Hail is evil

don555(3a)July 12, 2012

Bad storm last night, hailed for 10 minutes, then took a 5 minute break, then another 10 minutes of hail plus 59 mm of rain, all within an hour. Hail ranged from dime size up to quarter size. Bah.

Garden on July 10 (I took this photo because I was amazed that the heritage flint corn in the foreground was tassling at only 2 feet high, which the package claimed would happen but I didn't believe it).

Garden on July 12 :-(

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Collin001

Ouch. Sorry to hear of your loss. How much do you think can recover?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:58PM
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twrosz

SIGH :(

We were on the cusp of last night's storms and fortunately missed the hail and the rain was only moderate. I have makeshift frames for the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that I drape with heavy plastic when a possibility of storms exist, as I want to be able save these if possible, though one can only do so much. I hope there's lots of good weather to come and your garden will soon rebound.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 2:17PM
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shazam_z3

Yeah, saw the news reports this morning. Brutal.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 2:39PM
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savona(z2bBCCanada)

A person can see how well tended and cared for your garden was..I feel bad for you. Hopefully there is time for it to recover some what and you get to have some harvest later on..Jean

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

So sorry, Don. Stupid, evil hail!!!

We missed it here but got lots of heavy rain. Everything was ok this morning. I think the big trees protect the yard a bit.......if they don't come down.

You can have some of my potted tomatoes if your's are too damaged. :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 4:20PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Unbelievable !

I'd cry and curse at the same time.

You had such a beautiful garden. Do you think much of it will recover?

I'm getting tired of taking my potted tomatoes into the garage every time there's a forecast for bad weather, but your picture tells me I'm doing the right thing.........

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 4:39PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Oh no! D: I'm so sorry Don! I hope at least some of it springs back for you.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 8:54PM
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don555(3a)

Thanks everyone for the comments and concerns. I have faith in the ability of plants to recover from even pretty severe damage so I think this just sets everything back a bit. A few things might be completely lost like the spinach and lettuce, whereas the underground crops like beets, carrots, potatoes will probably shrug it off without missing a beat, and the rest will probably recover fine but mature later and with a smaller crop. I'm a bit worried about the pumpkins and spaghetti squash since they need all the time they can get to ripen in this climate to begin with. Ripe saskatoon berries cover the ground, but the unripe ones should soon fill out to take their place. The apples are going to be pretty ugly this year. And my container vs. open garden experiment is finished... although maybe it shows the unexpected advantage of containers in that I was able to run out on the deck in the hail and protect some pots of peppers and tomatoes.

If I remember, I will take and post a picture of the garden in 2 weeks time and I'm betting (hoping) it will look like nothing bad ever happened.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:22PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Don, I am so sorry to hear about this!

I have never seen so much hail in my life until I moved to Calgary!!! It is truly a very scary and terrible thing. How could it hail in the middle of summer? It is simply ridiculous.

I hope that your plants will recover well. Please keep us posted!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:30AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

That's awful Don, you have such a nice clean garden, [no weeds] allot of love and labor goes into it,..then this, it hurts.
Here, in our northern region it is a common thing in summer when water droplets hits the cold current forming ice. I think getting through a summer without any hail at all is a miracle.
Hope things will turn around soon!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 1:27AM
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twrosz

"I think getting through a summer without any hail at all is a miracle" ... that's certainly true of most of Alberta!

Ostrich, unfortunately, Calgary is especially very prone to hailstorms :(

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 2:10AM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Oh Don, my heart is breaking. I covered the lettuce and beet tops and swiss chard last night. Got some heavy rain but no hail. I will continue to cover as much as I can, it's a pain but what else can we do. C

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:42AM
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kioni(3)

Inspiring to see the positive outlook you have on the damage done to your garden. A photo in 2 or 3 week's time will show how resilient plants can be, and give hope to others in case the same should occur to them.

Same day Nicole Simpson passed away (June 12,1994) my garden went through a bad hail storm, tomato plants were left as just the stalk with a few shreds of leaves hanging down. My mother said not to pull them, they'll come back. But I remember being disgusted - had a baby that spring and finding the time to plant the tomatoes out (plus other seeds of veggies) wasn't an easy thing, and then to see all my work get pummeled to the ground like that was disheartening. But wow, those tomatoes did come back - strong - I had plenty to share, and don't recall finding a loss with my corn, beans, peas either. Wish I would have taken notes though, cannot remember if the summer was unusually hot and sunny, and whether or not the September frost was delayed (like last year, giving a bit more growing time).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Thanks to its high altitude and Chinooks, Calgary doesn't really have distinct seasons like, say, Winnipeg. It can be shorts and t shirt season in January and snowing at Stampede (July 1999) or on August long weekend (2002).

That's why I don't live there (lol, sorry Calgarians).

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:02PM
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shazam_z3

Believe me, once the company I own is sold, or I can have some sort of long-term dividend payment from it, I'm bolting over to Victoria.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:44PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I don't know...I might miss sunny Alberta.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 12:29AM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

All that rain would not make me happy. I have an Aunt who lives there and she says her tomatoes and cuc's in her greenhouse are better than mine, but everything else is well behind this year. C

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:15AM
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shazam_z3

I'm tired of the snow. I've lived here for 30 years. I could use a change.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Victoria isn't as bad as Vancouver. The mountains on Vancouver Island have some rainshadow effect that gives it fairly dry summers, at least in a normal year.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 6:29PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Since we've completely changed the subject............

Victoria can't even be compared to Vancouver. Much much less rain in the winter. Then of course, if we compare to Alberta, there's very little snow in Victoria, and if it does snow, it only stays a few days. You don't have to shovel snow, you don't have to scrape car windows very often, you don't need winter tires, people there think it's too cold out if it's below zero in the evening. Nothing beats going out to your car and getting in and driving away. You may get a little wet, but who cares? You'll dry off. The summers aren't so hot that you can't stand it, you can grow many many more beautiful plants, shrubs, flowers. I could go on forever. Storms can be a little scary as there's the risk of the trees falling on you, but you can always stay home at that time. Earthquakes, even though they're tiny so far at least, are a little unnerving, but there's dangers in Alberta that you can't control either. The mountains and ocean can't be beat. Can anybody tell I love southern Vancouver Island?

Go for it Shazam. It's not likely you're not going to love it =:)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:35PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Oh, and thank goodness I have no hail damage.

Don, how are things progressing?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:36PM
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shazam_z3

Thanks naf.

My parents and the in-laws are eventually going to move to Vancouver or Victoria as well, so I want to be close by to take care of them if needed.

Not sure what the kids will think though. They might be older by then so won't want to leave their friends.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 7:33AM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Another series of hailstorms in central SK this morning. This is starting to become as regular as the rising of the sun.

@ shazam,
Tell them to make new friends ;)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:40PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Shazam, move by the time they're 12 or so, or stay put until after they're old enough to decide where they want to be.

If you move when they're older than that, they'll probably never forget it and may resent it forever.

Boy, now we're really off topic =:)

DON, YOU THERE ?
How about a new picture ?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 1:25PM
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don555(3a)

Don is back. It's now been 7 days since the hail, which is still early I realize, but some things are not bouncing back as quickly as I hoped they would, others are. Here's a whole-garden photo taken today, to match the ones above. The pumpkins (foreground) clearly have the crap beat out of them. The corn leaves are shredded, but only one of the 4 types of corn had been tasseling when the hail hit, so it has probably been lost but the other 3 are tasseling now so should be okay, just with a later and maybe lighter harvest.

Here's my patch of mixed lettuce that had been providing a bountiful harvest every couple of days. Now dead, as is the spinach. Peas pretty much toast too.

The tomatoes in the garden are also messed up bad. This photo is the Sophie's Choice. I have cut off and thrown out about half the fruit that was on it as it turned brown and mushy. Don't know if the remaining fruit will ripen or rot. The Stupice tomato plants (not shown) got beat up badly but had enough fruit high up to protect a few of the tomatoes lower down, and those are actually starting to turn colour now (to red, not brown!). Since Stupice is indeterminate and early, I still hold out hope it will recover and produce some new tomatoes. The 3 containers of tomatoes on the deck that I was able to mostly protect from the hail are seeming like a brilliant idea right about now.

The bright spots are the root crops, here the carrots and beets. They were completely flattened but are putting out new leaves as shown here. They maybe got slowed down a week or two but still have lots of time left. Same for potatoes (not shown). Things like beans (1 row partly shown at the top of this photo - I had a row of each of yellow, green and romano) are still unclear as to whether they will recover, but I'm hopeful.

Fruit is a mixed bag. The cherries got pretty bruised and some knocked off. I didn't have many anyway (young bushes) but I did want to get at least a sample from the 3 Romance series cherries that set a few fruit. I may still get this -- should from 1 bush at least, not sure about the other 2. Apples got bruised badly, shame 'cuz it was a heavy crop. Raspberries and blackberries seem perfectly fine, and although a ton of saskatoons got knocked off the bushes, more have ripened and I've been picking lots the past few days (as have the birds).

I'll update in another week.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 3:24PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Don, i've been watching this thread and my heart just breaks for you. :( It's really good that things are recovering a bit, though. I guess we have to take what comes. Sigh...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 4:20PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Sorry to see that, Don. It's all the more frustrating when you realize that the growing season is only so long, and those plants may never catch up.

You can still plant a fall crop of spinach, beets, and lettuce to make up for it. In Saskatoon, Aug 1 and Aug 15 are the typical dates I seed beets and spinach, respectively.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 5:11PM
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don555(3a)

Hail can't reach things underground! - Norland spuds picked today. Next year maybe it's all root veggies ;-)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 3:48PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Yay for the underground! Beautiful potatoes! I just picked a bowl of Sungold tomatoes. They would go good with those little potatoes. Yummy! :)

We haven't had any hail on this side of the river, Don but this year the sparrows ate all my peas. There is always next year. I hope you didn't get any flooding in your basement. :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 4:18PM
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shazam_z3

Solution: Have lettuce that grows underground.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 7:10PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Or a hail-proof bubble.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:28PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Don, those potatoes look beautiful! I am sure that they taste wonderful too. Have you tried them yet?

I am very sorry about the garden. It is very evident that you have put in a ton of work and effort to make it the way it is. I am sure that it is still early and more veggies will bounce back! :-)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:04AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Love those potatoes Don!
Makes me want to take a look on the early Norland.
Last year allot got wiped out totally with hail, never had a chance to form any potatoes when all the leaves where gone.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:35AM
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don555(3a)

Okay, two weeks since hail, I said things would look like nothing bad ever happened after 2 weeks, so here goes:

This is the garden overview shot to match the previous photos. The pumpkins are almost back to where they were on July 10, 2 days before the hail... losing at least 16 days on the pumpkin season will make getting any fruit far enough along to ripen questionable as they are always a bit dicey here to start with. The corn however has grown far beyond where it was 16 days ago:

On closer inspection, the heirloom flint corn, which was already flowering and tasseling when the hail hit, got beat up bad and will never recover. Here it is today (the cobs are empty):

The other corn varieties were not yet flowering or tasseling when the hail hit, and they have grown on as if nothing ever happened, despite their shredded leaves. Fortunately, these make up 80-90% of the total corn patch.

Carrots and beans have recovered to about where they were before the hail, so slowed by a couple weeks and probably a reduced crop, but that's much better than nothing:

Still not sure what to make of the potatoes... being underground the tubers were protected and I have been picking early spuds for a week or so, but the tops were I guess fully developed so have shown little recovery from the hail and I guess probably won't ever recover. This will ultimately reduce the size and perhaps slow the development of the underground spuds... still unclear:

As for onions, and I grow lots of onions every year and they usually last us until April or May of the next spring, the tops got beat up and have recovered somewhat but not as fully as I would have expected. I think the underground bulbs should grow and mature fine even with the somewhat damaged tops, but I won't know for sure until early September:

Fruit is a mixed bag. Ripe saskatoons got stripped but new ones soon took their place and we've had plenty for our own use since the hail and left plenty more for the birds. Raspberries weren't damaged much by the hail but the hail and other intense rains beat down some of the canes so that now many of the berries hang lower than usual and get splashed by mud when it rains heavily. Not that we haven't had a good feed of berries, at least when we can actually get out and pick some from the sopping garden. Apples are going to be crap this year though:

So all in all, the hail did a lot of damage and wiped some things out completely (spinach, lettuce, snow peas), set most things back by at least two weeks, and left a few things virtually unscathed. I wish it never happened, but at least the garden will still give a harvest, even if it isn't the harvest I'd hoped for. And at this point I'm actually much more worried about how the endless rain will damage things, by providing a perfect habitat for fungi, diseases, and slugs.

If I remember, I'll update this thread at the end of season to give my thoughts on how the hail affected the fall harvest.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 3:07AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

All in all, it looks not too bad, Don. There is still lots of summer left. I was picking tomatoes into October last year and it stopped raining by the end of July. Maybe this year will be similar. At least we are not farmers going through this. :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:45AM
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shazam_z3

Holy poop, it hailed LIKE MAD in south Calgary yesterday night. Really bad. Cars got dented.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 4:28PM
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