Getting ready for 2013 hail

gjcoreApril 14, 2013

You know it's going to come just like every year it's just a matter of how hard it's going to be. In the past I've tried different things with mixed (mostly poor) results. Trying to cover the most vulnerable at the last minute, assuming I'm home, hasn't worked out.

My garden is too big to protect everything. So I'll need to pick what to protect. Certainly peppers, tomatoes, winter squash maybe basil....

The most damaging hail seems to fall pretty much straight down.

My plan this year is to use posts probably like this then cover with hardware cloth. Haven't worked out yet how to attach the hardware cloth to the fence posts. Maybe just wrap some duct tape around the top end of the post and cut some holes in the hardware cloth so that the cloth would slip onto the posts but not past the duct tape.

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You might consider shade cloth? Using the most open mesh they have, maybe 40%, it might be less expensive than hardware cloth. I have a shade cloth now thats 15 years old - we take it off in the winter - and still going strong.

At the link is a 'concept' hail protection idea that might work......

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 11:42PM
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gjcore - I've been using this for at least 5 years to protect many different plants in our ever changing CO weather.

It can easily be cut without raveling. I usually use it for my tomatoes and peppers. Lowe's sells it by the ft. for $1.79 per ft., so the above post is less expensive - but at least you can see what the material is like.

On seedling tomatoes in their CRW cages, I cut the fabric in about 3'x3' squares and use clothespins on the side of the cage to keep out much of the stronger wind on one side. When I hear that we might have hail, it's easy to move the fabric to about 6" about the plant. When the plants grow, I can easily move the fabric to the top to help prevent sunscald.

This year we're going to have peppers in rows about 18" apart - for 20' long. We cut the 6' fabric in half and are planning on using metal fencing cut to 1-2' high x about 3' wide (curved to stabilize) and spacing the pieces of fencing every 3 or 4' - about 5 pieces of fencing per row. Then we'll clothespin the fabric on the fencing.

Kinda confusing? It worked last year for the pepper plants, so we'll try it again using this Easy Gardener fabric. Last year we used some spun stuff that did OK, but we thought this stronger fabric might be better.

Here is a link that might be useful: fabric

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 5:52PM
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Been gardening in hail country for a long time.
My husband built "hail cages" They are built to fit our raised beds. Basically a wooden frame on legs with hardware cloth.
Take some time to make, but last for years. We put them up as soon as the beds are planted and just leave them all season.
An easy way to protect tomatoes is to grow them in cages and just throw a piece of hardware cloth over the cluster of cages.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Well this is what I've come up with for hail protection. It seems reasonably sturdy. Just some 1x2s, wood screws, liquid nails, staples, steel fence posts and rope.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 3:12PM
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