Saturday, August 30, 2008

Plans for next year

or maybe this fall, I"m not sure. I have decided that I need the Garden Guide for Austin and Vicinity, though. I think I also may attempt to go to the Free Seminar: Vegetables for Cooler Times, Wenesday Sept 17, 7-9pm Zilker Botanical Gardens.

Anyhow, as I said Plans for next year (and this, of course, is a hold over from living in Colorado--I still think of gardening as a spring/summer thing and it's really not):

1. Some sort of squash. Shawn says "Butternut". Which of course, I've never had. Nor do I know how well it grows down here.

2. Potatoes. Once again, I have no idea what grows here, and what doesn't. So I'll have to do my research. But seeing as how the Red La Sodas are the ones they keep giving us through Farm to Work, I'm guessing they grow here.

3. More tomatoes (will I never learn?)

4. Peppers. I think I'll try to mix in a Bell variety (Shawn won't be happy) and some spicier peppers--I think I'm done with the weird varieties--they just don't seem to do well. Maybe a nice Serrano.

5. More cantaloupe and watermelon. Eventually I'll find a watermelon that actually grows for me.

6. Carrots. Again, this is something that always gets eaten by something. As do my lima bean plants.

Also, I just went out and looked at the yard again. For the fall/winter garden, I think I'll have to create a new one along our north fence. Actually, this is where I wanted to put our normal garden, but since the fence was old, we decided it would suck to put in a garden, and THEN decide to replace it, so we waited. And our neighbor was nice enough to replace the fence last fall. This of course, opens up the possibility of turning our normal garden (in which nothing grows because it gets too much shade) into a flower garden. I think I like that idea.

Also, I still need to look into possibly getting some of those Earth Boxes (or creating my own). I have a feeling that tomatoes and other water hog plants will do better in those.

Boggy Creek Farm

So, I FINALLY went to the Boggy Creek Farm today.

I've been on their mailing list for a while, but had never gone out there. I told my Mother In Law about it approximately 8 months ago, and she said that when she comes out here next, she wants to go there. I decided it would be best to actually, you know, go to the place BEFORE she actually comes out.

Anyhow, today was the day we finally went. Every other time I've suggested it, Shawn's pooh-poohed the idea as I was participating in the Farm to Work program and was picking up fresh veggies every other week. I finally got bored with all the summer squash and okra, so I stopped ordering--at least until they start having something other than summer squash and okra. This of course means that we don't have any fresh veggies in the house.

At Boggy Creek Farms we picked up a green eggplant (a type that neither of us has ever had before), a head of garlic, 2 potatoes, a pound of ground bison, and a 2 oz bag of Larry's Smoke Dried Tomatoes. Our grand total was $29.04. Of course, the Smoked Tomatoes and Bison ended up being $17 of that $29. And the price would have been higher if Shawn had let me get the Chevre and Goat's Milk IceCream like I wanted. In any case, I don't foresee Shawn complaining about the price of the Farm to Work stuff for a while.

And, as a total plus, BCF has chickens everywhere. They've got chicks right now and they are so friggin' adorable. I especially liked the little yellow ones that had the ittiest-bittiest combs you ever saw.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bush Tree Thing

This is the bush tree that I keep referring to (close up to show the leaves):
I don't know what it is, but it has purple azalea like flowers in the spring. The problem I have with it is that it gets VERY sparse looking in the summer. Plus, it's just out of frame on the picture of where the tree used to be...which means that we start running into the problem of getting a new tree planted in the back yard when we really don't have any space. I say kill it off, the husband says keep it.

The Tree has been removed

It was actually removed on Tuesday of this week--As mentioned earlier, the arborist came (Andy Johnson from Central Texas Tree Care), and said that our tree was at emergency status and needed to be removed ASAP. This part didn't surprise me. In fact, the only reason I thought there was something wrong with the tree in the first place was because our cat refused to climb it or sit in her 'hidey hole' (one of the 90* crooks created a cat sized area where she could sit and be mostly hidden, but still be able to survey the yard). Funny little beasties.

We didn't have the stump removed, but that was because we didnt' see how they'd get the equipment into our backyard. So now I guess it's a sit and wait game for the stump to deteriorate. I wonder if Solarizing does anything for getting rid of tree stumps...

Overall it was cheaper than I expected (I was expecting it to be over $500 because the tree was in such a weird spot)...the final price was $450 and that included pruning all other trees on the property.

Fist raised to the heavens

It rained. Some more. Which only sucks because I'm on call for rainstorms this weekend. The rain caused me to call my other coworker who is on call to ask her stupid questions.

stupid weather.

Got a shade over an inch.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Storm Comparison

You'd think this would be easier to find than it is....

For Colorado (From NOAA Atlas 2):
  • 2-yr storm: 0.71" in 1 hour, or 0.83" in 2 hours, or 0.91" in 3 hours, or 1.05" in 6 hours, or 1.58" in 24 hours
  • 5-yr storm: 1.38" in 6 hours or 1.99" in 24 hours
  • 10-yr storm: 1.59" in 6 hours or 2.27" in 24 hours
  • 25-yr storm: 1.90" in 6 hours or 2.65" in 24 hours
  • 50-yr storm: 2.19" in 6 hours or 2.95" in 24 hours
  • 100-yr storm: 1.86" in 1 hour, or 2.39" in 6 hours, or 3.35" in 24 hours

For East half of Texas (SCS type III, Can be found in City of Austin DCM):
  • 2-yr storm: 1.72" in 1 hour, or 2.16" in 2 hours, or 2.32" in 3 hours, or 2.67" in 6 hours, or 3.44" in 24 hours
  • 5-yr storm: 3.56" in 6 hours or 4.99" in 24 hours
  • 10-yr storm: 4.21" in 6 hours or 6.10" in 24 hours
  • 25-yr storm: 5.14" in 6 hours or 7.64" in 24 hours
  • 50-yr storm: 5.94" in 6 hours or 8.87" in 24 hours
  • 100-yr storm: 4.37" in 1 hour, or 6.85" in 6 hours, or 10.20" in 24 hours

You'll notice that a Colorado 100-year storm is roughly equivalent to a Texas 2-year storm. This explains why when I moved down here, it would rain and I would worry that someone was going to come by and tell me it was time to evacuate.

Even more Rain

And another 1.25" during the day on Friday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

more rain

another .25" today.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Colorado Rain

The front from Colorado finally blew in (after it dumped quite a bit of rain up there--it was something like they were 5" behind for the year and after the month of storms they've had, they're now like 7" ahead or so they say...perhaps I have those number flipped. but whatever).

We got 1" on Tuesday day (and 0.79" of that fell in one hour...or so that's what the gage at the elementary school was reporting), and then another 0.75" over night.

which is wonderful...just as long as it doesn't rain on the weekend. I'm on call and we have to have priorities obviously.

Monday, August 18, 2008


So, the tree in the back yard that I posted about last week is indeed dying. It is being eaten by carpenter ants, and the arborist dude is coming back tomorrow morning with his crew to remove the tree. It's apparently at 'emergency status' right now because of the crack.

Shawn asked what he would recommend for a replacement tree and his suggestions included Chinquapin oak and Mexican plum...of course I was hoping for something that didn't drop fruit. But to be fair, he was giving Shawn recommendations based off of us keeping whatever the bush-type-thing is in the backyard.

The arborist also walked around the house and told Shawn what all the other trees were on the property. So we've got Red Tip Photina, Dwarf Crepe Myrtle, Shumard Oak, Chinese Pistachio, Bradford Pear, and 2 Arizona Ash (one of which will be removed). He also told shawn what the bush-type-thing was, but of course he didn't remember it. This is because he doesn't really care what plants we've got in the yard whereas I do.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Good news, the arborist is coming on Monday to look at the tree. I already warned them that it would likely need to be removed, but we'll see what he says.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Watermelon Cantaloupe, Round 2

Round two for the cantaloupe and watermelon. I don't hold out much hope. Though I do highly recommend the little peat pots. Mostly because they cut down on the whole disturbing the root system thing AND you can put seedlings in the ground instead of seeds...which seem to get eaten alive out here.

Texas Mountain Laurel Trees

Success! At least partially. I haven't noticed any of the original seeds having come up, but I obtained some more seeds and planted them in a little plant doohickey and one in the spot where the dwarf maple used to be. I've got the sticks around it to A) indicate where I planted the seed, and B) to keep my cat from ripping it out of the ground accidentally while she digs cat holes.

Grapefruit trees and Basil Plants

with my anti-squirrel device on the grapefruit (stupid animals keep digging in my plants and uprooting them.

Big Tree, oh noes!

One of the large trees in the backyard is dying.

We've known it for a while, but were trying to ignore it. We can't ignore it anymore. Mostly because it appears termites are eating the tree...which normally wouldn't be too big of a deal...except that the tree in question is the one that LEANS. I guess I should explain--the tree leans...or so it appears because the previous owners cut off one of the large branches thus causing the tree to be heavy on one side, so it compensated by immediately growing branches in another direction. But of course, the trunk, by then, was permanently stuck leaning toward the deck.

Anyhow, I will be contacting some arborists tomorrow to see what their suggestion is...

Check out the pics and let me know what you think:
backside of tree

"front" side of tree

Showing how the tree leans.