Gainan's Flowers & Garden Center

Gainan's Flowers & Garden Center

Posted by traci on May 25, 2016 Gardening

TLC NEEDED AFTER HAIL

Excerpt from Jim Gainan’s article in the Billings Gazette from May 24, 2014

There are a couple schools of thought, but I’ve tried to take the best points from each to assemble my plan. There are two main issues. First, the plants and trees are traumatized from the wind and hail. Second, the intense amount of water depletes the soil of nutrients.
With that in mind, the rule of thumb for annuals and perennials is that if any part of the plant is broken or bent, the plant should be trimmed at the point of the break or further. They are not able to repair themselves and everything after the break will eventually fade and die if it hasn’t already. Removing the damaged foliage allows the plants to put energy into sending new growth out rather than trying to feed dying parts.
TRIM
Soft foliage like Hosta and Coleus that just have holes in the leaves can be left alone. But, if the foliage looks like it’s been through a paper shredder, it needs to be removed. Trees should be pruned immediately, removing all broken limbs so that they don’t come crashing down during the next storm.

Hosta with storm damage

Hosta with storm damage

Hosta with storm damage

Hosta with storm damage

FEED
It is very important that all annuals, perennials and trees be fed with a good fertilizer several times over the next three weeks. With some warm sunny weather, they will rebound quickly. And, watering is a key component.
HAND WATER
Remember that while it did rain a lot, most of it just rushed by and did no good for the plants. Carefully check the moisture levels of the soil and continue to water sparingly, but don’t stop watering. This is a time to hand-water with a hose, reaching specific areas that need it. Do not rely completely on automatic sprinklers that could over-water if they are left at their regular settings, or under-water if they are turned off.
I turned my auto sprinklers back 50% and plan to leave them that way for a couple of weeks. All other watering will be by hand in consistent daily quick doses with water soluble fertilizer until the weather stabilizes.
Life in the garden is uncertain; storms and setbacks will come but the memories of rebuilding will last a lifetime.

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