It is advised that we first start preparing any plants we are nurturing by adjusting soil, making sure that we are watering them adequately, and doing all things possible to prevent pests and disease. However, there is another threat that can wipe out your garden in just minutes. Depending on your region, hail season can last from April to September, but the month that often causes the most harm is June.
If you take proper precautions, you can prevent or at least minimize the damage to the plants in your garden. Here are some recommendations to set your plants up to survive hailstorms and care for damaged plants.
Preventative Measures Before Hail Season:
- Use soil to protect your plants. This will help reduce storm damage to your trees and shrubs as well. Adding extra soil around the base of all of your plants gives the stems extra support. This will limit breakage.
- Use raised beds for flower and vegetable gardens. These are great tools to help protect your more delicate plants. Raised beds keep the soil from washing out, which is a common side effect of severe hailstorms. When your soil is kept firmly in place, it gives your plants the necessary support to survive not-favorable conditions and prevents the stems from snapping.
- Gather all needed supplies before the hail season arrives. These storms can appear unexpectedly, so it is very important to have all of the materials to protect your garden on hand. Here are a few items that will prove very helpful to prevent damage from hailstorms. Hail netting, Shade cloth, Wooden posts, Aluminum mesh screening, Tarps with stakes, and Containers to cover your plants such as buckets or trash cans work well depending on the size of your plants. You will also need rocks or something to weigh down your containers, because hailstorms are usually accompanied by high winds. In a pinch, cardboard or other kinds of cloth can help with emergency protection from damage.
How to Prepare when Hail is in the Forecast:
It is largely important to pay attention to your daily forecast in order to be able to protect your garden from the damage caused by hailstorms. The month of June is known to produce the most extreme and harmful hailstorms. If you notice hail is in your forecast, one of the first things you should do is relocate all of your potted plants including any hanging baskets under cover, or inside if possible. Next, you need to put the protective covers you have in place and be sure they are secure enough to endure any high winds.
How to Handle the Damage from Unexpected Storms:
Sometimes hail can appear out of nowhere during forecasted rainstorms and you won’t have a chance to prepare your plants for the harsh conditions. In some cases, you can mitigate any harm done to your plants depending on the amount of damage they have suffered. Remember it can be dangerous to enter the hailstorm once it has already begun, so use good judgement and do not put yourself at risk of harm in efforts to save your plants.