Warm Winter Bolt and Plantings

Here’s another loop Texas weather has thrown our way.

Royal Tenderette Broccoli budding

My spinach seedlings have also begun to show buds. I snipped those off and, as seen on my IG feed, put out the rest of the leafy green starts, plus some bunching onions.

I also decided to plant out the nasturtium starts into the backyard garden beds. These are the Alaska, Jewel Mix and Black Velvet nasturtiums that I started indoors back in November.. I’m not sure what caused them start yellowing (too much light and fertilizer perhaps), but I can always start a new batch when January comes around.

With wet cold weather forecasted for the end of the year, I’m not sure if these young starts will make it outdoors. However, I’m just happy to get at least one salad harvest from current plantings.

Winter Veggie Garden Update

There are more veggies scattered throughout the backyard!

I had to find a home for the leftover brussel sprouts and broccoli starts that I purchased from Burpee in October. The cinderblock planters and grow bag where we relocated the lorapetalum seemed ideal.

It’s been nearly a month since these veggies were planted, and they appear to be faring well in their new homes. Although the broccoli and brussel starts nearest the fence line appear to need more sun.

I also random-sowed some fenugreek seed in a pocket next to the unfinished water feature. This spot gets full sun throughout the day. The fenugreek seedlings seem to handle the cold winter nights pretty well.

I still plan to perform much-needed maintenance on the foundation garden beds, but I’ve tasked DH with repairing the border stones before I can resume work on them. I have a pile of compost that needs to be laid, and weeding needs to be performed on the shade bed.

Bok Choy Bolt

It’s well documented that bok choy can bolt at sudden changes in temperature and moisture. The temporary chill weather brought on last week lessened the pest attack on my baby boks. I was also vigilant in washing off any signs of the critters.

However, with daytime temps swinging back into the 70s, the plants decided to bolt early.

I went ahead and cut the plants to the ground, leaving the roots intact. I’m hoping that perhaps I can encourage the plant to develop new top growth.

Two plants hardly makes for a whole meal, but I did flash fry them and served them to the pups, who got to enjoy some cooked veggies for a change.

Stock Tank Vegetable Garden Update

Here’s a quick look at how the stock tank vegetable gardens are doing.

I still need to get around to planting my romaine lettuce starts currently sitting in the garage. According to one source, lettuce transplants should have 4 to 6 mature leaves and a well-developed root system before planting out. I’m not sure if temperatures will allow them to survive outdoors, now that we are ranging between mid-30s in the evenings, and 40s-50s during daytime.

Cold Snap: Citrus Update

December 16 will be the first date this winter when temperatures will hit a low of 26, or so Google Assistant tells me. I checked in with my variegated lemon tree to find out how it’s doing in the grow house.

I’m astonished with the new leaf growth. I believe the liquid Grow fertilizer I provided earlier this month is fueling some of the new foliage. Lemon trees supposedly don’t go dormant during cold weather, so I need to keep a constant eye on this tree for any signs of problems. I’m hoping tonight’s cold snap won’t damage the new leaves.

One thing I’m a little frustrated with is the automation that switches on the Vavofo outdoor smart outlet in the tent under specific conditions. I created a script in the Smart Life app to turn on the lights when local temperatures are equal or less than 48F during daytime hours. I’m currently troubleshooting why the app doesn’t fire consistently.

Obviously if I’m not home or paying attention to local climate conditions, I might lose my frost tender plants to cold weather. Turning on the incandescent string lights helps mitigate the freezing temperatures by keeping grow tent temps 4-10 degrees warmer. I may try using IFTTT integration to get this to work reliably. Worse case is moving to Home Assistant and running my own automation server to control my IOT.