The recent storms in South Africa have brought some much-needed rain to most parts of the country, however they have also brought heavy downpours, strong winds and hail that have left behind a trail of destruction. This is certainly not good news for both you and your vegetable garden, which you have worked so hard on. Most of us are familiar with weather forecasts, alerts and the advanced technologies that allow us to plan ahead, nonetheless a lot of us were caught off guard and did not anticipate such heavy rains and therefore did not prepare our veggie gardens adequately.
Here are some quick and easy tips from us on how you can prepare for the next storm:
- You can protect your smaller and more delicate plants from heavy rain, wind and hail by putting a bucket over them for the duration of the storm and then place a brick on the bucket to hold it down and secure it so that the wind does not blow it away.
- Bird nets protect your plants from hail damage. If you already have bird nets or row covers, make sure that they are secured to the ground.
- You can also use frost cloth to protect your plants from hail.
- If your plants are in a container, move them to a sheltered place. Preferably where they will still receive enough direct sunlight to keep them happy.
- If you’re trying to resuscitate your hurt veggie plants, fertilising them after a hailstorm is the perfect time to do so. This will help to strengthen them as they recover from the hailstorm attack. Unfortunately if you don’t see a difference after a week or so, you will have to start from scratch and replant.
- Create a windbreak fence around your veggie patch and cut holes in it so that it buffers the strong winds but doesn’t blow over onto your plants.
- Make sure that your plants that need to be trellised (tomatoes, peas and beans) are secured so that they don’t blow over. These plants need the extra support because their stems can’t support their heavy fruit.
- If your veggie garden is at a lower level than the rest of your garden, your garden is at risk of standing water and washout. Standing water is problematic because pools of water in your garden can cause your veggie roots to rot. This is due to the ground not having enough time to absorb the water. Washout is exactly what it sounds like -It is a great deal of water usually rushing downhill that can wash out your garden. You can create a barrier using bales of hay that have been secured together using stakes.
We hope that these tips have helped you to plan more effectively for the next storm so that your beloved veggie garden and all your hard work does not get ruined.
Gibby’s Garden- 3 Steps to protect your garden from heavy rain
The Plant Guide: Protect your garden from heavy rain, wind, thunderstorm and hail.
Jane’s Delicious Garden by Jane Griffiths
Recycle Nation: 10 Ways to protect your fall garden from stormy weather