Mary's Veggie Garden

June 5, 2017


Filed under: Floating Row Cover,Hail,Kohlrabi,Onions,Tomatoes,Vegetables,Weather — marysveggiegarden @ 11:49 am

Thursday afternoon I arrived at my community garden plot to discover everything was shredded. It literally looks like everything was run through a cheese grater.

Wednesday evening a severe thunderstorm traveled through the area. At home the branches tossed in vicious winds and small hail fell for about a minute. However my home garden sustained almost no damage. There was a tornado about a mile to the south, but the community gardens are 2 miles north.

Over the last few days I’ve put the story together. Gardeners who were much closer to the Community Gardens said hail fell for “10 minutes”. One said it was ” as large as her fist” (she has a small hand, but that is still large.)

The hail came from the north. The only undamaged plants are adjacent to the north fence. My neighbors onions, on the north side of my north fence, were shredded. I have some Egyptian walking onions. Their sturdy flower stalks are scarred on the half facing north and almost unblemished on the south side.

Friday and Saturday I took pictures then cleaned up.

The snapped kohlrabi leaves.

I harvested the kohlrabi that lost most of it leaves. I’m hoping the rest have enough leaves remaining to fuel growth of the bulb.

The typical romaine lettuce after being pummeled by hail.

The romaine bed was in tatters. The plants were just starting to form heads. I’m hoping they will continue to head up and not bolt from the stress.

The tops of the pea plants are snapped off.

Curiously, only the tall variety lost it tops, the shorter variety was just fine, even though growing on the same fence.


Hail punched holes through the floating row covers.

Snapped leaves on the plants underneath the row cover.

The most damage  to row covers occurred in  unsupported sections such as the suspended areas between plants where the hail punched right through. Notice how good the Chinese cabbage was looking. There is no flea beetle damage when grown under a row cover. I’m hoping the Chinese cabbages will continue to head up since the centers look undamaged.

The leaves and tops were snapped off the tomato plants.

Hail snapped  leaves and tops off the tomato plants. With the tops gone, the suckers started growing fast and are visible in this picture 2 days after the storm. During cleanup I removed the flower buds. The fruit will be better if the plants have leaves.

The onions took a beating.

The good news is that my garden at home is undamaged. Since the start of May I’ve been foraging for greens every morning. The greens are washed, chopped, and stirred into the scrambled eggs for breakfast. The mix changes but this colander is fairly typical.

Mess o’greens. L-R leaf of Tyfon-Holland greens (single large leaf), garlic mustard leaves, Red Giant mustard, garlic and common chives and a leaf of sorrel.

Garlic mustard is a common invasive weed. It’s a biennial – flowers it’s second year. The garlic flavor is quite mild. Garlic mustard leaves are easy to harvest from the flower stalks, reasonably tender and clean. I’ve also foraged the leaves of first year plants but the leaf stems are wiry and tough and should be removed.

Garlic mustard – a common yard weed.


  1. Oh Hail! The garden gods give us no peace, do they? Hope everything recovers, and glad your home garden was spared. You got a nice harvest from it. Garlic mustard is a prohibited plant where I live, and the communities go to great lengths to control it. I guess the reason it got introduced was it was edible, but I’ve never know anyone who ate it. Interesting!

    Comment by Will - Eight Gate Farm NH — June 5, 2017 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

    • When we bought this place in 1998 garlic mustard was all over. It took me several years to identify it because all my weeds books were purchased in the 1970’s before it was a problem.

      The best way to control garlic mustard might be by foraging – a bit of reward for your effort.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — June 5, 2017 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  2. Sorry to hear about the storm damage. We had really bad thunderstorms last night where we live and, or course, right after I planted out 36 sweet potato slips. Garlic mustard? I have to admit that I’ve never heard of it. Probably have seen it but a weed is a weed to me.

    Comment by wvhiker — June 5, 2017 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

    • Sweet potato slips are vigorous and should have no problem with hard rain. I’m rooting a few extra slips in case my two hail battered slips don’t make it. It’s been so cool around here most of the slips were still awaiting planting

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — June 5, 2017 @ 1:10 pm | Reply

  3. That’s too bad about the storm. Hail and wind can do a number on the garden fairly quickly for sure. I’m glad your home garden plot was spared.

    Comment by Dave @ OurHappyAcres — June 5, 2017 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  4. That really must have been quite some large hail to punch right through the row cover! I hope your veggies rebound. I’ve never seen garlic mustard, hopefully it hasn’t found its way here.

    Comment by Michelle — June 5, 2017 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

  5. Oh Mary, that had to be devastating to see. You heart had to sink when you saw it. It had to be something to even have the row cover suffer damage. I am hopeful that much will recover!!!

    Comment by Judy Killmer — June 5, 2017 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  6. That’s awful. It’s crazy how battered the kohlrabi and tomatoes were considering they’re such sturdy plants.

    Comment by Phuong — June 6, 2017 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

    • The kohlrabi is sturdy but brittle. Tomato plants are usually quite flexible so this much damage was unexpected.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — June 7, 2017 @ 7:43 am | Reply

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