Hailstorms can be an unexpected – and unexpectedly expensive – surprise in the Spring and Summer, but even if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid dings in your hood and cracks in your windshield, hail may have taken its toll in other ways.
Hail forms when the pressure below large storm systems is too high for precipitation to fall as rain. Instead, water droplets are pushed back up into the atmosphere by strong updrafts, where they grow in size and freeze in the colder temperatures. Each time these water droplets fall and rise back up into the clouds, they grow, until they are too heavy to rise back up again.
Then these chunks of ice fall to the earth, whether they’re the size of peas or golf balls, and wreak havoc. In your landscaping and garden, hail will tear will flowers and leaves, snap stems, and can contribute to erosion.
The Best Hail Protection is Built-In
Hail is some heavy-duty stuff – and with the Front Range so close to the mountains, it’s maybe some of the most extreme weather we experience. Even when they’re small, hail stones come down with a lot of force. To best protect your landscaping and garden from hail, you’re going to want permanent or semi-permanent protection. In most cases, this means using hardware cloth, plywood, heavy duty plastic, or another means to divert hail from planters and beds.
Temporary Solutions Can Do The Trick
Hail can tear through most tarps, but they can work in a pinch. If you expect a hailstorm, there are a few steps you can take to protect your garden and landscaping:
- If you’re tarping flowers and other plants, use stakes to elevate the tarp so it isn’t resting on your plants (after all, hail impacting your plants through a tarp doesn’t make much difference over hitting them directly)
- Move any plants in pots either indoors or to a covered location outdoors until the storm subsides
Always Be Prepared
Colorado’s weather is seriously unpredictable, but between April and July, each day with a chance of precipitation can easily turn into a day with a hailstorm. If you see a chance for storms in the Spring and early Summer, you might want to take some precautions to protect your landscaping from hail.