In the garden: hail damage can show up later, so check plants again in a few weeks | Home & Garden

Damage from Tuesday night’s hailstorm can be delayed, so John Porter recommends gardeners inspect their plants again in a couple of weeks.

Porter, who works for Douglas-Sarpy Counties’ Nebraska Extension, said the impact of the hail may have caused bruising that doesn’t show up immediately.

“Even the smallest little crack is an entry point for disease,” he said. “In a storm like this, you could see a lot more disease in your plants.”

If the damage or stain covers a large part of the leaf, it should be pruned. If signs of disease such as black spotting, yellowing, or wilting appear, have the disease identified and treat or prune appropriately.

If you’ve had to start over with your vegetable garden, don’t despair. Anything can be added except for a cool season harvest like leafy greens and radishes, which don’t do well in the heat.

He reminds those still planting to leave plenty of room for the plants to expand as they grow. Tomatoes need about 60 cm between them and vegetables like broccoli at least 30 cm. Check the label for recommendations.

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“Most people plant things way too close. They’re tiny little plants when you plant them,” Porter said. “It makes harvesting difficult and creates conditions for disease growth because there isn’t enough air circulating between the plants.”

The cool weather we’re enjoying this spring was actually perfect for veggies before Tuesday’s storm.

Warm season crops like tomatoes and peppers thrive in the 70’s and low 80’s. Leafy greens like it even deeper into the 50s and 60s.

“It’s basically the best temperature for plant growth,” Porter said. “When we reach 85 and beyond, we can run into problems.”

Temperatures are expected to hit the 90s this week and Porter said make sure everything is watered.

Plants require at least an inch of rainfall per week at normal temperatures. When it gets hot (over 90), Porter says more water is needed because it evaporates quickly.

If there has been less than an inch of rain in a week, gardeners should schedule watering. It should be fine to spread it out every few days unless it’s very hot. For reference, he said that 1 inch of rain/water per square foot equals 0.6 gallons.

Although we often think the opposite, hot temperatures can cause problems.

“Last summer it got very hot for a few weeks and the tomatoes didn’t set or ripen anymore and that was because of the extreme heat,” he said.

Native plants arriving at Mulhall’s

A new gardening movement is driving both novice and veteran gardeners alike to embrace greener garden design and the team at Mulhall’s is supporting the movement with new plantings around the grounds of its garden centre.

Mulhall’s is planting more native species around its garden centre.


The 120th Street and Maple Street store recently completed the first phases of extensive renovations to reconsider the property as a hub for this new gardening movement.

Earlier phases included major updates to staff areas, a new store entrance, an outdoor plaza, and other overhauls to improve the customer experience. Now Mulhall’s is preparing to install the first of several native plantings around the property.

“I hope this project is a great example for our community that native plants can be aesthetically pleasing when carefully designed,” said Hannah Robertson, a nursery grower and native plant lover.

The plantings will not only inspire with their richness of color and texture, but also provide resources for pollinators, birds and other local biodiversity – creating an environment where visitors can enjoy a little of the city’s natural world.

Located in the outdoor plaza, a community gathering place at the store’s new entrance, the first planting will feature nearly 20 species of native Great Plains plants grown by Robertson and team at Mulhall’s farms.

This month, team members from across the organization—plant specialists and accountants alike—come together to bring the project to life.

A planting and ribbon cutting ceremony, hosted by a sustainability-focused staff group at Mulhall’s, will welcome friends, family and other community partners to a morning of planting and celebration of the new space.

“Our team is made up of passionate, natural and excitable people just like me, and I couldn’t be happier to work with such a group of people,” said Robertson.

One last thing

Gardeners often say that they are among the nicest people in the world. Maybe it’s their willingness to share.

I’ve seen this in action since Tuesday’s hailstorm. Places like Canoyer Garden Center and Nodest are offering discounts to replace lost plants, while customers are determined to support Cirian’s Farmers Market, which has lost much of its inventory.

Individuals also speak up and share information about saving plants and offering replacements. A Geneva gardener offered all her extras and said the drive could turn into a gardening adventure.

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