This is spring!

So you think it’s spring time in central Texas. It balmy, wait this isn’t exactly balmy weather. It early May and we’re due to hit 89 degrees, with 66% humidity. And we could even get a shower or possibly a thunderstorm. This is spring time in central Texas. I wouldn’t call it balmy. It warm, more like hot, and humid already.

But just wait. This weekend it will be sunny, after showers later this week, with lovely highs in the high 90’s. And I’m talking 97-98 degree heat. I cannot make this weather up. It might be a sunny weekend and that hot, but after that it stays in the 90’s but its going to be cloudy. Let’s call it what it is, hot and humid – and we’re not in summer!

And you wonder why gardening is such an adventure here. Poor plants.

Happy New Year’s Eve

2022, here we come. Today is the last day of 2021. The weather here has been warm days, and humid nights. Its been so humid the dew is condensing and dripping off my roof. The deck covering drips each night. It leaves a good inch of water in the bottom of a barrel. And it is from nothing but the humidity. For reference its been evenings of low 70-high 60’s, with humidity of 99%. Its not cold enough to rain, so all that moisture just sits in the air. Even now, its Friday evening, New Year’s Eve, and its 71 degrees and 93% humidity outside. That’s humid and warm, but not cool enough to actually rain.

And so have been our evenings.

But tomorrow, Saturday January 1 2022 we are due for a cool down. Tomorrow during the day we should hit a balmy 79, almost 80 degrees. Yet our low for tomorrow is forecast to be 28 degrees. Sunday our high is forecast for 48, with a low of 26. Monday is 52 and 35. By Tuesday we should be back to 60-70 daytime highs and lows in the 40’s.

In preparation for this cold the raised beds have been covered with Plankets, those green plant cover thin blankets. The citrus tree in the ground is small enough to be covered with an upside down pot. We’ve put a large rock on the pot to keep it in place just in case wind kicks up. I expect some plants will die in the cold, and I’m okay with that. I’ve still been harvesting jalapeno peppers, even today. Also, my bell pepper plants will probably die, that I’m really okay with that. Even the tomato will probably die, but again, its not a bad thing. These plants dying will allow me to pull them with a clean conscious.

So we shall see what the weather brings for 2022.

Happy New Year.

First freeze

Today we hit a lovely 77 degrees. Though it was a bit humid, it was overall not a bad day outside. I even took my dog out for a nice walk outside.

Tomorrow should be another similar day, warm with a high of possibly 80 degrees. And the evening will be a cool low 50’s.

But typical Texas Saturday we expect a cold front to come in. The daytime temperature will drop to just below 60, with a low expected to be 32. It will be our first freeze of the season here in this area.

Now part of what makes this one of the joys and challenges of gardening here, is it was just the other week I turned the raised beds outside. Why turn them, because the weather had been warm. After turning the beds I sowed seeds. The bak choi and lettuce are already coming up. The bell peppers I transplanted (moved) and the bean plants I moved have taken well to their new homes and have been flourishing. Since I still have pepper plants, and tomato plants in pots and in the ground outside, I will need to see about covering them somehow. I will also plan to move those potted plants on my deck to a more covered area.

But don’t worry. In typical Central Texas style even though Saturday will be cool, by the following Tuesday we will be back into the high 70, then 80’s on Wednesday.

I expect the quick cool down then lovely warm up will lead to some lovely cedar pollen counts. Gotta love Texas.

First 90

Yes, Texas, at least central Texas has finally had its first 90 degree day. We had it just the other day. Even the news mentioned it’s about 10-14 days early from our normal first 90 degree day. Earlier and earlier. Anyone who doesn’t believe weather is changing, yes even those that think this is normal, may want to actually look at what is happening, not what we think if happening.

I say this because we have to actually look at the weather that is outside our door as opposed to what history says should be happening. Since its not yet the middle of April, and we’ve hit 90 degrees already, no matter what the planning guides say, we need to start being aware of heat.

Last year we had 40+ triple digit days, days where we hit or passed 100 degrees. That may not seem that bad, but remember that here in Texas, especially this area, the days are hot, but so are our nights. So where we may have 100 degree days, the nights may only get down to 80 degrees or there about. So 100 degree day is not usually followed by a cool night of say 60-70. And with that kind of heat we also frequently get very humid. We may not get rain, but we get humidity.

This combination means mold, of a variety of types, which can be problems for plants.

If we have already begun 90 degree days, we need to consider not only the heat, but any humidity we get. Some of the weather station even show with the temperature expected a “muggy meter”. It may sound cute, but it is something we need to consider here in this area.

For our upcoming week, we will have something of a cooling of the weather. Starting Tuesday (today is Sunday) we will drop about 10 degrees to the mid to upper 70’s and begin getting a chance of run. The current forecast says we could expect upwards of 3/4 to 1.25 inches of rain. We could use the rain.

Beginning soon I may begin a gardening journal on this website. Where this year has already been interesting weather, it was just a couple of months ago that we had snow, and now we have 90 degree weather, I had begun noticing “surprise” plants in my garden. I call them surprise plants since I had not yet planted anything in those areas. I would have thought that the snow would have killed off some of the seeds left over from last year. But since I now have seeds coming up, I can only guess that they are left over seeds from last year.