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.

Its raining

Rain has begun. In just less than an hour we already have just shy of 2 inches and it is pouring. It is lightning and thunder, and rain.

It began with fat big droplets of rain. I went out to check the noise and it was hot, humid and the rain was beginning.

Now, its down to 71 degrees and its still raining. In the time I’ve been writing this we’ve crossed into 2.16 inches of rain, and its still pouring out there. It is quite a storm out there. And we are due for rain for the next few days.

Its a good thing rain, lightning, and thunder doesn’t bother the dogs.

It has been raining now an hour and we’ve just crossed the 2.5 inch mark of rain.

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.

Rain

Darn if we didn’t get rain again. Today started out a bit cloudy, but nothing I thought would amount to much. Just goes to show you how much I know, or rather how much I have to learn.

I went to church, something I’ve recently begun doing on Sundays, and after the church service, around 12:15, I walked outside to the beginning of sprinkles. It didn’t looking like dark clouds. And I didn’t actually think it would amount to much. I hadn’t heard that rain was due. I must have missed that part of the forecast. But it began it rain. Nothing heavy. Just a slow constant drizzle. And it rained for almost the next 8 hours. As I write this, its about 9:45PM and the rain has stopped and the clouds are breaking up. I even walked the dogs. That’s how dry its become.

And yet throughout that entire time we only got 0.67 inches of rain. So when I say it was a slow rain, it was a slow light rain. And the weather forecast says we might be having more rain.

Unfortunately for the next couple of weeks I will not be posting. I will be online, but out of the area so I will not be posting anything. Hopefully nothing new or earth shattering will happen while I’m gone.

I pulled out some of the old plants, like the cucumber and pumpkin plants. They were not doing great. The pumpkin plants were not seeds I planted this year, they were volunteer plants. I pulled up the swiss chard plant. That will need to be replanted. I’m also figuring I will reseed some carrots, maybe beets, and some lettuce for my fall crops. My beans are still in the ground, as are some peppers, and a couple of tomato plants. And they will probably continue growing. Having some rain while I’m gone wouldn’t be a bad thing.

After pulling the plants up, I turned the soil so it will be ready for fall planting. I do need to add some soil back into the beds. Hopefully that is something I can do when I get back. I’ll have a bit of gardening work to do when I return.

More rain

Last nights rain continued. How much rain did we actually get, well that’s a good question. It appears my weather station at some point got reset and the time was off. So when I went to bed last night at midnight by my watch, it didn’t match the time on the weather station. So even though it said 0.79 inches what it continued to add until midnight its time, when it would have reset for the new day is anybody’s guess.

And to add to it last night was a night of lightning, thunder, rain, and power outages. We actually had 2 power outages that I know of.

Nonetheless today, now at 9:45pm we have 3.08 inches of rain on the weather station. We didn’t have any more power outages during the day. But we did have a couple more thunderstorms. Both last night, and this evening we have had downpours. The kind where the wind blows, the sky darkens, and the rain pours down.

Today we got to all of 77 degrees. I know because that was around 2:45 when I walked the dogs. But by 5pm it wasn’t much warmer. And then shortly after 5:30ish it began to pour. I was at the friends for dinner and we could watch it darken then watch rain begin to pour from the skies. It didn’t last too long, but it probably gave us a good 1/2 or more inches of rain.

Now at almost 10pm we have the before mentioned 3.08 inches of rain, and 72 degrees. For summer in Austin that is a bit below the norm. Yet tomorrow we should get up to the low 90’s (92 is the forecast) and our chances of rain drop down to 20%. The chance of rain drops after that, the sun will begin coming out and by Sunday we should be high 90’s (forecast for Sunday is 98).

As for the garden, I’m still harvesting Anaheim chilies. And it looks like there are some green beans ready to be harvested. But I’m not sure how the tomato plants are taking the downpours. I’m expecting the answer is going to be not great. I know some plants in pots are getting blown over due to the wind.

Crazy weather.

Still getting rain

We’re still getting some rain here. Yesterday, 7/6 I woke up to find we had gotten 0.45 inches of rain. Today we’ve gotten 0.16 inches, all in one short microburst. Its was just “boom” it was raining, rained for a short couple of minutes, then it was over.

The only nice thing about this weather is we’ve been in the mid 80’s, sometimes low 80’s instead of the mid 90’s we could normally expect. The cooler weather is nice to have.

But at least we’re lucky, we could be Florida. That area has been dealing with Hurricane Elsa. It made landfall today in north Florida. Its on its way to Georgia (probably there already). Its expected to be in North Carolina tomorrow morning, so it will probably make it way through South Carolina this evening. It should make Massachusetts by Friday, then by Saturday it will be back out to sea. At least that is what they are expecting. I’m sure we will be hearing about the destruction its causing soon enough.

I’ll try to keep posting about both our rain here, and Hurricane Elsa.

Happy Fourth of July

They have warned of rain. Its not a continuous rain that we get here. And they’ve been warning of it for day. Well, it does strike. And I use the word strike as that is what just happened. In the space of less than 15 minutes we have gotten 3/4′ of rain. We’ve spent the day with clouds, some blue skies, and yet suddenly the skies darkened and rain began. It has been 15 minutes now since it first began, and where the rain has slowed, we still have 0.77 inches in the back yard. It well may stop shortly, but by then we may well hit .80 inches of rain.

And being that its still mid afternoon, its possible we could get more rain later this day or tonight.

This is how rain comes in central Texas.

At least the yard and the garden got watered.

UPDATE: its almost 11pm and we’ve topped out at 0.82 inches of rain. But rain is in the forecast the rest of the week. I’ll keep you posted.

More rain

The weather has been cool, well, for Texas its been cool. We’ve had rain, both yesterday (Monday) and today (Tuesday). Today was 0.63 inches. But just wait, tomorrow we are due for high 80’s, then Thursday back to 90’s.

The weather forecast says Thursday and Friday no rain. But tomorrow, the starting Saturday we are looking for scattered thunderstorms. So we are back to high mold counts, and water logged planters. Its been a weird time gardening. It has truly been feast and famine. We’re hot or raining. And the nights are down to low 70’s.

Welcome to Texas gardening. You never know what’s in store.

Rain

Its been warm, in the 90’s. And yet today its been cooler, in the 80’s, and raining. We’ve had the kind of rain that if a sudden downpour. It gives like half an inch of rain in 20 minutes. Its nice, in part because it has cooled down to 77 as of now, 7pm. In addition to the half inch of rain at one short time period, we’ve had a couple of short sporadic rain falls, bringing us to a total so far today of 0.61 inches. Its only 7pm, so its possible we could get more rain tonight.

We do have a much larger chance of rain tomorrow. We actually have a chance of showers for the next week. We’ll see how much we actually get. It might be quite a bit, but who knows.

On a different note, the Pacific North West is in a heat wave. Hard as it is to believe today was supposed to be around 90. Tomorrow, Monday its expected to be 110 degrees in Seattle. And its supposed to be 90 on Tuesday.

This is a bit unusual. I’ve lived in that area and usually the hottest week is about the first week of August., usually Seafair weekend. This weekend is the last weekend of June. If this is their new hottest week, its a month ahead of schedule. Then again, the first week of August could still end up being hot, hotter than this. That just remains to be seen.

As for my garden, its doing okay. I finally pulled out my Swiss chard. Its grown far too large to handle. Its bitter, its a cool weather plant so I’m not sure why its been growing in the middle of 90 degree weather. So, I pulled it out. Ironically my peppers in pots are doing better than my pepper in the raised beds. I’ve lost my squash, yet my cucumbers are growing well. And my volunteer plants, seeds probably from last year, I think they are watermelon, maybe cantaloupe look like they are growing well. These plants have small fruits on them. We’ll see how they grow, and if they mature. My apple trees, in the ground actually look like they are doing well. They’ve grown taller, I’ve even seen flowers on them, and they are leafing out well. Even my new Meyer lemon is looking good.

Overall, the garden is doing okay.

UPDATE: per weather.com Seattle is 100 degrees at 6:20pm. That’s hot anywhere you are at.