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.