Is this weather normal?

bedford8a(8a)July 4, 2011

I'm feeling a little down...I've only been in the Metroplex two years and the weather has made gardening so difficult. First summer...21 days 100+ degrees and this summer, 90's and 100's beginning in May with no end in sight and hottest June ever. Is this Climate Change or is it just a blip in Texas weather? If this keeps up, it's sure going to suck the joy out of gardening for me. **Sigh**

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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

It is a little abnormal, bedford, but those of us who have been gardening in it all our lives have come to expect these "strange" years. This one has been especially difficult for me due to the wind and hail, but all will recover and I will continue to garden. If you truly love gardening, don't give up on it.......just learn to use plants that can take the heat.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 9:20AM
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melvalena

Bedford,
Yes. What you are describing is normal. Some years not as hot & dry... some years more hot and more dry.
Most springs we get a lot more rain than we did this year which really set us back. But I think we got a lot more snow and ice than we usually do.

Here is what happened when I moved here, May 1980:

"In Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, high temperatures exceeded 100 �F (38 �C) a total of 69 times, including a record 42 consecutive days from June 23 to August 3. Dallas/Fort Worth reached an all-time high when the temperature hit 113 �F (45 �C) for three consecutive days on June 26-28. In all, the Dallas/Fort Worth area saw 29 days in which the previous record high temperature was either broken or tied."

But, the house we rented had a vegetable garden already planted. It did wonderfully, in spite of the heat and lack of rain.

We've learned to get our stuff in the ground as early as possible.

Don't plant sissy plants in full sun even if the label says you can.
Take a break from end of June to end of Aug. During that time its water when you can, pull some weeds and sit in the shade. Make plans. You can start some seeds for a fall garden during this time, but keep them in shade and keep them moist.

Fall gardens are better and there's lots you can do in the winter to get a jump start on the spring.

Welcome to Texas Gardening. Read up around here and ask questions, we'll let you know what's worked and what hasn't for us.

Here is a link that might be useful: 1980 heat wave

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 9:32AM
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Lynn Marie

Yes, pretty normal. Heed the advice to not plant sissy plants in full sun. A lot of plants' tags will tell you that they need full sun, but in Texas, that usually means morning sun only!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 1:45PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

exactly what Melvalena and Carrie said. It seems like a pretty typical summer to me. My summer routine is to get outside at 8 am if I need to mow and be ready to water every two to three days (pots are every day). Mulch is a necessity. Our fall gardens are outstanding and I usually harvest tomatoes in fall right up to first freeze. Summer is a time for dormancy for many of my plants...which is fine to me, it's too hot to go outside anyway.

Pam

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 1:49PM
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greybird(z7 TX)

No, it is not always this bad. The heat is not as early and persistent as it is this year. And the drought is touted as the worst since record keeping began in 1895. In my garden, it is as bad as I have ever seen.

I think the prolonged cold spells this winter did more damage to my garden that this infernal heat and wind.

But north Texas is hot and the high temperatures are the norm every summer. I work for a nice spring and fall showing and don't worry too much with the baked look of July and August.

And I hope and pray this year does not signal climate change. If so, we for sure will be loading up the wagons and moving on, our local water sources are drying up.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 2:06PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I believe there is a solution to that water problem......if Texas would build more lakes and the people of the states that flood (ie: Missouri for one) would allow us to funnel that water to our lakes, it would be a win-win for all concerned.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 2:23PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Carrie, I've also wondered if that would ever be possible or feasible. It would take some terrific engineering!

As for the weather being normal, yes -- it's been hot and dry like this before; however I read that this is a record year for low rainfall in Texas. Plus the climatologist have a new name for the weather on earth. I don't remember the words, but the old one meant something like 'steady over the long haul' and the new one 'very unpredictable'.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 2:34PM
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ogrose_tx

When we get a summer like this nothing blooms much, it's a matter of just keeping plants alive; but like others have said, our fall is outstanding, everything will come alive again and bring hope!

At this time of year I start checking out Texas natives, the "toughie" plants that can handle the heat. The Old Garden Roses I have aren't blooming, but hang in there and will bloom again in the fall.

I'm really getting interested in Ornamental Grasses that are good for our area that are drought resistant and really do add beauty.

My Bermuda grass doesn't get watered in the summer and hangs in there; the St Augustine has to have water, am replacing a lot of that with the grasses.

If you really want to garden you can do it, just go with the flow!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 4:51PM
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greybird(z7 TX)

I too am getting into ornamental grasses (again). I had many varieties several years back, were phased out when my rose mania took over. I really like the architecture and movement they lend to the garden.

That pipeline to the flood plains sounds like a winner, sign me up!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 9:19PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I apprecate the short essay in the Yuccado.com newsletter.

Scroll down about halfway to "More bad weather ramblings" on the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rambles about the hot dry Texas weather ...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 1:01PM
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chena(z8 Texas)

Don't let this Heat and Drought discourage you.. There are a lot of Beautiful plants that make it just fine here. No way to get out of watering..Your just going to have to start think like a Texan tho..LOL
Here are a couple of Blooms from today...

Kylie

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 1:16PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Are we drowning or totally dry? That's Texas for you. The dates might shift a bit tho. Nice morning glory!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 6:27PM
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chena(z8 Texas)

Thanks PJ!!
Alright 106* out here for the next 3 days ..woohoo!!!! LOL

Kylie

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 12:29PM
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greybird(z7 TX)

I have never seen it 105...at 9:00pm. I had to step outside to feed the cat and could not believe the baking heat. NO, I would say this year is way out of whack for this part of Texas.

109 for the next three days, then drops back to the mid-100s. Then back up to the high 100s. Records broken every day.

This weather is troubling, the hot nights. It is so dry, it is sci-fi Martian landscape dry.

I bought a bunch of cacti and succulents on sale today at Walmart.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:54PM
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linda_tx8(8)

Have you heard the bad news? Our little drought generator La Nina? It's coming BACK! Or maybe it never ended in the first place and the so-called experts who said it ended are just trying to cover up their mistake!

Here is a link that might be useful: La Nina...you can't escape it!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 2:09PM
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bedford8a(8a)

What prompted me to write the post was our trip to Lubbock last weekend. We took Hwy 114 along a two lane highway and saw acres upon acres of scorched land from wildfires. Even land untouched by fire was dry - the mesquite was dying back and there were no vultures, no hawks, no cattle to be seen. If this continues, I don't see how the farmers, ranchers and wildlife in West Texas can survive. It'll turn into a desert. I don't even think there's enough rain for it to be a prairie again.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 4:22PM
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texasflip(Nacogdoches, TX z8)

Well, grass and wildflower seeds can remain dormant in the soil for many, many years and will sprout when the rain comes (and I have faith it will come eventually). Maybe if this drought kills off some mesquite and cedar the prairie will come back even better than before.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 6:10PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

I've only been here 6yrs but this weather pattern is new for me. It's exactly like back home in the Mojave desert. Unfortunatly, I haven't gardened for the Mojave desert here. Ug!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 6:16PM
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melvalena

It runs in cycles. If you're around long enough you'll see it all over again. :)

Seems every 10 - 15 years its a really cold wet winter.. then every few years its a warm and dry winter. Some springs are really really rainy. Some summers are more hot and dry than others. Some years there's more tornadoes and hurricanes than others.

Remember learning about the Dust Bowl days? It did eventually rain again. :)

West Texas _is_ desert.

Melvalena

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 6:41PM
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Dwibren

As you will have noticed from the comments, there really isn't a "normal" for Texas. Back in the 50's we had a drought in West Texas that lasted for seven years. The point is: it ended, and this will end also. My vegetables are surviving and, in some cases, thriving. Vegetables that can take the heat plus very thick mulches and deep watering will get you through. In the meantime, prepare for fall and winter gardening...you can grow vegetables in every season here.

Here is a link that might be useful: In the Charamon Garden

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 9:11PM
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linda_tx8(8)

Drought doesn't kill off cedar or mesquite...they are survivors! However, wildfires might kill off some of the cedar trees. Don't know about mesquite and fire.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 4:19PM
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marti8a

We moved here in 1980 also melvalena! After that summer, I'm still amazed we stayed.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 9:47PM
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greybird(z7 TX)

I have been here in this same spot for 51 years. There are cycles that wax and wane. But this is as bad as it gets, all uphill from here (I hope).

I would not/could not have stayed if this was the norm.

And please La Nina, do not come back this fall.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 11:53PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

I'm in Fort Worth. I already lived in a desert much, much hotter and drier than west Texas :) (Mojave Desert,CA).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:43PM
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