Last night Chicago got hail. A serious storm, Garfield Park Conservatory is closed indefinitely because of safety and the amount of glass broken. Personally, I saw ping pong size, but pictures have shown up to handful size. Amazing is one word for it, and destructive is another. What do you do when hail falls on your precious garden? Plants will suffer from bruises, holes, leaves torn off, debris from trees falling on them, etc. Broad leafed plants will most probably have more severe damage given the larger leaf area. If it is early enough in the season, perennials should have enough time to recover before the fall. Eat any greens like lettuce, chard, kale instead of composting. The damage to the leaf isn’t going to harm you. General rules for hail recovery:
- trim off the damaged parts of your plants
- give them a little extra love of compost or compost tea
- watch carefully the next few weeks for pest taking advantage of the situation
For more detailed information about hail recovery, take a look at University of Manitoba’s page.