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Any preventive measures in case of hail?

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Any preventive measures in case of hail? Empty Any preventive measures in case of hail?

Post  iiiigardener on 4/9/2013, 2:12 pm

Hi, I'm new to SFG and vegetable gardening in general, so please excuse me if this is a silly question. Our weather forecast today is possible large hail and severe thunder storms. Is there anything I can do to possibly protect my SFG in case of hail? I have the afternoon and early evening before the storm is supposed to hit, so I can get some stuff done if I knew what to do!

Thanks!
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Post  donnainzone5 on 4/9/2013, 2:27 pm

Do you have The current (second) edition of All-New Square Foot Gardening?

As in the first edition, there are instructions for a hoop house. If you use rebar to anchor your PVC, cover with thick 6mm plastic, and weight down the overhanging plastic, you should be fine.

Mine own hoop house has withstood winds between 40 and 60 mph this winter, as well as several inches of snow.

Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
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Post  iiiigardener on 4/9/2013, 3:17 pm

Thanks - I just got the book. I don't think I'll have time to do all of that this afternoon but will do it for the future. I'm hoping that covering the beds with something might mitigate some of the potential problems.
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Post  quiltbea on 4/9/2013, 4:20 pm

If you don't have time for hoops, find all the old blankets you can find or better yet get heavy row cover to place over your plants. That should take the worst of any hail so it doesn't rip your leaves and tear off your stems.
Good luck.
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Post  iiiigardener on 4/9/2013, 4:56 pm

Will do - started covering with heavy covers with stakes holding them down and making them tall (so the cover doesn't crush the plants. Thanks for the suggestion re blankets - I have a bunch of them from when the kids were young and at home.

It's a double whammy - severe storm/hail and temps dropping from the 80's today to 30's Wednesday evening. I lost all of my first set of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and basil when the temps dropped a couple of weeks ago - even though I doubled frost blanketed them... and of course, I just replanted them a week ago.

This is not a hobby for the faint of heart but that's okay, I'm tougher than I look.
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Post  GloriaG on 4/9/2013, 5:37 pm

Hi iiiigardener,

I'm a little west of you just north of the DFW airport. I also put a roof over my crops when hail is predicted.

However, at this time of year, you need to be careful you don't use blankets that are so warm they'll overheat your plants. I just checked your weather and tonight is going to be 54° in McKinney. If you use warm blankets and fasten them down securely all around, the ground temperature will make it too hot inside. I suggest you leave quite a bit of "breathing room" around the edges.

Also, your weather for tomorrow now says a low of 38°-40°. FWIW: At that temperature I just use one light frost cover.

Good luck!
Gloria
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Post  iiiigardener on 4/9/2013, 6:08 pm

Thanks, GloriaG. By next year, I'll have my garden set, so I'll make the roof type structure for hail to match that configuration. This year is more of a discovery and I discovered that 3 4 x 8's and two herb 4 x 2's aren't enough. I had to plant my strawberries and corn in half whiskey barrels and my squash in large round containers. My husband has agreed to build beds specifically for my tomatoes and trellising plants as well as two 3 x 3's for my squash. We'll put in our drip lines at that time, too.

I left some breathing room as you suggested. I only double covered the beds when it was 29 about three weeks ago. Do you uncover the crops during the day?
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Post  plantoid on 4/9/2013, 8:14 pm

@iiiigardener wrote:Hi, I'm new to SFG and vegetable gardening in general, so please excuse me if this is a silly question. Our weather forecast today is possible large hail and severe thunder storms. Is there anything I can do to possibly protect my SFG in case of hail? I have the afternoon and early evening before the storm is supposed to hit, so I can get some stuff done if I knew what to do!

Thanks!
How do you qualify large hail , golf ball size or baseball sized or football sized or bigger ?

There are some octagonal holes woven nets made of kevlar used for commercially coralling harvestable fish in a marine environment that have 1/4 , 1/2 or 3/4 etc. etc holes in them . Here in the UK it is not as expensive as I first thought, the bigger the mesh hole the less kevlar used so price can be cheaper the bigger the guage of the net .

I hope to use white 1/4" guage octagnal kevlar netting to cover my pond over fall and winter till the last of the oak tree leaves get torn off due to winter storms by making a tent of it over the 12 foot long 19 foot wide pond. it should have a life span nof tn or more years .

Would that help sort you out if you could afford it ?

Would big hail bounce off a tight net and not build up into a sheet of ice ?
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Post  GloriaG on 4/9/2013, 8:32 pm

Hi Plantoid,

Yes we can get hail that large. But if that happens, there's really not much you can do to stop it. Those type of hailstones go right through house roofs . Our hail usually ranges from the size of a garden pea up to about a golf ball - and golf ball size is not as frequent.

FWIW - To protect from hail, I cover my hoops with plain old plastic window screen. When I think it's going to be severe, I put on two layers. Because the screen is a bit "stretchy", and it's curved over the hoop top, the hail tends to bounce and roll off. I've never seen it build up as a sheet of ice on the hoops, although it does on the flat ground beside the beds.

Hope this helps.
Gloria

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Post  landarch on 4/9/2013, 8:55 pm

I stapled some reinforced construction plastic sheeting over my grids...also seen is a scape 1x2, a rock, and my pea trellis for extra weight on top. Under the grid is some old tomato cagees I flattened out...just to keep the plastic from sagging onto seedlings...we'll see if it works come tomorrow morning as there is a chance of heavy hail here as well...pea-sized last night didn't really do any damage to beet, lettuce, radish, and pea seedlings...but just a few miles west saw golf ball size hail.
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