What a difference a day makes

Yesterday was a our typical hot Texas day. Actually it was hot and humid. There were even spotty rain.

Today it was warmer at 9AM than it is at 4PM. This morning when I let the dogs out it was in the 80’s. Now its in the mid-upper 70’s.

And we’ve had a few downpours. At least they are not long lasting, but we’ve had some rain today. Actually we went to Home Depot for some items and while in the store it began raining. It was just pouring outside. When we went to the checkout, we headed to the area where you exit out to a covered loading zone. This way one stayed with the items, the other made it to the car and moved it to the covered area. Much more comfortable than standing in rain trying to fit everything in the car.

And they are saying we can expect rain for the next few days. We could even get rain through the weekend. Its not a continuous rain, it comes in showers. So we’ve had times with rain, and times without rain.

But the yard and garden are much happier with both the temperatures and the water.

And yes both my beets and the broccoli seeds have already sprouted. And both are under the shade cloth.

We got rain!

Saturday morning we were lucky enough to actually get that much wanted cool front. With it we actually got rain. We got 1-1/2 inches of rain here at the house. Much needed rain. The other nice part of the rain, was we did cool off some. Not for long, but a couple days of just below 100 was much welcomed relief.

I’m sure the yard will be so much happier that we got some rain. We also have an unusual weather condition coming up. There are two storms headed our way, Laura and Marco. Marco, I think, is expected to make landfall today somewhere near New Orleans. Laura is expected to make landfall in a couple of days. What will happen with either remains to be seen, but rain is in the forecast, probably Wednesday or Thursday. I’ll keep you posted.

the dry spot

As I mentioned before, I had these two raised beds put into my yard for growing my veggies. Even though I haven’t had as much success this year as I had hoped, I’m keeping positive as I get to know my yard better.

But the reason for this image is to point out the consequences of my choice. This is not about good or bad choices, this is just about the learning process. When we purchased this house it had a front and back lawn with installed sprinkler heads. That’s the good news. The land was already graded to allow for water drainage. My beds don’t seem to impact the water drainage. BUT, the beds do impact the sprinkler heads. The sprinkler heads do not pop up high enough to water beyond the beds. The heads do pop up, but the water can’t quite clear the beds. Consequently I have the dry spot in front of the beds where the grass is dying.

And if you’re wondering why there is green grass on this side of the beds, its from the drip watering system inside the bed. It sprinkles just outside the bed too.

Now I don’t have a problem with this, I can water the area easily. That’s why I have a hose with a sprinkler head. Its actually on top of the piece of wood to keep it level. It kept falling over whenever I turned the water on, so I put it on a piece of wood to keep it more stable. It does work on my yard.

Eventually, maybe next year I will see about what to do about the sprinkler heads. I’m sure there must be a way to get them to pop up higher, even if I have to get new sprinkler heads that do that.

But the whole point here is, if you make a change, it may impact something else. Just be aware of that, even if you didn’t foresee it. Most things are fixable. My problem here, the dying grass area, is not the end of the world. Its fixable, and even a small fix as far as I’m concerned. But I personally will accept I have to fix this in order to keep my garden. Having my garden matters more to me that this drying grass spot.

But that’s just me.

Learn your garden

One thing about gardening is you really need to learn your little micro zone. Sometimes people think its sunny, the whole yard gets sun, but that might not be entirely accurate. As I mentioned in a different post, I have a small area bordered by the house on one side, a raised deck on one side, open on a side, and the last side is partially open and partially enclosed by a wall. Because of the raised deck on one side and the partially enclosed portion, this area get both sun and shade. It affects what grows well there, and how they grow. I wanted to show you what I mean.

Pea plant in full sun

The above is a pea plant, think snow peas, that is in the raised bed in full sun light. Now you might think that would be great for the plant. Well, here in July in central Texas, that’s a lot of sun, and a lot of heat.

Pea plant with shade

This pea plant, same seed, was planted after the other one, but it is in that corner area near the raised deck. That means this plant get shade in the after noon. This plant was planted after the other one, and theoretically should be smaller. But its not. Its growing better, is larger, and even has peas on it.

Squash plant from shaded pot

By comparison, this squash plant was in a pot in the same partially shaded area where the well growing pea plant is. You may thing, well its growing fine. By comparison…

Squash plant in full sun

This squash plant was planted after the other one, should be smaller, and have less growth. This one is producing squash, I’ve been eating them. I transplanted the other plant into the same bed as this plant.

These examples are to show how you have micro climates within your yard. You may have some areas with more sun that you expect, and some areas get less that you expect. What you may not have noticed on the small squash plant is it actually had some mildew because of where it was growing. Yes it was in a pot, but it wasn’t in a crowded area, it gets a lot of breeze through that area. But it is an area that does get more shade. And that seems to have made all the difference.

To make it simple to understand, if you have an area where a plant may not be doing well, take a good look at the actual area – how much sun, how much shade, how much wind or breeze does it get. It may not be what you expect. Your plant may do better in a different area of your yard. So you need to actually look and learn about your area. Then you can get a better crop of whatever you are growing, veggies, flowers, whatever.

Things to learn while gardening.