last night it was.
with the forecast yesterday calling for it i
went out and pulled up the lima beans and picked
off the last pods that had any depth to them.
the dry ones that weren't rotting from all the
rain i have finishing up in a box top, the green
ones i cooked up last night or ate them as i was
today is clear and cool. we're going to start
working on fixing up part of the fence along the
back today. it's been smashed down by wild
grape vines and the deer are coming through there
so we need to cut away the vines and lift it
pretty much back to more normal weather now
instead of the high 70s we had right before the
rains came through.
Our lowest temp so far was 44F yesterday morning. I've started wearing
long pants but, so far, still wearing T shirts. The dog is wanting to
get under her blanket so she is now feeling the chill.
This morning presented our lowest ovenight temp so far this season,
too: 47° on my front porch, with tonight's low forecast to be in the
same range. 72 this afternoon, though. I find temperatures in that
range unpleasantly cool, so I'm gardening not just fully clothed but
wearing shoes, too?not a pleasant experience but, hey.... Most years,
we don't reach freezing temps until January or February. Good thing,
too. I'd hate to have to move further south because my Spanish isn't
all that good.
The garden wheel continues to spin. Mustard greeens, turnips,
"English" peas all loving the cooler autumn weather. The eggplants and
okra continue to produce, although, a few more 40-50° nights will take
care of that. Hoping the warm weather continues for a bit because two
varieties of snap beans, currently about 6" tall, need a bit more of
continued warm or, at least, mild temperatures. The Plan (how I do so
love a plan?doesn't even have to be a good one) is for more peas to
replace the snap beans. Cooler weather, though, allows for spinach,
carrots, and cabbage. Not gonna try any more broccoli, though. Climate
just doesn't stay sufficiently cool long enough for much besides rapini
to produce and most years it blooms early.
Yup! I'm a native Texan, born in Beaumont, TX to a Louisiana Dad and an
Oklahoma Territory Mom. They lived so long in Texas they started talking
like a real one. Used to be a really good shot with all sorts of
firearms, bow and arrow, and even with knife throwing, nowadays I let my
grandson's go fetch the meat, with my guns. Plus I was a gunsmith for
many years as my second job, but the one that was the most fun. Patron
member of the NRA. Since the paralysis has hit my right (shooting) hand
I've taught myself to shoot left handed. I even had a western hat at one
time and some fancy cowboy boots, all gone away now. I still shoot a
air rifle to keep some critters out of my fruit trees and the garden.
None of the critters are worth eating so the dog gets them, cooked even.
That's strange about the broccoli as we are about in the same zone you
are. Broccoli grows like a weed here, maybe it's because the garden is
so small and the backyard is small and has a six foot high fence. I
never have liked turnips but my folks loved them. We always plant
spinach, carrots, and cabbage does well here, most years, some years we
just don't have a hard freeze over the winter.
When we lived on ten acres we not only grew a LOT of garden stuff but
had a cow, lots of chickens and ducks, etc. Finally moved away and our
gardens got smaller. When we lived in Saudi Arabia for five years we
grew stuff on the flat roof of the house and grew it in wooden boxes I
made myself plus we had a few trees, etc. growing in very amended sand
inside our patio. When we went home a friend wrote a letter about the
Saudi families wanting that house so they could have our plants, etc.
Now we live on a 6500 square foot lot with a 1960 square foot house with
a wee little backyard. All of that being said people our age don't need
a lot of stuff to bend over.
would that be ice in a glass? :)
want to come get some groundhogs too? :)
we started working on the fence, cutting
away all those wild grape vines and then ran out
and used the temporary pickup truck to get another
load of wood chips. with all the rain the place
where we pick up the chips was kinda muddy and
the guy wasn't thinking he was going to get them
but he came through.
driving back home very slowly (no tarp, big pile
didn't want to leave an obvious trail) without any
problems. i don't think we'll need any more this
that was our break from working on the fence. we
get back out there to move along and we notice the
groundhogs have used other places to burrow in so
i'm sure we found the den openings and plugged them
up, but it will be interesting to see if they come
back again... so an extra hour and a half dealing
with those and we finally start unrolling the fence
and since it was actually folded we have to unbend
all the kinks. ok, yes, it was freebie fence and
very nice compared to what we had there before.
and now we find yet another spot the groundhogs
are coming through. so more work on that tomorrow
and cutting away more wild grape vines. we have a
pile of those the size of the pickup truck, too
bad we can't use those for much until they are
dried up and dead...
the deer will have an easy path tonight, but maybe
they will not come through with the changes and
fence laying on the ground and big pile of wild
i hope the hunters will thin the herds this year. :)
mine either. i got stuck learning computer languages
instead, used up all my memorizing skills for those and
when i finally got around to trying to pick up German i
completely had no interest in it at all. brute memorizing
just isn't my forte'...
are you back to your normal routine now? :)
the best laid plans of mice and men...
i'm so tired at the moment.
picked the last pods of the scarlet runner beans which
could have used plenty more warm weather too. the pods
feel pretty squishy/empty like the beans are not very
firm so that will be another crop that didn't go great
this year for me. we can still eat them though even if
they aren't the best condition (as long as they aren't
i'll hope the cold doesn't get too far down there. we
now have two days coming this week with forecasts of
possible snow. that's a four letter word i don't want
to hear already. it seems we've gone from summer to
winter in a week.
i have so much yet to get done before the ground thinks
about even freezing.
We're expecting frost here in the Baltimore area tonight. My wife asked me to cover the few remaining tomato and pepper cages in hopes of getting a few more days for them. Next frost warning, we pick whatever is out there and call it a season.
:) i wish the peppers would hold on, but this has
been a good year for them as it is. i have plenty
in the fridge and freezer to eat up.
we've not had enough light for the past few weeks.
the tomato plants have been pulled up for a while
and the pepper plants were finished off by the frost
so they'll come out soon and get buried.
i have seven gardens to get cleaned up and ready
for winter, takes a few hours here or there to do
it. the smaller ones are easy, dig small hole,
scrape stuff in, bury. just a half hour each.
the bigger ones will take an hour or two depending
upon what else i get up to.
with a fresh truckload of woodchips and working
on the fence i think i'll be lucky to get them
done this week, but it's a good goal.
i can take out frustrations at the propane company
pounding stakes and digging... grr. like i want to
be spending time on the phone this time of the
I'm a fair piece south of Harris County. Latitude is virtually the
same as Beeville, TX (±38.4° N), which is a little NW of Corpus Christi
and our weather is strongly influenced by two fairly large bodies of
water. Elevation is ±43 feet. It never gets as cold or as hot here as
it does in the Houston area every year or as it does in north Florida
(Tallahassee, Pensacola, Panama City), which is closer to Houston's
latitude. For now, we rarely reach freezing or below, maybe once each
season?some years, none at all?and a few days of overnights in the 40's
is a "cold wave". Had one frosty morning this past January or February
(not gonna go look at the calendar) but no ice, though, just that
sparkly surface stuff that goes away in the sunlight. However, over the
long term (in human beings' terms) Florida winters are cyclical: A few
"cold" winters, some in-between winters, followed by a few "tourist"
winters and so on..
The issue with broccoli, as well as with many other vegies that
want long cool seasons, is not that it doesn't grow but that it blooms
too soon and does not hold its buds. The wide night-day temperature
variation causes many vegetables to flower before they're ready and,
most years, the warm days cause the broccoli flowers to open immediately
instead of forming heads of nice tight buds.
Broccoli is not unique. The last year that I tried to grow
crisphead lettuce was the year that, after sending out two rosettes of
true leaves, they grew tall spikey things and bloomed! Garlic's that
way, too. I've tried seed garlic from Kansas, Arizona and from two
growers in Texas. Tried so-called "creole" garlics, purported to have
come to this continent via the Caribbean and Mexico and rumored to
thrive in warm climates?NOT! However, I have a plan (have I mentioned
just how much I luv plans?) for one more attempt at some Texas-sourced
Carrots, too, prefer extended cool weather. Although they grow
profusely during warm weather, the roots can be inedible. Haven't yet
planted carrots or spinach because the weather's just too hot and a
couple of chilly mornings portend mornings to come but not just yet.
It's only October.
I suppose so, if one accepts my definition of normality, which
If the squishy pods are empty, then suspect insufficient
pollination, sez I. Peas and most beans are self pollinationg, although
some bean yieilds are increased by insect pollination and, of course,
that's how one gets crosses. Read this:
and ruminate on the
amount of digging you've been doing there at the Institute. Bumblebees,
as well as many other native solitary and semi-social bees (primary bean
pollinators), are ground-nesting. Honeybees get the press but native
bees carry the pollination load in most home gardens.
As do I. Unfortunately the White Hole Effect only dispels rain and
not cold fronts.
Hee hee: That's how we rip through spring into summer. Spring's
about ten days in late February or early March most years.
When is that? It doesn't happen here. The only time I'm concerned
with soil temperature is in timing the first planting of spring snap
beans and I don't always fool with it then but just wait for overnight
lows to get within a suitable range.--
Peninsular FL, USA
uh, ya! :^)
the pods had beans, but the beans were not fully
developed in some cases. that is true of almost every
bean crop this season. odd weather, hot then cold,
rainy then drought for months then right back to too
much rain, etc.
i shelled them out and they were mostly edible, but
not fully fleshed out and firm. i have enough from
earlier in the season and from my first time growing
them a few years ago that i won't be in any danger of
not having enough to replant. if i'm on my game this
coming season i can sprout some in deep pots to give
them a few more weeks. the first time we planted them
i had a pretty good crop and actually for planting
these late and all the odd weather the crop is acceptable.
so maybe i won't bother starts for them.
when shelling and sorting beans i keep a container
to the side for tossing in the edible beans that are
not formed fully or have some other blemish which
does not affect edibility, but it would be one i would
not want to give to someone else to cook or one i
would not want to cook in something more formal. the
beans which have spots of mold on them get tossed into
the worm food container. anyways, in past years i've
usually had one or one and a half containers full of
rejects by the end of sorting. this season i'm over
three containers full. they're mostly lima beans.
all are good cooked up as a mix. i like to celebrate
the end of bean sorting by the cooking of the rejects.
we already cooked up one batch.
it has been rediculously wet here. i have mud if
i want to try to get any gardens put up. the other
day i hacked a huge honeysuckle bush out of the large
drainage ditch. i just could not talk myself into
ignoring it any longer since we were working on the
fence and putting up another section of taller newer
recycled fence someone gave us. the honey suckle never
should have been growing in there to begin with. i'd
like to clear the whole ditch of wild grape-vines and
honeysuckles and other trees, but i think i'm going to
have to let the other half go until next year. when
you are using loppers and a hand saw on a muddy clay
slope it can take some time. i only slipped in the
mud and water once. what's a garden project without
mud pies? :)
also i took some time to find the groundhog den
holes and plug them up and then put metal rebar
and rocks over them. i really don't like groundhogs
having a den right there next to the fence and all
those gardens. it was like a salad bar for them.
they have a half mile of large drainage ditch on
either side of us they can use for dens...
maybe this will discourage the deer and groundhogs...
hahahaha... ok, well, i can hope... i'd need a much
better fence than the stuff we have cobbled together.
it was drought here for so long i was really in the
habit of being able to plan things. now we're back to
having to work around the rains and so i still have
gardens to put up. luckily world peace or prosperity
does not depend upon them getting done.
i may get a break today and tomorrow so perhaps one
or two of the raised bed gardens can get done. will
have to get out the mudwear again tho.
if we get covering snows it may not freeze down
that far at all. if we don't it can freeze down
several feet. as for timing we are usually consistently
below freezing by the end of December most years, but
some wimpy years we've had lately has put that into mid-
January or even later.