Surviving the Weather

6 Apr

Between last week’s temperatures hovering around 90 degrees and this week’s scary outbreak of numerous tornadoes, our garden has already been through a lot–and it’s only the first week of April.

Gardening in Texas certainly has its challenges.

Green beans are ready to blossom

Thankfully, we didn’t get hit by any of the 15 or so tornadoes that touched down in the Metroplex, but we did get pounded by a deluge of rain and some serious lightning. We were also lucky enough to escape the baseball sized hail that hit other areas.

Tuesday was an experience unlike any other I’ve ever had. It was scary, surreal, and a harsh reminder that Mother Nature is always in charge.

I don’t know if it’s a result of the storms, but the tomato blossoms I photographed last week have all fallen off, with the exception of two. This same thing happened early in the spring last year, and I think it’s mainly the result of the high temps and humidity we’ve had these past two weeks. Hopefully, with more reasonable temps expected this week, we’ll get more blossoms and fruit will set.

Have I said that gardening in Texas has its challenges?

Our first bell pepper

One more okra seedling has made an appearance, which brings us to a total of nine plants.

And the mystery seedlings? Two are definitely zucchini, and they are thriving. The other plant, which was blown over in the storm but not killed, is still unknown.

No mystery here: the mystery seedling is most definitely a zucchini plant

I’ve pulled up most of our winter lettuce, which has now shot up to waist height. About six lettuce plants were snapped in half by the high winds from the storms the other day. Better the lettuce than our trees. I’m pulling up about six plants a day, cutting off the top leaves for salad, and pulling the bottom leaves and cutting up the stalks for the compost bin.

I hope to plant some of my new varieties of lettuce this weekend.

The Brussels sprouts haven’t handled the heat well at all, and the small sprouts hidden under the leaves have grown too quickly and opened up. It was a good learning experience for us, and maybe we’ll try again in the fall.

All in all, we have much to be thankful for this week, when so many people lost their homes in the tornadoes. While gardening in Texas does have its challenges, at least our little patch of dirt is still in one piece.

(Just in case you missed it above, my post about the tornadoes: In Dallas, April Showers Bring . . . TORNADOES)


4 Responses to “Surviving the Weather”

  1. Karen 04/07/2012 at 6:56 AM #

    I am from Texas originally and have family still living there. It seems that each year the weather is getting much hotter and more severe. Happy to hear that you were lucky. Gardening is challenging wherever you live…here in New Hampshire we are still dealing with below freezing temperatures at night. My seedlings won’t go into the ground until the end of may. Good luck with your growing season.

    • Angela 04/07/2012 at 10:42 AM #

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting! Wow, I can’t imagine dealing with below freezing temps this time of year. I bet the colder, longer winters were a big adjustment for you. I will wishing for your cooler weather in about a month. The summers here are getting harder and harder to take!

  2. beechcreekproject 04/10/2012 at 7:32 PM #

    Life does have it’s challenges in tornado alley. My brother is still cutting up downed trees from last spring and I finally invested in a storm cellar. I got tired of hearing that I was better off laying outside in a ditch than staying in my manufactured home. 😀 Your plants look great and looks like you got a lot quicker start on your garden than I did. Good luck and hope for normal temperatures this summer.

    • Angela 04/10/2012 at 8:26 PM #

      We did get an early start in the garden, but so did the pests. Something is eating all the new leaves on the okra, spinach, and zucchini plants and it’s time to take action. I’m going out tonight with a flashlight to see what’s going on after dark.

      I would love to have a storm cellar. Even our old 1920’s brick house wouldn’t stand a chance against a tornado. And that’s a lot of brick and glass to be dodging above ground!

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