Storm damage and flooded vegetable garden

General    PA

We have been experiencing some really strong storms over the past week in PA and my veggies have been badly damaged. Many of my plants have been destroyed by heavy hail. The ice that fell was quite big, almost the size of a nickel and it has torn leaves, some look like the can recover but in other parts my garden flooded. The soil is completely waterlogged and many of my plants are turning yellow. Not much I can do about the weather but is there anything I can try to help my garden drain or protect against similar damage from the next storm that hits? I think one more could put an end to any summer harvest, I'd be very grateful of any help!

Posted by: Marsha Anderson (5 points) Marsha Anderson
Posted: June 30, 2013


So sorry, Marsha! I can relate. We had terrible storms throughout June here in New Hampshire, too, though no hail (yet). Some of the rains and winds were so fierce, they felled plants and washed young seedlings right out of the ground. In other areas, the water pooled up over the young seedlings. The hilliest garden is riddled with erosion gullies in the few unmulched areas. Arrgh!

The only thing I can think of to help protect your remaining plants this season is to cover all exposed ground with a thick organic mulch to release the rainwater more gradually to the soil. Add more around the taller plants.

The plants that look healthiest in my various gardens are those growing in raised beds with extremely well-drained soils manufactured from about 1/3 each of seed-starting mix, compost, and mineral soil. These are also closest to buildings, so they receive a little protection from the wind. Maybe next year you could try raising your planting beds a few inches (although this makes them more drought-prone, so you have to keep a close eye on the soil moisture).

Posted by: Peg Boyles (5 points) Peg Boyles
Posted: July 1, 2013

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