Saturday, November 15, 2008

Full for the Freeze...or, I blew bloom day!

Okay, everyone is inside, all cozy and getting heated up for the impending freeze tonight.

Yes, you read right, Central Texas has a freeze warning for tonight.  In the city, we are expecting a low of 37, but the surrounding areas will be colder.

Even though we have been unseasonably warm this fall -- (all year, really), this is very early for the threat of a freeze.

In anticipation, though, I loaded up the greenhouse and my DH put a fancy, new-fangled thermometer with a humidity reading on it that I can see from inside the house.  How cool is that?

Then, instead of taking pictures for Bloom Day like I was supposed to (Sorry Carol, I'm skipping this one), I was picking an amazing crop of tomatoes and lemons.  I picked 65, YES, 65 red tomatoes.  I left countless green ones on the plants.  Since I don't really think it will freeze, I'm taking the chance.  But the reds were really almost all ready, so I'll have to find something to do with them anyway!
Then I went around the corner and crawled carefully under the Lemon tree (because there are lethal 1-inch thorns all over it).  I picked 30 lemons from my Citrus limon variegated.  I only picked the really big ones, and again, left countless littler ones in the hope it won't really freeze.
Don't blink and think you've been reading blogs too long, the next photo is out of focus.  (I was too lazy to get my DH's good camera when mine didn't fully focus where I wanted it to.)

Can you tell what I am photographing?  It's my token bloom in honor of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- yes, I have blooms all over my lemon tree!  
Our plants are so confused.  I guess tonight might set them straight.  

Ironically, yesterday as I was putting some plant into the greenhouse, it was 85 hot and sunny degrees outside.  Even with the 4 roof windows open and the doors open and the fan/vent running, it was 110 inside the greenhouse!

Yep.  So it isn't going to be the cold that gets me -- I'm just praying it stays under 75 until sometime in the Spring!  What an odd wish that must seem for those of you in parts north of here.  

Happy Fall!

15 comments:

getgrounded said...

Diana, I officially have lemon and tomato envy! Especially those lemons, since I love eating them and have never lived somewhere where I could pick them right out my door. Good job and good greenhouse!

Diana said...

Oh robin - come by and you can have some more lemons! I am going to try to squeeze and freeze some for their juice into ice cube trays for cooking later. I will probably make a big pitcher of lemonade and maybe a pot of Greek lemon and rice soup, if I can find a good recipe. Hmmm...lemon chicken? There - I'm out of ideas!

Gail said...

Congrats on a full house! It is really beautiful Diana!
I just told my spouse about your tomato bonanza, he is also impressed;-)

Nancy said...

Wow! I didn't get a ripe tomato this year at all, as I'd had disease and bug problems. I also envy the green house, I guess I'll just have to live with my home made one.

Pam/Digging said...

A gardener friend just gave me a bag of lemons from his Meyer lemon tree. It must be harvest time all over Austin. Sounds like you really raked it in.

And I'm with you---it isn't going to freeze in my garden(s) either.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can see why you were so occupied that you couldn't look for blooms. What fun you were having loading up your greenhouse. I must say that husband of yours is a keeper.

Meems @HoeandShovel said...

Diana, First of all I LOVE your greenhouse... is that new? I didn't picture Austin as a place that needed one but it must be and it came in handy last night for your cozy plants.

Happy for you with the beautiful tomatoes and lemons. I'm curious when did you planted your tomatoes? Right now mine have flowers all over them but no fruit yet.
Meems

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I want a lemon tree, and a greenhouse and . . . thanks for giving me something to wish for. Hope it didn't get too cold.~~Dee

Annie in Austin said...

That's a lot of lemons! This tree is pretty large and is in the ground, right? My Meyer's Lemon that grows in a container dropped some fruit in late spring when it got so hot and has six almost ripe Lemons now. I thought that was pretty good until I saw your crop! The tree in the ground only has 3 lemons but it has grown a lot in height.

Last year the tree in the pot bloomed in late fall, too and kept blooming when I brought it into the kitchen. The other tree waited until very early spring when there were few insect pollinators. Maybe I should have gone out and done their job with a paintbrush.

The greenhouse looks pretty useful, Diana and I hope it works out well for you!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

PS In answer to your question on my GBBD post, the brugmansia has morning sun and afternoon shade. It's only a couple of feet away from the hose faucet, making it easy to keep it watered.

Cindy, MCOK said...

Wow, what a crop of both lemons and tomatoes! Kudos to the Head Gardener! I am right there with you when it comes to temperature: I do NOT want to see another day above 75 for at least the next 5 months!

Diana said...

Gail - it is a tomato bonanza. I took a big batch of the non-slicing worthy ones and stewed them yesterday and I'll put them in freezer baggies today. I'll probably do that a few more times as they ripen.

Nancy - Sorry about your tomato crop - I had only about a dozen in the spring and these are the plants I kept for the fall. I sure was surprised.

Pam - Annie has lemons too -- so it must be time. Seems odd to me, though. And it got down to 33 in my garden so I squeaked by by the hair on my chinny chin chin!

Lisa -- having the greenhouse is like having a new pet! I'm always watching the temperature in there and I go in and talk to the plants!

Meems - the greenhouse IS new...If you scroll a couple posts back you will see the process as I took photos along the way I was so excited. These are my Spring tomatoes that never did perform because it got to over 100 in early May and was too hot to set fruit, Only had about a dozen tomatoes then, but I cleaned the plants up of the dead stuff and hoped they would produce for the Fall out of guilt! My Fall planted plants have done nothing either - a few golf ball sized fruits that won't make it.

Dee - it got to 33 and I was shocked. (We get lots of DANGER weather alerts here for nothing!) But everything was safe and the greenhouse was great. Strangely enough - that lemon tree produced almost nothing last year with all the rain we had.

Annie - this lemon tree was here when we moved in 5 years ago, and it is in the ground. No lemons last year at all, but it sure made up for it this year. It had lots of bees this year and I was glad to see them back around the plants. I do have a lime tree in the greenhouse in a pot that has a dozen limes on it, but it's not ready yet. Just seems late in the year for me...maybe it was too hot for them.

ConsciousGardener said...

30 lemons! How big is your tree? I want a greenhouse so bad, yours looks to be just the right size too...was it a kit?

Diana said...

Conscious Gardener - The lemon tree is about 5 ft tall -- kind of bushy looking. This is the best year I've had in 5 years. The greenhouse is 8x10 and it was not a kit. We don't have the skills to build one of those ourselves! It would have been a lot cheaper, but they came out and put it up for us, so it's done right!

Anonymous said...

Hi Diana, just came across your blog & love the pictures & writings, especially about your new greenhouse! Its the perfect size. Have fun! Why 1500 snacks? Sounds like a very big Christmas party...

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