Well all this rain has been great but many of us have also experienced hail damage over the last few weeks. I escaped the hail storms in my vegetable gardens until last Friday. I was out-of-town at the time (which was a blessing as I would have been super upset). My house sitter called and told me (before I came home) that it was hit pretty hard. I came home 5 days later and this is what I found. The chard, zucchini, beans, cucumbers and a few tomatoes got hammered so hard they were skeletonized. But most of my tomato plants were covered with row cover (to protect them from the dreaded leafhopper) and they were fine. Four tomato plants that I didn’t cover also got severely beat up. The eggplants that were covered with row cover were fine but the grapes got severe bruises on the fruit and the fruit will be a total loss but the plant will recover.
So what do we do when nature strikes hard with a devastating hail storm. Not much I’m afraid. Sometimes the plants are beyond self repair and sometimes they bounce back just fine. I left everything as is for few more days before going out and upon inspection, most were already putting out new baby leaves – if the center of the plant wasn’t demolished. Yesterday and today we trimmed back all the demolished leaves leaving new growth and tomorrow I’m going to spray all the plants with some fish emulsion, an organic fertilizer, to help with more new growth and mix in some ‘Serenade’, an organic fungicide with the fish emulsion to help prevent any possible fungal diseases that might have resulted from the beating they all got leaving the plants weak. Sometimes taking a wait and see versus yanking them out right away is a better approach. It is amazing these plants are recovering nicely.
I am always amazed how strong the will to live is. I may have lost a few weeks but at least I didn’t lose the whole season. And I was very glad that everything that had row cover on it was protected. Here are some pics of the damage and recovery.