Weekly Journal: December 4th

Fall hit Texas like a thunderclap this year. It was summer until *crack* it was all of a sudden fall. After an exceptional hot and dry spring and summer, you would think I would be happy as a singing wren about the shift in seasons. But this year an unusually early frost that cut down my prized tabasco peppers before they were fully mature. All well, it’ll just be green tabasco sauce this year.

Compost Clean Up

The changing weather has provided an opportunity to tackle some chores that are a bit difficult to do in very hot weather. Namely, we did a complete compost clean up that involved taking two of our finished piles and mixing in native soil and some “garden soil” we purchased a while back. We use 4ft metal rings to help keep piles neat + prevent the edges from baking dry in the Texas sun. We’ve are really happy with the system. The rings also allow us to put coverings made from metal grating to prevent racoons and other pests from digging around. It also allows us to cover with a tarp to prevent rain from leaching.

In the summertime we can turn out finished compost in under 2 months. In winter things slow down, of course, so we had to make room for the kitchen scraps and animal bedding to come. The finished compost looks amazing! I plan to put it all to good use planting some new trees we just purchased form the local nursery. Tip: for hotter climates, plant in the fall. This allows roots to establish before the blast of summer heat.

Fall Colors

Spending the day outside also provided me a chance to soak in some of the fall colors. Texas isn’t known for spectacular displays, but we still get some decent color if you know where to look. Oaks, farkle berry, crepe myrtle, and mulberry all provide lovely displays. Mushrooms are very prolific here, too, and also provide interesting texture to the winter landscape. While walking by our strawberry bunk I was delighted to find a lone, late strawberry. Now I’m off to cover crop!