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Protecting plants from hail


Protecting plants from hail

Don't try this if it's not safe, but if you have time, here are some ideas on protecting plants from hail.

Since a larger majority of us are at home than we normally would be on a weekday during storm season, let me start with a friendly reminder that my friends are posting all over social media.

Today is a...

Bras on, ladies (truth... we're using the b-word)

kind of day.

And this meme was too funny not to share....

I fell asleep last night as the thunderstorms along I-40 in western Oklahoma pushed to the south of Oklahoma City and woke up as storms to my north pushed into Kansas.

Its one of those strange weather days in Oklahoma, so once I pulled myself away from my warm, comfy bed, I wandered into the garden where I evaluated ways to cover some of my plants.

If you didn't see the pictures, there was tennis ball-sized hail in far western Oklahoma last night, and golf ball-sized hail was pretty well scattered around the state.

We're in for round two starting just after lunchtime in the Oklahoma City area. That's why I used some time this morning to gather up plant-covering supplies so that at lunch I can get things ready to weather the weather.

First - I want to reiterate that human safety is number 1. Please don't wait until the storm is rolling in or the sky turns green to cover plants. Lightning is more deadly than tornadoes! Hail can really hurt you, especially when it's as big as we've seen recently.

Protecting plants from hail

The thing to do here is cover them or shield them and there are probably a lot more ways to do that than you think. Think outside the box - or use a box, as in those plastic storage bins most of us use in the garage or attic.

Things to use to protect plants from hail

  • Flower pots Just like we use them to protect from late freezes, they're also good for protecting from hail, just like many of the things on this list.

  • Nursery pots These are the black flower pots that plants are in when purchased from the garden center. I hang on to the large ones to protect plants. Also, most gardeners are happy to get these an can be bartered for other garden items or plants you might need.

  • Patio tables As seen in the pictures above, I moved a small patio side table over a dalia. The benefit of this is I'm not preventing the plant from getting light, so I can put this in place anytime I'd like. If you have help and aren't worried about damage, you could move a patio dining table over a larger section of a garden.

  • Patio chairs Similar to using a patio table, a patio chair can be placed over a plant for protection.

  • Buckets They work for late freezes and potential hail!

  • Wire mesh Chicken wire or hardware cloth can be used to create tunnels or domes over plants

  • Clean trashcans Be careful with this around edibles so you don't contaminate food. A recycling bin is safer since it doesn't hold food scraps that could host bacteria and pathogens. Skip the bathroom trashcan - 'nuff said.

  • Cans The large foodservice cans - #10 cans - with the top and bottom cut out make great plant rings and will also protect small plants from side impact.

  • Baskets Large metal, wood or wicker baskets that you don't mind getting dirty or damaged can work, but put a rock or brick on top to keep them from toppling over.

  • Plastic storage totes This is an excuse to hang onto some of the ones that are cracked. Use them to store garden materials during winter and then they're handy as frost covers and hail covers in the spring.

Bottom line - get creative and start looking now. You might not want to cover plants right away but be sure to do it soon enough that you'll be safe so you can come back to read more.

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