The forecast this morning was not good: severe thunderstorms, strong winds, possible quarter size hail, and maybe even a derecho. What most concerned me (aside from how far behind I am on my successions) is the hail. The tomatoes, after getting frosted and then scorched are finally looking lush, and the last thing I need is to have them knocked down by hail. So as soon as it got light I went out to the garage and got my row cover hoops and shade cloth.
I use a lot of shade cloth here in the summer; almost as much as the row covers I use in fall and spring — and at times I use both in tandem if I need to. The idea is to control the environment around the plants…and I’ll do whatever I can to pamper them!
So this morning I set the hoops and put shade cloth over the artichokes and the tomatoes to break the force of any hail that might bombard the garden while I am work. The whole process took maybe 30 minutes. Not bad insurance to my mind.