Our 2014 garden was thriving and beautiful until a freaky hail, wind, and thunderstorm passed through last Friday evening and left (almost) everything in shreds. We had no idea bad weather was in the forecast. On Friday morning, I was still sowing seeds for broccoli rapini, more cilantro, dill, molokhia, and arugula. I picked some calendula, cut off more eggplants, and deadheaded the zinnia and nasturtium. This little patio garden is always amazing in August. We have no reason to believe this year would be any different.
We read about the hail in the J&C late Friday night. Apparently, our neighborhood was the worst hit. The city even had bulldozers out clearing the streets. News like that made for a restless sleep. We finally got a good look at all the damage done to our garden bright and early on Saturday. I decided that we'd tackle the garden in shifts, so I sent Zach out to paint. I knew that if he stayed, he'd probably want to stick everything in the trash. I needed some time alone to go through each and every plant. I wanted to save those that still look like they have a little life left in them. I also wanted to harvest as many eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes as possible,
even if they do look sad and bruised. I am hoping most of the peppers and tomatoes will ripen indoors.
By the afternoon, I had made up my mind. We would keep only 2 of 15 tomato plants, 2 of 19 pepper plants, and 4 of 6 eggplants. The rest, along with the basil, molokhia, okra, borage, baby beets, and one calendula planter, were too far gone they're not likely to recover. I did some severe pruning, and then foliar fed everything with seaweed extract. I read somewhere that seaweed extract will help soothe and heal traumatized plants. We will have to wait and see if the plants we keep survive.
When Zach came home from painting, it was his turn to do the hard work of cleaning out the garden. He ripped out the doomed plants, prepped the dirt (for our fall plants), hosed down the patio, swept up all the wreckage, and rearranged the garden.
Although we are upset over losing so many plants, we are also thankful most of our herbs, the peach and orange tree, strawberries, blueberry and raspberry bushes survived with very little damage. Our house and car are also fine. And best of all, we have the opportunity to grow a kickass fall garden.