Wind damage

Oh yesterday was a horrible day for the garden plants. It was wet and rainy and miserable, but worst of all the wind was super strong. As we drove down the street this morning to head to church I noticed one of the neighbors had a rather large tree branch down in their yard. We didn’t have that, but the willow tree lost lots of leaves and a few young branches. That tree is always taking a hit in the wind storms. Mostly though the garden got it. I guess when your plants are tall and unbraced that is what happens. I will try to tell the story in pictures as best as I can.

Sunflower staked back up.
Sunflower staked back up.

I finally realized the sunflower that was down was not totally broken off. I went to the back shop and found a strong stick that could brace it.

Mess of leaves all over
Mess of leaves all over

We put it beside the plant and tied it on. It may still die, but at least I tried. It is standing a little differently and the head on the original one is really drooping, but I think that is because the flower is super heavy. Today is was full of little bees or maybe they are some sort of sunflower bug. It looks like they are working to get the thing open or fertilized or something. It made me think of ants on peonies. Without them the flowers would not be open so well. We also had some more damage on our upper deck. We have already turned it into insurance earlier this summer, and have been trying to find someone to repair it. We might try to twist my brother’s arm since he is in the area doing my mother’s house, but I am not sure how much time he has. The closer it gets to hunting season, the less likely we are to have him to do any of the repair work.

Upper deck got it again
Upper deck got it again

Now for the damage in the garden. The first picture was taken while standing on the dike and looking down at the garden. I was trying to give you an idea of how the wind was wrecking everything. It was crazy and that was today. Yesterday we couldn’t even go outside to try to take these pictures. Poor plants, they were frazzled. I am hoping that with some warm sunshine and a couple of calm days, the sun will coax the plants to stand up straight and tall again, and we will be all good. I can hope can’t I? For now at least a few of the plants survived to grow some more.

Garden sunflowers
Garden sunflowers
Standing in the garden view
Standing in the garden view

The second picture lets you see that more of the sunflowers are starting to bloom. I have to figure out if we are using these as birdseed or if we will try to harvest the seeds to eat them. Sunflower seeds are quite popular, but should be soaked in some sort of brine then roasted a bit. Not sure how to do that, but may have to give it a try. I remember my parents growing a few in the garden one year, and the neatest thing was watching them pour them from one pail to another in front of a fan so the wind would blow the empty shells away. I thought it was pretty cool to watch that, and always wanted to do it.

Zucchini with leaf damage
Zucchini with leaf damage
South zucchini was fine.
South zucchini was fine.

The north side zucchini really took a hit. The only positive about it was that I found several that were hidden by the leaves. As for hidden, do you see the toad in the leaves?

Hopefully the cosmos will stand up with a little sunshine.
Hopefully the cosmos will stand up with a little sunshine.
Cucumber fence fell to the east
Cucumber fence fell to the east
Post had to be tamped back down
Post had to be tamped back down

The cucumber fence must be heavier than we thought. We have it in with mostly wooden posts, not enough  steel ones. I guess we will have to add more steel posts to the mix next year.

Peppers
Peppers

The saddest part of my inspection tour was finding several of my peppers were broken off in this wind storm. I only have five chili pepper plants and I found five branches broken off of those plus two of the bell peppers. Later James and I went through and checked it more carefully. I took some of the heavier jalapeño peppers off to ease the weight. But, we finally did the bracing we have been talking about. We took old tomato cages and James snipped the wires apart so that we had three wires with braces from each cage, and between those and some wooden stakes, we managed to brace up all of the pepper plants, so hopefully they have some protection in the future. I remember tying peppers up a few years back, but the sticks that I had used at that time are nowhere to be found, so we are trying this method for now. The only issue I see is that we have to be very careful not to be caught be one of those pokey ends. I will take some pictures in a day or two and share our new contraption. For now, Happy Gardening!!

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