After The Hail, Advice For Resurrecting Your Garden

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3min 55sec
Brandon Rittiman garden hail damage
Brandon Rittiman shared a picture of his damaged garden via Twitter. "That's a cucumber plant in the foreground w/ a pumpkin plant behind hit," he tweeted.

Did the hail squash your squash? Crush your cucumbers?

Fear not, dear gardener. It's not too late to replace what the overnight hail storm destroyed.

Larry Stebbins, director of the Pikes Peak Urban Gardens in Colorado Springs, told CPR News' Ryan Warner it's still early enough in the growing season to replant most summer crops. Click the audio player above to hear their conversation and read highlights below.

How to tell if your plant needs to be replaced

"It's still not too late to get pepper and tomato plants to replace them. Now here's what you look for: If the growing tips on those plants are really beaten down and destroyed, and if most of the leaves are gone, it will not be beneficial for you to keep them. Things like squash as well: If the crown or growing part of that squash is beaten down by hail, it will probably not recover. So it is time to either replant or buy another little plant for those warm-season crops like squash, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers."

Crops you don't have to worry about

"Onions, garlic, leeks, carrots, those tend to come back because they are growing close to the ground and they will recover fairly quickly."

Other things to watch for

"After a very intense storm, the soil around there tends to form a crust around it after it starts to dry out. Get yourself a little hand rake and gently work around those plants to break up that crust so it doesn't for a hard shell.

How to avoid hail damage

"The best method for this is the preventative, which means hail cover. Slightly opaque hail cover that you can get at your garden centers that you can put up almost as a canopy or tent over your garden."