Parts of Chaffee County were pummeled with hail during yesterday's storm. How prepared were you? It's good to know what precautions you can take ahead of time and what you can do for plants after hail has dealt its blows.
Minimize damage if you can.
Be prepared by placing buckets or old planting pots close to the garden so you can grab them quickly to cover plants when a storm rolls in.
Put heavy container plants that are beyond the patio or porch roof on wheeled bases so they can easily be moved under cover.
Have copper soap or a similar copper fungicide on hand to spray on plants right after the damage. It keeps fungus from getting into the open wounds. Just like you put antiseptic on a cut finger, you need to apply it ASAP - within minutes or a few hours after the storm for the best effect
Dealing with damaged plants.
Flowering annuals with no remaining foliage will probably not recover and should be replanted. If there is some foliage left on petunias, they may survive.
Keep as many of the remaining leaves as possible on damaged plants. If half or more of the leaf is intact, keep it at least a little while so it can create energy for the plant.
Remove branches, leaves, and stems that are broken or badly shredded.
Spray the cuts or broken places as soon as possible with a copper product. Copper, commonly found in fungicides, will keep diseases from entering the plants. Caution: read the label before applying any product on veggies.
Wait to fertilize for a week or so when the plant shows signs of new growth. Use a liquid or granular fertilizer.
Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (2021, May 21). Tip of the Week: Hail Season. https://www.alcc.com/tip-of-the-week-email