Calgary’s Tuesday Hailstorm in the Garden
Earlier this year as we planted our seeds, we talked about grandiose plans for warding off the hailstorms that seem to frequent Calgary in July and August. Ping-pong ball sized hail brings complaints around the office about cars getting dented and other such damage, but for us, it means damaged plants and pure heartbreak. Last year, we were caught in a couple of hailstorms that meant the end of good ol’ zucchini plant and fallen sunflower comrades. This year, we were going to be prepared. We were going to have elaborate systems of hail-proof materials on solid post foundations and pulley systems that could be run across our yard in an instant if hail was in the forecast. We were going to mount rolls of netting that would be unwound during the first minutes of a storm, deflecting killer hail stones but allowing the rain through. Many a road trip conversation was dedicated to designing the system and how to protect our beloved plants from a Southern Alberta hail storm.
Alas, none of those plans ever came to fruition and we were left completely exposed to the whims and brute force of nature when Tuesday afternoon pelted us with hail. This time, though, we have much more at stake than a couple of square-foot gardens partially shaded by trees… this is the good material for our blog, for goodness sakes! So we ran about in the yard, throwing sheets and blankets and old table cloths from our wedding over as many plants as we could, all the while getting pelted and welted by hailstones.
A couple of pieces of hail managed to slice right through the heart of a beautiful squash leaf, but we managed to get most of the critical plants covered. Soaked and stinging from the storm, we surveyed our garden as though it were an old house with furniture covered to keep the dust at bay. We’re happy to report that it seemed to work and the plants are recovering nicely from the storm with only a few bumps and bruises (and most of them on us!).