Hail Damage

myfrozenlittlepond(3)July 31, 2014

Oh, the hail....I'd been feeling just a little guilty, reading recent posts by other northern gardeners who have battled cool, wet growing conditions this summer. Meanwhile, my northern wisconsin location has enjoyed an amazing growing summer, with warm temps and a nice soaking rain every few days. I mean my gardens have been nothing short of spectactular. Until yesterday. In a very small isolated area confined to a few of my country neighbors and I, a nasty hail storm almost completely wiped me out in 10 minutes of quarter sized hail and high swirling winds. Others lost some big oak trees and corn, and I saw some minor structural damage. My gardens look like Edward Scissorhands came to visit. My vegetables are shredded and pounded into the soil. The squash are now naked vines clinging to their trellises. Most of the green tomatoes are off the vines. The apples are either on the ground or pummeled into bruised little green balls still on the trees. And my beautiful flowers are shredded and ruined. I am stunned by the destruction. Gardening is about the journey, and this is just one of those unfortunate events completely out of my control. Before I rip things out I will let them have a week to recover and see what survives. I had to smile when I looked at my naked morning glory vines tonight, and noticed three sweet little blossoms ready to open tomorrow morning.

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ostrich(3a AB)

So sorry to hear about your hail damage.... being in Calgary, hail is one of my biggest concerns and it is a real threat here. So I feel your pain.

I hope that everything will recover soon for you!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:04PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

That's awful! Although we have hail pretty regularly, I've never lost much of anything to it. Knock wood. Sorry for your damage and I hope things surprise you by springing back.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:49PM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

I can imagine that quarter size hail would cause a lot of damage. I am sorry that happened to you. You are wise to not be too quick to pull everything. I've heard reports from people who've had hail damage say that they were surprised by how quickly the plants rebounded. Maybe it won't be a total loss. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:18PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I feel your pain,...gardeners worst nightmare,...hope allot is coming back for you!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 1:36AM
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Hail is a gardener's nightmare. But be patient, many plants can rebound beyond what you expect. Been there. The apples are probably a write-off though.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:19AM
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We had hail up here, too, yesterday afternoon. It came down hard for a solid 10 minutes. Most of it was small, but towards the end they were getting loonie- and toonie-sized. Our garden fits your description to a T. Posted pics to Facebook and hubby tweeted them. Next thing I knew, they were being used as the backdrop on the evening news' weather report. What a huge, sad mess. :(

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 11:39AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Feel for you guys.. Fortunately hail is rare here *knock on wood* but we do get the type of hail that has 4 legs and jumps fences. I guess I am fortunate as they take the damage with them so I don't have to clean it up.

Not sure why I choose a hobby that I can't control the variables, so unlike me.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 11:51AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Oh my, SCG, let's dig deeper and get into some Freudian stuff here, shall we!? LOL

Are you laying down comfortably on your chaise longue yet? Let's start talking.... :-)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 12:29PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

*double post edit*

Lol, Ostrich... I am sure I need help but would hate for you to waste time on me. I pick up new habits with reckless abandon.

Now that I have wasted the cool morning watching movies with the kids I have to go out and sweat my butt off and do yard work...yay me


This post was edited by SouthCountryGuy on Sat, Aug 2, 14 at 13:20

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 1:03PM
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Sorry to hear about folks getting thrashed by hail. Been there -- be patient, it will surprise you what comes back. Leafy crops like lettuce won't come back though. Nor apples, you might want to cut off existing apples so the tree has lots of energy for next year's crop.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 6:21PM
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I admire your positive outlook MFLP!

I had hail damage last summer, and I was very grumpy and pouty, even though I knew I shouldn't, my garden is for enjoyment not survival, and I could easily run to the grocery store and buy vegetables (even though they didn't taste as good).

You're right, gardening is about the journey. This year has been great, I think I appreciate it even more because of all that I lost the year before.

I hope what's important to you comes back. I lost more than half of my tomato plants (fungi from the soil entered into hail stone wounds on the plant-I read after that I should have been spraying with an antifungal after every hail storm). The ones that did come back I made sure to cull most of the flowers and leave just a few tomatoes to grow, just so I could get something from the garden.

How much more summer do you get in your area?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:24PM
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I thank you all for the outpouring of support and the sharing of your past experiences with exactly this situation. I am fortunate to have a close friend who will be sharing her bounty with me. My flowers seem to be coming back where possible. I think the morning glories are done for. The vegetables facing toward the angle from which the hail came are pretty bad. And the vining crops were especially vulnerable because I trellis everything vertically to maximize space. I will still have some veggies. I don't think too much will be going in the pantry this year... Anyway, this is not my first hail storm and it won't be the last. Thank you for understanding! Hoping to radically extend my growing season with a greenhouse very soon.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 8:12PM
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Just a little update on my hail damage. There were some true losses, like the peas up on the trellis, the cukes and most of the tomatoes. But I was thrilled to see how many things took a break. regrouped, and recovered. My bush beans lost some leaves but are now back to blooming and have baby beans. The squash plants are vining like crazy and putting out summer squash like crazy. The winter squash are trying but with my short growing season they are unlikely to yield anything. I was able to harvest a heavy crop of blueberries that had some hail protection, and the broccoli are still putting out lots of side shoots. My flower beds have likewise recovered and in most places I cannot tell anything happened. Even the stripped morning glories leafed out and are in full bloom once again. Aren't plants amazing? Given healthy roots, they can recover from so much insult. All I did was remove dead stuff after a week, and then again a week later. I left the apples on the trees, and it appears that only one side of them has damage and only on one side of the trees, so I will do some creative trimming before I juice them or cook them for sauce and at least salvage a partial crop. My pantry is a bit lean this year, but we will enjoy what we were able to harvest. Thanks again for all of the support!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 8:32PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Glad to hear! Nice to hear about success in the face of disaster.

The thought of blueberries.......


    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 3:17AM
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