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Devastated :(

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Devastated :(

Post  etherati on 7/8/2011, 9:57 pm

So this morning I was admiring my garden, how lush everything had gotten, how happy everything looked. I thought 'I should take new pictures to post', but I didn't.

Midday, I went out and harvested some lettuce and spinach for a sandwich, thought again 'I should take new pictures'. Still didn't.

30 minutes ago, a normal evening thunderstorm blew up into a tremendous hailstorm. We have about two inches of pea-sized, rock-hard hailstones all over everything. Those two inches fell in ten minutes.

As soon as it started we got outside and started moving the boxes to safety - I put casters on them for a reason - but it was too late. Spinach, lettuce, obliterated. Basil, snapped off. Squash and cukes perforated. Peppers stripped to stems. Tomatillo torn to shreds. The tomatoes, against the wall of the house and a little tougher than the tomatillo, are shredded but will probably survive. Somehow my one big brandywine that's right in front of the plant didn't take any damage, so I guess there's that.

I am kind of numb, now.

Does anyone have any advice, for nursing injured plants that are still alive - what few there are - back to health?

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Re: Devastated :(

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 7/8/2011, 10:04 pm

etherati, I'm so sorry you had to go through this, but remember, plants have been surviving adverse weather conditions for millennia. Some will survive and grow back, some will not. For instance: The only surviver of three purple pepper plants in my tomato/pepper bed was broken off when my grandson tripped and came down on the plant. Figuring the remaining 3-inch stub was a gonner, I planted another pepper plant nearby. The Stub immediately put out new leaves, and is doing just fine, thank you very much. We are dumbfounded. Should the warm weather last long enough into the fall, the little sucker just may produce fruit! So, don't count 'em out just yet. Suggestion: a bit of compost tea or fish emulsion might be welcome as the plants start to recover. Good luck. Nonna

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Re: Devastated :(

Post  etherati on 7/8/2011, 10:11 pm

Thank you so much for being so supportive - I know they can be tenacious sometimes, but we were already set so far back by the cold spring, and this is another setback. I fully expect frost by mid-september; I don't know how much will recover and catch up by then.

I will do as suggested though and get some fish emulsion (composting at home hasn't worked so well, due to all the cool weather) and give them that extra nutrient burst. Maybe it'll help.

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Re: Devastated :(

Post  duhh on 7/8/2011, 10:47 pm

We had a huge hail storm here in Oct. Alot of our plants took a beating, but most were able to bounce back. Even tomato plants that had been cut off six inches from the ground, came back. Give the plants some time before taking them out.

I'm sorry this hapened to you, and believe me, I feel your pain!
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Re: Devastated :(

Post  shannon1 on 7/8/2011, 11:37 pm

I feel for you. Here's a big hug. It must be terrible to see your beautiful devistated that way. I'll bet most of it will come back. Mother nature is a fickle woman. I am willing to bet the hail knocked back the pests too so perhaps some good came of this too.
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Re: Devastated :(

Post  westie42 on 7/9/2011, 12:09 am

Real sorry about your hail disaster. That happened to my town 3 years ago, spared my tree shielded garden but many here had nothing left. Plants have an amazing recovery ability but it took so much energy to rebuild the plants that there was mostly very small fruit on them. Think about next year anything you get out of recovery will help to ease the pain of this year. Hoops are in my plans.

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Re: Devastated :(

Post  fiddleman on 7/9/2011, 8:37 am

I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your garden, I know how heart breaking it is to watch what you have nursed through the seasons be devastated in just a few minutes. Same thing happened to me this year, but it was early enough I was able to buy replacement plants for most of the garden.

Likely as mentioned earlier, you won't be able to get much of a harvest out of your garden, but perhaps some will give you something to enjoy. Depending on how well the tomatoes are after the storm, I would dowse them with some high nitrogen fertilizer such as Miracle Gro to encourage new leaf growth. Tomatoes are pretty resilient if the main stems haven't been broken too badly. I was able to save three pepper plants the same way, and now they are doing as well as any in the garden.

I personally would plant for a fall garden, and plant more carrots,broccoli,cabbage, and the like which will mature before frost, and hope the rebuild of the garden will help with the loss of this one.

Mark
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Re: Devastated :(

Post  Kelejan on 7/9/2011, 10:18 am

So sorry to hear what happened to your garden, etherati.

As with any sudden loss, you must be feeling a bit numb.

You still have your basic garden with the MM in it so you do not have to start completely from scratch. Focus on what you can do now and as fiddleman says, plan for a fall garden.

Keep us informed as to your progress. It will be ancouragement for others in this kind of situation.
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Re: Devastated :(

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/9/2011, 12:43 pm

That's a real bummer for sure. Sorry to hear the hail claimed almost everything.

My quick advice would be to replant the quicker producers like lettuce and spinach. The peppers and heat lovers won't have time, but may heal and produce on their own, hopefully.

If hail is an issue most summers, I would think about putting some hoops over your garden and laying some mesh or bird netting over the hoops. It won't stop bigger hailstones, but will deflect a lot of pea-sized stuff and save more of your crops.
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Morning report

Post  etherati on 7/9/2011, 1:04 pm

First, replies:

duhh: That is pretty crazy, about the tomato plants. I will definitely give them time to try to heal, after hearing that!

shannon: The sad part is, I wasn't actually having any pest problems at all - not even aphids. Everything was going so perfectly. Sad But stuff may come back, we'll see.

westie: at this point I'm just hoping to get what I can, yeah. And planning for next year does take my mind off of this mess.

fiddleman: It was particularly rough because when I was nursing these all up from seeds, it was getting into finals time in my classes, and it hurt so much to juggle all of it and dedicate all the time I needed to to everything at once. But against those odds, I still managed to hold everything together, and I was so proud of that. Now this Sad But yeah, I'll plant some fall crops and try my best to save what can be saved.

Kelejan: I will do that, and yes, so much of the work was building the gardens and I haven't lost that. That's good to remember.

BBG: What I was planning on doing was getting some white sheets and sewing magnets into the corners, and then being able to quickly slap them up strung from the top of the trellis in the back to the fastenings in the front. That would create a sort of lean-to against the hail but wouldn't suffocate anything or grow fungus in the damp, and could be thrown up and taken down in about thirty seconds for the whole set. Because, yeah, hail is kind of a persistant problem here, though I've never seen a storm like THAT.

So, the update. The bad news: yeah, all the leafy greens are gone, and the cukes and squash are full of holes. The cherokee purple took a hit right in the flower cluster - the only flower cluster so far - which frustrates me a lot. Edamame is pretty torn up.

The good news, though, it's that it's not as bad as I thought last night, rushing in the dark to move boxes, slipping around in the hail and not able to see much. None of the tomatoes or the tomatillos actually broke their stems. A lot of defoliation but what little fruit was already set seems MOSTLY intact, which I really did not expect. The peppers are in pots so we were able to get MOST of them covered with extra pots before they took much damage. Most of the basil snapped high enough that it should just make it bush out more.The peas mostly made it through, and the string beans too.

It could have been a LOT worse.

It's still really painful, because I know many of the injured plants will not recover. But it could have been worse.




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Re: Devastated :(

Post  moswell on 7/9/2011, 8:07 pm

I'm so sorry to hear about all the destruction, but it sounds like it's going to turn out okay (for the most part) in the end. After a man-made disaster on my part earlier this season, I am totally amazed at how hardy most of these plants are! I had a pepper plant that I burned almost to a crisp about a month ago that I removed from my bed. I just tossed it into a mostly empty pot (had a bit of potting soil in it) with its root system intact and never got around to throwing it out. Just a couple days ago I noticed open flowers on the plant! So keep the spirits up!

Oh, and that magnet plan to quickly cover your garden sounds like an ingenious idea. Smile
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Re: Devastated :(

Post  shannon1 on 7/9/2011, 11:56 pm

magnets hummmmmmmm, now you have set my wheels turning
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Re: Devastated :(

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 7/10/2011, 12:42 am

Ooooh, I want to see a picture of your magnetized sheet arrangement! Indeed, it does sound ingenious! With choice of a heavy duty plastic, it could double as an early season shelter AND a late season extender, increasing your growing season at each end. Great idea. Nonna

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Re: Devastated :(

Post  Goosegirl on 7/10/2011, 6:57 am

Dollar Store for cloth AND plastic shower curtains with the magnets already attached for my little boxes.....

Love this :idea:, I may have to go hunting (I mean SHOPPING!)

GG
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Re: Devastated :(

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