Monday, June 19, 2006

Dealing With the Storm

I hope your weekend was a good one. Friday and Saturday brought some much-needed rain, but in many areas it brought some hail and storm damage. Friday night I left my home in south Minneapolis where it was just raining to meet some friends in downtown Minneapolis for dinner. I was surprised to see all the leaves from trees in the streets of downtown due to hail damage.

If you experienced hail damage, there are a few things that can be done with your plants.

Perennials (those plants that come back year after year) should be cleaned up and fertilized with a granular fertilizer to ensure that they continue to grow and recover. Don’t cut all the leaves back since even damaged leaves will still produce energy for the plants. They will just look a bit unsightly for the rest of this year. Large leaved perennials such as hosta take the most beating during a hailstorm.

Annuals should be cleaned up and again fertilized only use a water-soluble fertilizer on those since the plant will take it up a water-soluble fertilizer faster. If your annual plants look really bad (no leaves at all left) or you need them looking good right away, you may want to consider replanting. Annuals can still be planted and in fact will perform very well during the warm weather - just keep them watered until they are well established.

Trees and shrubs should recover from hail damage - they will just look a little naked from the leaf loss for the rest of this year.