I posted pictures this morning of how wonderfully the garden is starting out. And then this afternoon a hail storm came through and destroyed it.
It started with about 2 minutes of regular pea-sized hail.
Then came about 2 minutes of these bigger hail stones.
Then another 8 minutes or so of the regular pea-sized hail again. And then we headed out to see the damage. As soon as the cool, moist air hit my nostrils I knew the damage would be major. The air smelled like plants. It was that “green” smell that made it clear there were a lot of broken stems and leaves putting off that green aroma. It was weird…something I’ve never experienced in that context before.
The tomatoes were stripped of all their leaves and many had their main stems broken as well.
Tomatoes: 15 dead, 10 might produce or might not, 10 alive
The Basil lost most of their leaves and others were torn.
Basil: 6 dead, 6 might produce or might not, 1 alive
The brand new seedlings on the squash patch took a beating.
Squash and Pumpkins: 8 dead, 12 might produce or might not, 4 alive
Even though the sage leaves were still quite skinny, they still had major damage.
Sage: 1 dead, 4 might produce or might not, 1 alive
Remember this picture of the comfrey flowers this morning?
This is that flower now…the stalk is broken and you can see the flowers down on the ground.
And the comfrey plant:
The strawberries are shredded. They will survive but production will be down this year as they recover.
The rhubarb is full of holes, but I am guessing it will be fine since we eat the stalk.
The pest-control tents didn’t handle the weight of the hail collecting on them and collapsed. But the plants under them just got a little smooshed, no damage.
Unfortunately, with our very short growing season there is not time to replant any of the tomatoes, squash, or pumpkins. And we can’t buy seedlings because there are no places that sell seedlings in varieties that can make it in our cool, high-altitude climate. I can probably start some new herbs and get something off of them in time. So this is a pretty big loss for our little homestead. 3 months of work seriously damaged in 12 minutes. Pretty crazy.
All we can do is press on and hope for a surprisingly great amount of production despite the damage. We will focus on what survived. We are glad that not everything was destroyed. Time will tell.