Coming Here. It may not be what others consider “winter”, but in South Texas, when the temps hit the freezing mark at night, that’s considered Winter here. We even had some really light snow flurries one morning last week!
Now, I’ve mentioned before, I hate hate hate the cold. I don’t like being cold. I don’t like cold weather. I don’t like anything to do with the cold. I’ll go visit places that are cold, but I live in the South for a reason!
And it isn’t only me who doesn’t like the cold, our plants don’t either. Since we have summer for about nine months out of the year, our plants aren’t ready for the cold weather.
Before the cold front moved through, we were able to harvest one of the red peppers from the garden. I used it in a new recipe (coming soon) that I call Taco Pizza and it tasted just as crisp and delicious as one from the store would! We haven’t had much of a harvest this year, but I love using our own home-grown food whenever we can.
We knew the cold and frost was coming, but decided not to try to cover out plants for a few reasons:
- It didn’t make much of a difference last year
- Everything we have are perennials so they will come back
- We don’t have enough sheets and blankets to cover it all
Two weeks ago, I completely forgot to do my garden post. So, this will show the development over a month’s span of time. Our weather has been all over the place recently, and it’s got our allergies out of whack and gave me a sinus infection.
Here are two images that our local news station posted in the last week that accurately describe the Houston weather:
Since I took the photos two weeks ago, but never got around to writing the post, I thought it would be fun to look at them side-by-side as much as possible. When I went to take the photos for today it was 47 and rainy so I didn’t step out from under the porch.
Before the freeze and frost, our pepper plants were still producing. After the cold snap, I still see a small pepper out there, but it isn’t good anymore.
Our tropical plants weren’t perfectly happy before the cold front moved through, but they were still holding on. There were flowers on the cannas and the ginger plants were lush and green.
After the frost, they are all browning. We plan to get out there in the next week and really cut everything back to let it go dormant for the winter. Luckily, our soil never gets cold enough here to worry about the rhizomes and roots, so they will grow back next year.
The only plant that seems to be unfazed by the cold is the blackberry bush. But, those supposedly do better in cooler climates, so we may be ok with that one.
On a positive note, the cold hasn’t effected my indoor herbs much! Although, the lack of sunlight may start to wear on them a little bit. Since we keep it warm in the house, though, they won’t have the problem of frost and freezing temperatures like the outdoor plants.
If you look closely behind the basil plant, you can see the downspout for the gutters we had installed along the back porch. The rain would pour off the roof and was a problem with the pergola there. So, we finally had a company come out to put in gutters. We also want to put some corrugated plastic over the pergola to completely block the rain from getting through since it’s only a canvas cover right now.
The next steps we plan to take in our garden is to cut back all of the tropical plants along the back fence. Last year, we did the same thing, and all of the plants came back healthy in the Spring. We also want to completely clean out the garden beds (except the blackberry bush) to let the soil rest before we plant in the Spring.
The last garden to-do item soon will be planning out what we want to grow next year. We know peppers and mint do well out there, so those will be planted again. Watermelon and strawberries didn’t grow, so we will skip on those. Besides that, I’m not sure what we are going to try yet.
Oh, and side-note, we had to bring in the hanging potted plants for the cold weather, and now my front porch looks so bare without the green out there!