Severe Storms Projected Late Tonight & Tomorrow

After writing my last posts and doing some other work around the house, I checked the NOAA forecast again and decided to take as much action as I could.  With the possibility of hail (large hail) tonight and tomorrow (starting after 4pm–hmm–farmers market?), we packed up and went back out to the farm, and Harry, my son, and I covered as much as we could with the materials available.

Row covered all the leaf lettuce and head lettuce, plus spinach, turnips, and the broccoli that was not already under row cover.  Harvested the baby arugula that was of reasonable size–will either add it to a salad mix for the market tomorrow, or if the market is canceled due to scary weather, we’ll eat it (aw, shucks, wouldn’t that be terrible?).

The root crops (besides turnips) didn’t get covered–they will probably survive most poundings–and the tomatoes and peppers are still small enough (and some under cages), that they are likely to make a comeback from all but really severe hail damage.  Not really possible to cover the sugar snap peas on their trellises without damaging the plants.

Though large hail could penetrate the row cover (thus pretty much destroying it), the fabric should be enough to break the velocity of small to medium ice balls when they hit it–hopefully enough to avoid damage to the plants underneath.

If the wind is high, the row cover will also be fairly lofty–there’ll be some air cushion there as well.  With the broccoli and romaine, I used metal cages under the row cover to avoid squashing the plants.  This may make it easier for hail to penetrate the fabric, as it’s stretched fairly taut across the cages, but it should also break the fall of small hail significantly.

Well, we did what we could.  I’ll remind myself of that if I wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of a rain of ice.  I’ll let you know how it works out.


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