Rain

Last night a storm blew through. The rain didn’t start until after nightfall, it began well after 9pm. It was accompanied by quite a lightning show. Here where I live we also had to deal with short power outages. By short, they lasted less than a minute. But they were long enough to turn all the lights off, reset the tv, reset the microwave clock, etc.

The first power outage happened around 10pm. I had checked the weather gauge just before the power went out, logged it, and we had already had 0.55 inches of rain. Within minutes we had another power outage. The outages were pretty close together. But they did cause the rain gauge to reset itself.

By morning the weather station had recorded 3.75 inches of additional rain. We didn’t seem to have any more power outages throughout the night, at least not here where I live.

So last night’s storm left us with about 4.3 inches of rain, give or take a bit (0.55 + 3.75). We might get some more today, but once this passes we should be free of the rain. But we will be getting a definite cool front. As that matter goes, we should make a high of 85 today, yet drop to a high of 79 tomorrow, then by Sunday be a high of 69 and a low of 43.

It shouldn’t be cold enough to harm plants growing, but it might stop a few of them from doing much. But typical Texas weather, by mid next week we will be back up to around 80 degrees.

Rain

By my last check of the rain gauge last night, we had 3.35 inches of rain. This morning we had clocked an additional 0.83. So our total for last night is over 4 inches of rain.

Today, we haven’t had any rain. Right now, in the early evening, the sky outside is blue and lovely. Tonight we are not due for rain, though that is always subject to change. But tomorrow we have about a 40% chance of rain. Friday and Saturday we have 84 and 90 percent chance of rain. So we will have wet days ahead. By Sunday the chance of rain will fall to about 25%.

The nice thing of course with this chance of rain, is that our temperatures will fall also. Friday our high will be just below 80, with the lows in the mid 60’s. Hopefully this means we have begun the cooler days and nights of Autumn.

And with that cool down we begin the next growing season. Welcome to the growing reality of Central Texas.

Fall is here

Autumn has begun. Hallelujah! The weather is changing, at least for central Texas. The sun is still shining, but at least the temperatures are changing. We finally have cooler weather. Bearing in mind this is Texas, it means our daytime temperatures are in the mid to high 80’s. Okay, that may not be cool temperatures if you like in say the north East, or northern part of the USA, but here, that’s a cool down. Autumn also means our night time temperatures are lower, mid 50’s. Again this in central Texas so you have to bear in mind our summer temperatures are much warmer than that.

But in honor of autumn I have begun cool weather crops. Last week I put in peas, carrots, bok choy, beets, and some lettuce. The peas have already sprouted.

We have rain in the forecast this week, and the new seeds will enjoy it I’m sure.

I”m also working on eliminating some of the grass in my back yard.

Because my yard slopes slightly, I need to know how it slopes and where it slopes. I don’t want to eliminate the slope. The entire property drains from the front yard down and out the back yard. Since any water will drain out the back, past the metal fence to the greenbelt, I don’t really want to lose that drainage ability. I need to keep the drainage intact.

At first I was thinking I would just put mulch in the back yard, but I reconsidered that. If I attempt to put mulch down, when we get a hard rain, something this area gets, the mulch will just wash away. So just mulch is not what I want to do. But I am considering the possibility of rock and mulch, or just using rock. Rock would have the advantage of allowing water to flow though to the greenbelt area behind.

Once I decide what I want to do, and what I want where, etc., then I have to decide how to actually do the work. Rock may need, probably will have to be, ordered and delivered. The mulch is yet to be determined. How much mulch will I need, should it be more like bark chips, etc.? That will depend on the actual design of what I choose to do.

One of the “designs” I am considering is to put mulch on the sides of the yard by the wood fence. But I need to make sure that will not cause the wood fence to rot quickly. I could mulch areas where things like trees are planted. Then put rock in between the mulched areas. But in order to keep the mulch from moving and being washed away, would it make sense to put rock in the area by the metal and wood fence, for drainage?

So why do I want to make changes to what I have, you ask. Well part of the reason is where the raised beds are makes mowing behind them impossible. They are just too close to the metal fence in the back. I have the same problem with some of the areas where plants are by the wooden fence lines.

The back two rectangular areas are the raised beds. The metal fence is behind it. The two shorter sides have wood fencing.

This is not to scale but it gives you an idea of what I mean by the area behind the raised beds is too narrow to mow. I measured it and that strip is all of 23″. That makes mowing behind it difficult. It usually has to be weed whacked. Such is the problem.

Yes, I could pull out all the beds, move out all the dirt, then replace everything. That would be a lot of work. And I’m not sure its really worth it. Of course, who wants to really have to worry about mowing such a narrow strip?

I think leaving the beds where they are and either putting rock or something else that doesn’t need to be mowed, and will allow water to drain out of it will make much more sense. I’ve even considered the fake mulch mats back there. Just something that will keep grass from growing, and allow water to drain. I don’t need to grow anything back there. I only walk back there to work in the beds, pull veggies, weed the beds, etc.

So my search for what to do continues.

Winter?

Rumor, actually the weather service, has it we might actually get some cold weather. Where we’ve been 80 or close to it (tomorrow Thanksgiving its supposed to be 76), by Sunday evening we should be down to 37. And Monday evening we may even hit a low of 30. We’ll see if that actually happens, but it would be nice to get the cool down.

The other nice possibility is where tomorrow should be 76, Friday should drop to a high of 64 and maybe rain, and Saturday may bring thunderstorms and a high of 53. For the week after that we should be no higher than 65. That would be nice, a bit of a cool down. We will see if we actually cool down that much and if we stay cool for a few days. And we could definitely use the rain.

But at this point the weather service says we are finally going to get out the high warm temperatures and start our fall temperature cool down, with maybe our first frost of the season. Yeah, provided it actually happens. I’d even settle for chilly nights in the mid 30’s. That would be a welcome change.

Summer/fall

As strange as it sounds, we are in fall. Why is that strange? Because it is the middle of November and we are in the low 80’s. If this were a different section of the country, you might think we were in summer. Except we are a week from Thanksgiving, and this should be fall weather. This is warm even for Central Texas. The only thing that says we are not in summer is the fact that we don’t have longs days of summer sun.

But beyond that, this is autumn 2020 in Central Texas. For reference, my peppers are growing!! Even my squash plants are flowering! I will say with all that has been going on, 2020 has been a strange year.

WHAT KIND OF WEATHER IS THIS!!

Our nights are nice, though some areas have had frost. Here in the Austin/Dripping Springs area I have yet to get even close to a frost. I don’t know when we’ll get a frost, but I’m sure one will be on its way sometime soon. At least I sure hope so.

Its Beautiful

Strange as this may sound, central Texas has fit what is officially fall/autumn. And the weather is great. This is some of the nicest weather we get. The highs have been in the mid 80’s, for the most part humidity is down, the sun is shining, it is lovely outside. Even my dogs are enjoying their walks – they are little dogs so when it is too hot I cannot easily walk them.

The weather is so nice plants are growing. This is really the second growing season for this area. My tomato plants have more tomatoes on them than they have had all year. My basil is growing. Seeds I put out that did nothing earlier are now growing. With highs in the mid 80’s and lows hovering in the low to mid 60’s it is wonderful growing time.

If seeds or seedlings had been put out, now is a time you may find them growing like they had not grown in a while. Strange as that may seem in other areas, for central Texas plants are growing.

Welcome to fall in Austin. And the weather is wonderful.

We got rain!

Well its been rain, sun, and rain, and rain and run.

One day we got half an inch in a downpour. Then the next day we got another half an inch. Then a full inch of rain. Today we hit a lovely 88, I even took the dogs out for a walk. It was lovely. The sun has been out, its been a little bit humid, but not as oppressive as we’ve known.

Its just about 4:30 and it is pouring outside. Once it stops raining I’ll go see how much rain we got. It should be just a short shower, it was sunny and its still rather bright right now, even though its raining.

To give you an idea of how much rain we’ve had, some areas over 6″ of rain (couldn’t find data, sorry). That’s what they said on the news.

AND our forecast includes an early cold front.

I’m not sure how often the area of Texas gets a cold front, down to the 60’s in September. It will be interesting to see what we actually get.

But the garden should enjoy this cooler weather. I’ve took the time and put in the additional seed – spinach and lettuce. But the other seeds are doing fine.