below freezing, in the 20’s. Sunday, Christmas Day it was warming, but the night time temperatures were still below freezing.

This week, Monday we hit 63 here, and were on our way out of the cold. Today is Friday and our days and nights are safely out of the cold. But other areas will be digging out for longer. Some areas, NY for example, saw travel bans because of the storm. One area, Buffalo NY saw winds of 79 mph and got 22 inches of snow in one day. That meant with snow, cold and wind you have white out conditions, you were in a blizzard. In addition, lake effects brought their own issues. Some homes on Lake Erie saw the fronts covered in ice. Per CNN, “Tupling told CTV that the ice that accumulated on the Crystal Beach homes was at least a foot thick, and residents were concerned about damage due to the weight of the ice.” The pictures of it are pretty dramatic. When that melts it will bring new problems.

Some areas saw power outages, even here in Texas we had a few, though not many. But nationwide, there were about 2 million people dealing with outages. It takes times to get all that fixed.

But here a week later, central Texas is back to mild weather. Actually its seems a bit warm weather for this time of year – 60’s-70’s. But here I’ve lost a lot of plants. My arugula, bok choy, and peppers froze. My roses look like they area damaged, but my rosemary is probably dead. I haven’t yet uncovered the plants on the patio, that is today’s job. But I won’t be surprised if they are all a loss.

My concern is what is the new normal here in Texas. Is it these kinds of severe cold fronts? Will we have more come February? We’ll wait and see.