Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Topaz Moon

Wednesday was the full moon of November, named after the state gem of Texas and birthstone of November. This November we've had very strange weather. It's been unusually warm, with highs pushing into the low 80's. It's also been very dry. San Marcos got about 0.1" of rain a few days ago, but in Austin they didn't get a drop, which is the first time they've had a completely dry November for over 100 years.

Usually mid to late November is when we have our first freeze, but we haven't even gotten close. Deciduous trees that usually would have lost their leaves by now are still in the process of turning color.

Out in the garden the warm-weather crops are still doing well, or at least if I water them, they are. All the peppers are working on a fall crop.

From top to bottom we have Chile Negro, red mystery pepper, Lemon Drops, and the bells my in-laws gave me. The only one that's not really doing much is Emerald Giant.

Most of the tomatoes have green fruits on them. I guess we'll see if they manage to ripen any before we finally get a freeze. There's no freeze in the forecast so far.

The Luffa gourds way up in the trees are starting to ripen and turn brown. Still not sure how we're going to get them down.
The warm weather has been less kind to some plants. My Tuscan kale is getting all eaten up by caterpillars. Usually I don't have this problem in November, but it hasn't been cold enough lately to kill the bugs. Might have to resort to spraying with Bt or neem oil or something.
They haven't gotten to all the kale yet. Here are some others I have between the rows of different garlic varieties.
The spicier brassicas are not getting quite as munched as the kale and collards. The arugula is doing very well.
The Red Giant mustard has some holes, but not that many. It's turned nice and purple on top, but green on the bottom.
I still have red lettuce, dill, parsley, and celery waiting to be planted out, but I don't really have room. I thought by now my summer crops would have been dead, leaving room for no winter crops, but not so far. They just keep waiting. I also would like to plant some pea and fava bean seeds, but haven't done that so far either.

Wonder if it's at least going to get cold by Christmas.

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