Monday, 11 July 2016

Hail damage

It is summer, summer in Alberta and probability of summer thunderstorm is pretty high, but is is possibility that one of these "severe" storms" will bring hail with it.  That was the reality on Saturday for us.
Dark clouds came with roars of thunder and lightening, next came rain, getting heavier and changing into hail.  Hail went on for at least 2-3 minutes, it was not big in size ( perhaps due to efforts of hail suppression program -info below) but big enough and duration that resulted in some damage to veggies in our garden (see pictures below).  Here in Alberta we have a hail suppression program that is financed by insurance industry and its mandate is to reduce hail damage.  We had some significant hail in the past that resulted in very high damage and insurance companies decided to run  suppression program.  The program works as follows.  When a significant storm clouds are detested and their intended direction pints toward more densely populated areas (cities), plain(s) are dispatched and they spread some form of silver iodide (or similar compound) that inhibits formation of rain and potentially of hail, but much smaller in size and softer.  In fact, one can observe reading from their Doppler radar and activity of both storm and cloud seeding aircrafts (here is link for curios  It is animated picture loop but provides pretty good information.
One of my friend ask me why I keep tunnels covered during summer, well, this is the reason to protect some of the crops from hail damage.

Garden photo update (after the storm)

 Rhubarb suffered a bit of damage as well.

 Potato leaves were almost decimated (at least showed a lot of damage due to density)

 On the positive note, I am getting pretty good size tomatoes.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Too much of rain?

No, not really, I rather have rain after such a dry spell in June, then no rain.  The only complaint I have (no one will actually listen or do anything about) is the amount of rain per time.  It looks like yesterday, we got 21 mm of rain in 5 minutes (for those who operate in imperial that is 3/4" ).  It was a lot in short period of time, bit of hail but small and soft.  It just too quick.  I rather stick to slow drizzle, but take any moisture.  My grass has shown sign of recovery and looking much better, still in some places, not 100%.  My little apple tress is full of apples (as shown i picture) and now will need support as branches are bending under wight of apples and this will get worst, as the apple fruit gets bigger.
Weather is very unsettle overall. In the past four days I think we had tornado warning in three of those days.  Some parts of the city got pretty nasty storms that included hail, Lucky, so far we just got a lot of rain at once.  I do not have to water garden and that is a bonus.

Sunday, 3 July 2016


Finally had a few moments and phone in my pocket so took some pictures in the garden. 
Things are growing well and with warm weather growing fast.  Seeds that I placed in the ground in place of frosted seedlings are germinated and growing nicely.  Big rain and subsequent little rain, provided enough moisture to stimulate rapid growth.
Potatoes started to flower and are huge

Cabbage in the tunnel
 As mentioned before, cucumber
 Tomato plants
 Beans full of flowers
 First tomato fruit inside the large tunnel
 I could not forget about rhubarb
 This is lettuce patch inside small tunnel