Texas heat

China Spring, TX(Zone 8a)

Are you guys burning up like we are in Central Texas? My garden has gone from looking lush and bountiful to fried,withered,burned foliage and my roses are just barely hanging on. My DH has spent many hrs. w/a soaker trying to get moisture in the ground. This heat is preventing any from staying in. He put 4" of cedar mulch down, to boot. Is this going to stay like this all summer? I HATE the heat we have here. Why can't we have normal weather like they do up north so we can have beautiful gardens, too.. I'm so frustrated right now.. anyone else?
hilary

Goldthwaite, TX(Zone 8a)

It's like being in a convection oven. "Hot" does not describe the feeling.

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

It is very hot here too, around100 every day, so far we have managed to keep things green, but it is becoming more and more difficult, I water the yard on a rotation basis, no automatic sprinklers here, so it is at least 1 hour of waterning, plus all the hand watering of the little and large pots.
It is a big job, but we must carry on, at least untill they forbid the use of water, and I hope that doesn't happen.
Josephine.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I'm from the north and wouldn't move back for the 4 seasons at all....unless we don't get some water to keep replenishing the aquifers down here that is! I don't mind the heat (though hotter temps than normal) but a little rain would be nice. Our garden with timed soaker hose system is thriving while the somewhat neglected lawn is looking parched.

I'd be interested to know how many here are Texas natives and not had to live up north yet?

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

My front yard looks awful. I planted begonias, thinking they'd be shaded by the 2 large pecans and 1 large crepe myrtle, but then we had the trees trimmed and they're getting a lot more sun than I had expected. So I have tiny, fried begonias in beds of mulch and weeds. The only things that look good in front right now are in containers.

The back yard is doing better, but it's almost completely shaded, so that helps a lot. I've been moving the water hose around all evening deep soaking the new plantings. One more pink jasmine and a japanese maple to go and I can put up the hose.

Cedar Hill, TX

It has been around 100 everyday for the past couple of weeks. We've been on mandatory water restriction in Cedar Hill for the past two weeks. I can only water from a hose on Monday and Thursday before 10:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m. We can hand water from a container at other times (not from a hose) so I've placed several 32 gallon containers in strategic areas in my gardens and fill them up on water days. I dip buckets in them and don't have to walk so far. My lawn succumbed to last year's heat and drought. Instead I created a cottage garden this year and have lots of new plants in place of grass. They require almost daily water. So far so good, but I sure would love to see some cooler temps and rain.

At least I am very thankful that the night temps are still dropping to low 70's here. These are the times that try a gardener, aren't they?

Susan

Conroe, TX(Zone 9a)

I thought I was doing a pretty good job of keeping the beds watered deeply, but when I got home this evening one of them was in bad shape. All the pentas were wilted and drooping, and my salvia involucrata that had been looking so full and beautiful looked awful. Some of the stems looked downright crispy! I have an H2O IV going on it right now, hope I can save it.

Port Lavaca, TX(Zone 9a)

Tir_Na_Nog
In August I'll have lived here all of my almost 65 years and have complained about every single summer. But I realize there is a trade off. The winters and springs are great! I can't imagine having cold weather at Easter. I've often said I'd like to be a winter Texan, living up north in summer and here in winter. But then no one would go to this much trouble to keep my garden alive during the summer. I guess the saying, "Grow where you're planted," is good advise.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I hear ya on the cold Easter...my family came down for Thanksgiving and we were all wearing t-shirts...they LOVED it!

We do have MORE hot days than I had up north for a summer but the news said these 100's are unusal and we're usually in the 80's...which better matches the north this time of year....but still....more hot days but about the same temps. I guess my only beef on it is that the BUGS have a longer mating season here! Oh yes....and it is true....things are BIGGER in Texas when it comes to the bugs. =)

Easier to cool off in the house than it is to try and get warm. I remember having to scrape the car off to go to college and leaving the house freshly showered...hair still damp and having it FREEZE! Oh man...it was crazy!

Tyler, TX(Zone 8b)

It's hot here in Tyler and my garden is suffuring. The roses aren't pretty like they were last year.I have containers outside the front door that are not reached by the sprinkler system.Every day when I go for my mail I take a gallon of water with me. There are two containers along my driveway, so I take another gallon every morning as I go for the papers. My sprinkler system comes on three times a week for fifteen minutes at each station.Twice already I activated the system on off days.I'll do this on occasion but because of the cost of water I won't do it everyday. It would be nice to have some rain.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Local news said water restrictions go into effect when the aquifer hits 4' lower here.....only 20% chances of rain all week though.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Hot and humid, hot and humid, hot and humid. That's past, present, and future for SE Texas, where I've lived all my life except for a year in Vermont (which I wouldn't trade for the world but wouldn't repeat, either). I've been in my new house almost three weeks, and there are NO trees in my yard at all. It will happen, though -- joined the National Arbor Day Foundation and will receive what I ordered and many bonuses in November. And I'm having gutters installed and will set up some rain barrels. If this area runs true to form, they'll get full but won't stay that way. The rain water is SO much better for them than hose water.

I'm putting in a weeping willow and two dwarf pears, which I bought, and the bonuses they're sending are 2 forsythias, 5 crapemyrtles, 2 redbuds, and a red maple. I'll plant all but the red maple, which will be too big for my property. After Hurricane Rita, we're a little skittish about big trees right now. But I'm sure I can find someone here at the office who'll give it a home.

But my potted plants (I moved from a townhouse where I only had a patio) are really suffering -- especially the hydrangeas! They wilt daily and recover overnight, but the blooms are fried. My house faces north by northwest and I can't figure out a good place to put them, bless their little hearts. Probably right by a fence that will keep them shaded once I have the fence up. The herbs are drying in situ; won't need to get out the dehydrator for those!

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

Hilalry, I am with you!

I hate the heat and I hate the hummidity and I don't want any body to try and tell me that dry heat is better- it really doesn't matter if it's dry or wet when the temps get high enough hot is hot! I have lived in dry heat, how's Phoenix in the summer? I have lived in cold, Toronto, Boston, New Jersey, Conn- and I have lived in the midwest and the southern coast and was born and have lived in southern Cal- somebody said there is a trade off and that's true, and there is no perfect place but there are places that are closer to perfection and Texas isn't it! For growing you just can't beat souhtern Cal- climate is nearly perfect, but there are many drawback.

We can barely go outside from May through October because it's so hot and there are only so many clothes you can remove- in the north you stay inside from October through April, but when you do go outside you can layer clothing, wear warmer clothing, etc!

I am a bit frustrated, it's HOT and I am cranky and my yard looks like...well you know.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Brigidlily, mulch the hydrangeas. If you don't have grass clippings get some shredded
newspaper. Mulching slows evaporation and keeps the soil at least ten degrees cooler. That difference will help the plants a great deal.

Aprilwillis, I lived in so. Calif. 20 pus years and had fun gardening there. Couldn't grow petunias though - the smog burned the blossoms.

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

Well ok that's a trade off- and frankly I don't think I could live there anymore, it's just too much for me, but now San Diego...Santa Barbara...If it wasn't for the smog and all the dang people, LA would be wonderful.

Where from? My grandparents lived for years and years in Glendora and I lived for 12 years in Hacienda Heights; also lived in Hemet, Sun City, Pasadena and W. Covina; however I have been thinking that Northern Cal is the way to go!

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I worked with a girl...who'd moved to Texas...who talked every day of how perfect San Diego weather was and she dreamed of going back....even though she admitted she lived in a bad part "ghetto" she called it...of San Diego. She convinced me it's worth seeing!

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

Oh San Diego is like paradise, most of the time. The weather is mostly perfect all the time, there is a nice breeze, no smog, great views, lots of wonderful beaches and you can grow so many things there- clearly not things that require a cold period, but it is pretty. If nothing else you should go for a visit it is very nice! That being said, it is pretty expensive, but all of Southern Cal is expensive compared to most parts of the country, especially here.

Hico, TX(Zone 8a)

Lived up north, south, and in-between (IN,NM,AL,OH,TX,IL,TN,MN). Been to CA, FL, and VA. For me, there is no place like TX. I guess no matter where you go, gotta take the good with the bad.

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

I have a feeling we like it best where we grew up or spent a lot of time- there is good and bad every place, it's just that I get so tired of the bad when it's bad.

East Texas, United States(Zone 8a)

indirt, that sounds like the Johnny Cash song, lol

Missouri City, TX

I don't know - I grew up in northern Minnesota, spent some time in Utah & Colorado, middle school through college in Tulsa, then USAF brought me to Texas. Spent over 1/2 my life here and still find new places to go and things to do. When the oil patch died in early 80's, spent 2 years in Denver and 2 in LA.
I don't want to ever shovel snow again.

I'm not leaving again. I'll work where ever the clients are, but home is Texas.

Last June was working in Michigan - stayed the weekend for the German Heritage Festival in Frankenmuth - 93 with 90% humidity - felt like home to DW and me.

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

Yeah I imagine that heat and humidity made you long for home! LOL. One summer I had to go to corporate office in FLA, I think Ocala, can't recall as my mind is going, but anyway got off the plane and oh man it was like I'd never left!

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Bubba,

So neat you were in Frankenmuth, German capital of Michigan right! I grew up close to there and people always complained about the humidity but I find it's just about the same here in TX....unless you go to the valley, open your door in Brownsville and it's like a wave hits you.

April,

I didn't like where I grew up...weather was okay when it wasn't snowing, the other 3 seasons good...but the economy not to hot there either so I was thrilled to move away. So sad to come here and people talking bad about it. When I didn't like a place I just moved and some places I liked but got better job offers elsewhere. Finally decided after visiting this area I'd find a job here so I could settle.

I love Colorado (born and lived there to), they have milder winters than Michigan and the snow melts off quickly there. That's about as "north" as I'd ever go to live.

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

Not everybody can move when they want to- I have been trying to get my DH out of TX for 20 + years! He's as stubborn as a mule! LOL.

I guess the fact that we don't all want to live in one place is good or else it would be so crowded that it would be miserable! There are lots of neat places to live and visit, enough to make most of us happy- or at least thankful for vacations!

Sugar Land, TX(Zone 9a)

I think I'm one of the few native Texans left. I've lived here all of my life and complain about the heat and humidity all the time. The grass always looks greener to me in other states but I have a feeling I'd get homesick and end up right back here.

Hico, TX(Zone 8a)

I haven't heard a Johnny Cash album in a long time! Haven't seen the movie yet.

This heat is a little over the top for this time of year. Which gets me to thinking along water conservation lines.

I wanted to teach my kids to shut the water off during washing time in the shower. During this move, we are in a camper and forced to do so for hot water. I plan on putting faucets in our new home that will accomodate this kind of saving water b/c I believe every little bit helps. And I read that if each person in my family did this everyday we would save up to 12 gallons of water/day which comes to 4,380 gal./year in showers alone.

I did a search and found this site:
http://www.savedallaswater.com./htcw.htm - it has a place you can report water waste for residential or commercial - like sprinkling in the heat of the day, etc.

What are some other ways I can use to save water for the community and my garden?

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

Well you could collect rain water- if it rained- lots of the folks growing carnivorous plants do that because their plants don't like tap water; also landscape w/ water in mind- that is, plant things that are drought tolerant, or at least somewhat tolerant; don't plant grass- xeroscape your front yard- watering lawns is a huge waste of water, but those of us who live in subdivisions w/ HOAs are at the mercy of the HOA. Drip irrigation is a big saver also.

west Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I have noticed Houston is just full of guys from up North...that must tell you something. ;)

I'm an air force officers kid and lived up north--like Montana-- until I was 24 (born near here though). Sorta got sucked into it for the money, living is real cheap in Texas too. I usually go up north every year in July--last year it was Minnesota--I think I'll pass on that trip this year. Maybe somewhere more scenic....

Last June was worse, I think; but we also hadn't had any rain since before Mother's Day. It was cloudy tonight...got some things done.

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

The jobs went south- now don't get me started on the political and socio-economics behind that, what was them poor northern boys to do but follow the jobs!

I think it was much worse last year- seems the summers just fly by now that I am older so I figure I can put up w/ it and whine along the way.

west Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Anyway you look at it, we got a good solid three months more of it to go. Make the best of it....

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

I heard that sweating is good for your skin or hair or sex life or something....isn't it?

McKinney, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm from West Virginia. Hot and Humid in the summer. Most of the time when your out side you feel like you've just got out of the pool and are starting to dry. I go home for about 3 weeks every Christmas and then I'm ready to get back. I'm like you aprilw, there are only so many clothes you can take off. You can always throw another blanket on and layer clothes. Favorite time of year is fall. Warm in the day and cool at night.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Colorado is wonderful about cooling off at night in the summer so you can have the breeze come in through an open window...and then days are warm...it was incredible!

Indirt...the movie was good! There are so many energy efficient products on the market now. We have all the newer toilets which they say waste the most water in the house. I wish I had a front load washer...they waste even less water than top load but we wanted to leave all appliances when we move houses and didn't want a great washer to have to leave behind...so just got one with the EnergyStar logo for now. April's right on...drip irrigation for the lawn or garden is the best. It keeps the water you are buying right down where it needs to be and not evaporating into thin air.

103 degrees in SA today. Sheesh that is HOT! It's not too bad though if you work out of the home....businesses run the AC so it's not to bad during the day....but leaves less time you want to be in the garden tending things....

west Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I've never seen Houston have to restrict water use--that's one thing we got a lot of and its cheap.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Yuska, thanks for the idea. I'll do that, but will it help them so much if they're in pots? When we get this fence finished I'll want to put them in the ground, but then again it's mighty hot for transplanting. I'm between lava and a hot place.

Thoughts? Should I let them suffer on in the pots? Or go ahead and get them in the ground?

And for what it's worth, 105 in Mexican Hat, Utah, was not as miserably hot as 95 here in the swamps of SETX. But I agree, it was still too darned hot.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

The mulch is really more helpful for plants in the ground, of course, but it will help those in containers, too, especially larger containers. If the containers are dark colored (heat-absorbing), wrapping them temporarily with white or light colored paper will reflect some of the heat. You can also rig up a tent of shade cloth or even use an old sheet or tablecloth - anything to create some shade. Smaller containers can be grouped together in an open cardboard box. If you have a misting setting on your hose sprinkler you can give the foliage some relief during the hottest part of the day, although that may be less effective when the humidity level is already high.

Transplant now? That's a tough call. They're already stressed and transplanting is another shock. You might experiment with one or two plants, making the transfer late in the day to allow cooler overnight temps to help and giving them temporary shade from the start. I don't think I'd risk the whole collection.

McKinney, TX(Zone 8a)

It looks like there may be relief coming this weeekend. They are talking about rain! I sure hope it happens. I am tired watering everyday. Almost everything I have is newly planted or in pots and the watering restrictions are a killer.

I do have to say that a thick ring of mulch has helped many plants. It is taking the Hydrangea's 3 times as long to droop since putting down mulch.

I also have 8 newly (early March) planted trees that need deep soakings every 7 to 10 days. I might have did some damage to one of the new Bald Cypress. It is the one that is the farthest from the house down by the creek. I ignored it and the other one the last couple of weeks because they are 150 feet from the house, hidden by some trees, and in Chigger haven. I walked down there Monday and found out it's leaves were completely brown. The other one was suffering, but not brown yet. I drug the hose down the 150 feet and gave them each an hour of slow drip. I have got to stay on schedule with them.

The creek down there is completely dry and the surrounding ground has giant cracks. It looks like a big puzzle. Though, I was able to pull up some of the Curly dock with their foot long roots intact, if it was growing where the ground cracked. :)

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the advice -- I'll take it and get them taken care of. Once the fence is in (the next week or so) I'll probably leave them in the protected pots and situate them where I'll plant them in the fall, kind of make sure that really is the best spot. They're so beautiful. This heat is a killer. I hope it does rain, and that it provides some real relief instead of just making the heat wet.

With hurricane season now open, I guess I should be careful what I wish for...

Bastrop, TX(Zone 8b)

I'm a native Texan and lived here pretty much all my life, though I have visited in California and the northeast. I grew up in west Texas and moved to central Texas 35 years ago. The heat is more intense here. There, in shade, it wasn't so bad when it was 100 degrees because the wind always blew; here, when there's no wind or the humidity's high, it's miserable. Of course, it could be that I'm older. However, having been in DC during sleet, snow, and other unpleasantness, I have to say, I'll take heat over cold any day.

My roses are still blooming, but the blooms crisp in a day, or even a half day. I'm watering my beds with soaker hoses, my yard with an oscillating sprinkler, and the other plants (singletons) with a bubbler. I try to keep everything mulched, but the armadillos just forage through the mulch. I go out every day and repair armadillo damage. Even the natives are looking a little ragged.

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

I heard in the news last night that there was storm dmage in the Houston area, did any of you get rain?
Josephine.

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