Hail storms are another gardening challenge

A healthy garden can be destroyed by a hail storm in a matter of minutes.

storm-damage-blogThe thunderstorm last night in the Denver Metro area was a destructive one. High winds, drenching rain and hail destroyed the hopes of many gardeners who woke up to find their gardens in shreds.

I heard from one gardener this morning who told me the community garden she was working with in Lakewood was “completely destroyed last night in the hail storm…bad day in the neighborhood.”

This is another one of the challenges of gardening along the Front Range in Colorado. The eastern half of the state is especially prone to severe hail storms because of where the plains sit in relation to the Rocky Mountains and clashing wind currents from the east create a perfect thunderstorm.

Hail has shredded my garden in the past and I know exactly how it feels to see the garden in tatters. Thankfully, gardeners are a tough breed. Gardens that are already growing healthy plants will come back sooner, and in some cases, even stronger than before the storm.

A recent story on Coloradan.com described the steps gardeners can take to help their landscapes recover from a hail storm.

Just yesterday I wrote about the hail storms hitting CSU’s Annual Trial Gardens in June and how much the plants had recovered in just a few weeks.

If your garden was hit by the hail last night, here are some steps you can take to get back to growing:

  • Clean up all the leaf litter in the garden to avoid spreading plant disease.
  • Clip back any plants that look like they might survive. Herbs, flowers and some other plants still have time to bounce back.
  • Check tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and other vegetable plants; if they still have a few leaves, they might pull through.

There is a bright side to the hail hitting now. It’s the right time to plant a fall garden. Last week I posted two blogs on fall gardening and cool-season veggies: time is ripe for fall gardening and planting tips for the fall garden. Now’s the time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start gardening all over again.

Do you have tips for dealing with the garden aftermath of a hail storm? If so, please share them with your fellow gardeners by posting them in the comments section.


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