Skip to content

Hail in the garden, holes in the leaves

July 28, 2015

I could not be a farmer around here. My nerves couldn’t take it.

It’s not a matter of “if” we’ll get hail in any given year, but “when, how big, and how much.”

I’ve written about hail numerous times on this blog already: here, here, here, here, here.

This year, I’ve been home to note hail on April 8, June 16, June 17, and July 28. There have been several stories in the regional news about various crops destroyed by hail, either soon after planting, or, as now, just before harvest. Hail might inconvenience me, but it really hits farmers hard.

The June 16-17 storms ripped up my garden.

A sad, hailed tomato plant.

A sad, hailed tomato plant.

The June 17 hail was kind of pretty. I'd like to colorize this image and print it and hang it up as part of my western Nebraska art collection.

The June 17 hail was kind of pretty. I’d like to colorize this image and print it and hang it up as part of my western Nebraska art collection.

The garden recovered, but I remained paranoid.

Guarding against a hailstorm that never materialized on July 5.

Guarding against a hailstorm that never materialized on July 5.

By the time yesterday’s hailstorm hit, most of the plants were too big to be protected under cover anymore.

The storm featured some large hail, but it was short-lived, thank goodness. No noticeable damaged to the house.

The storm featured some large hail, but it was short-lived, thank goodness.

The garden suffered some broken stems and leaf holes, but it should pull through OK. No visible damage to the house, and the car was safe in the garage.

The garden suffered some broken stems and leaf holes, but it should pull through OK. No visible damage to the house, and the car was safe in the garage.

While I was inspecting the hail holes in the plants, I discovered another source of leaf holes: cabbage loopers on the broccoli!

On the younger leaf in the foreground: cabbage looper caterpillar damage and several tiny cabbage looper eggs. In the background, a mature leaf sports a hail hole.

On the younger broccoli leaf in the foreground: cabbage looper caterpillar damage and several tiny cabbage looper eggs. In the background, a mature leaf sports a hail hole.

Here's a blurry photo of a cabbage looper caterpillar I found on another broccoli leaf.

Here’s a blurry photo of a tiny, green cabbage looper caterpillar I found on another broccoli leaf.

I’ve been asked several times, “Don’t you get ‘worms’ in your garden broccoli?” I always answer, “No.”

The reason we don’t is that, as soon as I notice cabbage looper eggs and caterpillars on the broccoli plant, I wage a “pick and smush” campaign against the eggs and caterpillars.

The cabbage plants seem to be further along for the first cabbage looper assault this year. It’s harder to find all the eggs and caterpillars with more and denser leaves to pick through.

So, this year I may wind up with a few ‘worms’ in my broccoli. If the hail leaves us alone and lets my garden continue to grow, that is.

Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2015 5:04 pm

    When I lived in SB I didn’t even attempt to maintain a garden. I’m in Denver now, and we just had our roof replaced due to hail damage. My little garden has had it’s share of hail damage this year, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the things that have survived will be allowed to mature. Good luck with that broccoli. 🙂 Oh, and I love your hail protection scheme…very inventive.

  2. lol permalink
    May 11, 2017 5:47 am

    So I was looking up new ways to cover up this year’s garden from hail, when I came across your blog via Google images. So glad to see I’m not the only one who dashes out with lawn chairs, laundry baskets, and Tupperware bins! Haha.

    Best wishes from Fort Collins, Colorado,

    Laura

    • May 11, 2017 12:26 pm

      Yep – it takes creativity to garden due east of the Rockies! We replaced a sidling screen door at our house last year, so I’ve added to my arsenal of hail defense the screen door clamped to sawhorses. Works great, as long as the wind isn’t too severe.

  3. Laura permalink
    May 11, 2017 5:54 am

    P.S. Never attempt to post via iPad while lying on your side on the couch. I was trying to type in my name on the leave a reply form, got as far as “l” then the tablet fell forward and as I grabbed it with my right hand it somehow typed “ol” then “return” which listed my name as “lol”. How bizarre! (Lol)

    • May 11, 2017 12:27 pm

      Heh – I just figured you had a good sense of humor. You kind of have to when you have a garden in hail country. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: