Garden recovery is possible - here are tips and ideas
- After a hailstorm like we had yesterday, your garden will have suffered damage (possibly catastrophic) to its plants, foliage, and overall structure.
With some care and attention, you can help both your landscape gardens and vegetable/herb gardens recover. Here's how:
Clean up debris: Prioritize what to clean up first and what can wait. Remove fallen branches, leaves, and other debris. Clearing the area will make it easier to assess the damage accurately.
Remove severely damaged plants: If plants are severely damaged and beyond recovery, remove them from your garden. It will be painful but this allows you to focus your efforts on nursing the healthier plants back to health.
Prune damaged plants: Trim back broken or damaged branches from plants. Use sharp and clean pruning tools to make clean cuts just above a healthy bud or side branch. This helps the plant recover and promotes new growth.
Fertilize: Hailstorms are stressful to plants so it's important to provide them with a boost of fertilizer to help with their recovery. Use a balanced fertilizer to provide nutrients for the recovery process.
Monitor for pests and diseases: Hail-damaged plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases. Keep a close eye on your garden for any signs of infestation or infection. Treat issues promptly to prevent further damage.
Provide support: If any plants are leaning or have weakened structures due to the hailstorm, use stakes or plant supports to help them regain their upright position.
Be patient: Garden recovery takes time, and it may take several weeks or even months for your plants to fully recover from the hailstorm damage. Nature will take its course and your garden will recover.
For those that lost most or all of your vegetable garden: can you replant?
Yes, you can replant right now! Focus on planting seeds with short growing timeframes like 65 - 75 days and you'll have crops maturing in September.
Look at your leftover seed packets and plant the crops that require the least amount of time to maturity:
- baby kale
- radishes (need shading)
- lettuce and spinach (needs shading)
- green onions
- pea shoots (prefer shading)
- bush beans
- corn (fast growing seeds only)
- cherry tomatoes (need to be coddled with 8 hours of sun a day out of the elements to create a sort of greenhouse effect). May be best to plant in pots in a warm, sunny spot on a patio or deck that can be protected from any kind of inclement weather.
- Plan for a cool-weather garden instead! In mid-July plant lettuce, carrots, peas, kale, radishes, broccoli and other cool-weather crops for harvest in late September, October, and even into early November. Most are somewhat frost resistant or need only mild protection from frost like a covering of pine needles or loose sheet on coldest nights. Keep shaded for best results - cool weather crops won't do well in under the glare of a hot July and August sun.
We're working on a new article regarding garden hail prevention and protection. We live in an area prone to hailstorms and we know implementing protective measures such as installing netting or creating temporary shelters can work to shield your garden from hail damage in the future.