Happy day after Christmas

True to Texas weather, it was in the mid 70’s yesterday, and its been warm today. But also in Texas weather fashion its humid. Its now 7pm, 60 degrees and 98% humidity. We’re expecting the same mid to high 70’s for the next week. Even our nights are only in the mid 50-mid 60’s. Maybe we’ll get some cooler weather next weekend, but I think that is a wait and see.

The weather has been so nice, my helper and I fixed the drip water system and put in new seeds. We also put in about 5 bags of soil into the raised beds. Over time as you pull plants up out of the raised beds you lose soil. So over time you may find you need to add soil to the beds. That is what I ran into. But it didn’t take as many bags o soil as I thought it might. But once we got the bags of soil in, it made sense to fix the drip water system. We had a leak at the connection where the hose meets the main piping. It was a pretty big leak. So we cut the leaking part off, took it to Home Depot, and found the necessary replacement. We also picked up some spare parts, and a separate hose, and watering/timer unit. The decision is to add a second line, with hose, watering/timer system, tubing, etc. for the pots. This way the beds have their own watering system/timer and can be watered fewer days, but longer time. I figured that made more sense in the long run.

And that’s also why new seed went in. We added a bit more tubing and sprayers so that the beds have better coverage. With the warm weather I figured putting in seed wasn’t a bad idea. So I put in carrots, lettuce, bak choi, beets, and arugula. More peas were also put into the pea pot. I call it the pea pot since that’s what I actually grow there. It actually seems to be a good spot for peas – that spots produces well when it comes to peas.

Now we just need to see what the weather will bring. Because this is Texas and we never know what we’ll get.

Heat spell

Central Texas has been in the midst of a heat spell. We’ve had triple digit days (100+), record breaking heat, with heat indexes hitting 110+. Just plain hot!

So what does that mean for your garden? Just try to keep things alive. That’s really the best you can do. Don’t worry about what doesn’t look like its growing, just keep the poor plants alive. That’s all you can do. That’s the most important thing.

Now I’ve lost a few plants. My thyme plant doesn’t look like it has survived the heat. And I think my mint may have bitten the dust. That happens. But I have small plants of both that I can transplant and grow. That’s the nice thing about taking cuttings and making new plants.

Now for how the garden is doing. I put in a drip water system. Its not elegant, but so far it is working. That’s what matters. I do need to make some refinements. I’m noticing some plants don’t appear to be getting enough water.

Right now the drip water runs three days a week, two times a day (morning and evening), for 5 minutes each time (total of 10 minutes a day). So its not running a lot, but don’t forget, my main sprinklers also run 2 days a week. What I have been looking at is the water pattern. I am using sprinklers that water in a 180 or 360 degree pattern, not little bubblers that water an individual plant. So I have to actually look to see where the water hits. Now yes, I may need to change to bubblers, but that is part of the learning process.

Another interesting learning opportunity has been the seed. You might remember I went through my seed and got rid of old seed. I had some seed that had never been opened, they were company packaged in foil packets. Well I put some of that old, unopened seed in the beds. Guess, what, most all of it is sprouting. Some seemed to sprout overnight. I’m sure getting heat and water helped the quick sprout.

But that’s part of the learning process of gardening. If something isn’t working, its your job to be the sleuth and figure out what may be going wrong. If it sunlight, heat, water, just the wrong plant, old seed – you have to figure it out. But I’m happy to say we seem to be on the right track again. Things are growing well, and that’s what matters.

Happy gardening!


Its been a cool day. Last night was about 44, and we hit a high of 60 today. But now in the evening, its a cool 50.8 with rain. Its more of a heavy drizzle. I say heavy drizzle because its been raining the past few hours and we’ve only have .35 inches of rain. So its definitely not a hard rain. I’m not sure how much rain we’ll end up with, but it will be slow in coming. But that’s good, at least it should soak in and water everything well.

A slow soaking rain would be nice. I have lots to plant and the rain will help that. I get an email from Old Farmers Almanac that give planting reminders. Right now the following seeds should be going in, but under covers:

  • broccoli *
  • summer cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • eggplant
  • kale *
  • leek
  • leaf lettuce *
  • onion *
  • peas *
  • pepper *
  • spinach *
  • large tomatoes *

All those with an asterisk are seeds I want to get in tomorrow. Even though I may be moving, still working on that, I figure as long as I’m here the garden must go on. Who knows, maybe if I plant seed, they come up, it will help sell the house. Maybe the new owners will be gardeners and will enjoy the crops. You never know.

But either way its time to start getting seed in. So the rain will be welcome in the garden.