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Texas rain

Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 21, 13 at 20:43

Got a little good ole Texas rain this evening. I'm hoping my roof is OK. The trees, sweetcorn, and watermelon patch took a licking.

Hail netting over the watermelon patch.

hail netting photo HailJune2013008_zpsc7afd39c.jpg

Guess I didn't have enough netting!!

watermelon and hail photo HailJune2013002_zps426de79f.jpg


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Texas rain

Wow, what a mess. That climate brews up a doozey of a hailstorm. Sorry about that.


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RE: Texas rain

That netting is holding quite a load!


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RE: Texas rain

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 21, 13 at 21:47

Biggest loss is the persimmon. Half the fruiting wood is on the ground. And it was my best crop ever. Saved it from 24F in May but should have used the hail netting there instead of on the melons. Don't think I saved more than a melon or two.


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RE: Texas rain

We might have some monsoonal moisture by the end of next week here in California--I predicted this event on June 10th ,2013 on my facebook page. Who else could do a long rage forecast?.

"Got a little good ole Texas rain this evening"

All of those states that have summer monsoonal moisture could have an above average monsoonal season which is good news for those states that are suffering from a drought.


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RE: Texas rain

Do you ever get tired trying just to grow a little food and fruit. The weather this year has been a killer. We had so much rain this year I lost some young trees due to flooding the roots were just too shallow. I know you have tried extra hard to save your melons first cold now the hail just don't give up. Hope things get better


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RE: Texas rain

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 22, 13 at 8:10

john:

Thanks for the support. Yes, it is discouraging at times, as you well know. I worked very hard this spring and have very little left outdoors to show for it. I was really looking forward to sweetcorn and watermelon.

There are still piles of hail 12 hours after the fact and it was 100F yesterday and 70F overnight.


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RE: Texas rain

FN,

Sorry to hear about the hail storm there at your place. Your persimmon tree will recover in time. We had a 2" to 3" hail here in Omaha on April 9th of this year and all the damage trees are starting to heal. My roof got nailed pretty hard and it still waiting to be fix. I think half of the roofs in Omaha need to be replace.

Tony


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RE: Texas rain

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 22, 13 at 9:41

Even my grapes only have a 20% crop. I spent $200 and many hours covering them 4-5 times from freezing weather. Now they are 100% covered with hail/bird netting. So no hail damage but the freeze damaged the unprotected trunks. What's left will probably rot if we actually get a rainy season.


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RE: Texas rain

Oh fruitnut, that is the first time I have seen hail in nets and what a huge amount. Obviously this is typical for this time of year or else they wouldn't be netted. Do you just let the hail melt? That lonely watermelon still looks great to me. The size of fruit and sweetness that you grow, will hopefully make up for ice-cube size hail. That is heartbreaking. And I worry about the next hurricane. Good luck, Mrs. G


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RE: Texas rain

Dang. The weather sure is humbling. Hopefully none of the long-term plants are lost, even if the current crop is toast. I feel your pain, last spring a surprise frost wiped out my entire spring garden. But I think dealing with these ups and downs in small scale growing makes me thankful for what we do have in this country in terms of food availability. Sorry for your loss.


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RE: Texas rain

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 23, 13 at 12:02

Mrs G and sunnibel:

Thanks for your kind words. My stuff looks even worse today after all the dead stuff dried out. So a little encouragement helps!

At one time the food gatherers and hunters would have been the most respected members of the community. Now the people who supply all the cheap high quality foods we have don't get the respect they deserve IMO.


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RE: Texas rain

Fruitnut you are correct. Most people, plant a fruit tree (apple for example) and think they'll get apples the next year. They also have little to no information about the care and growing of apples. It does not take long for that new tree grower to understand a fruit tree is just not a fruit tree. Buying the trees is just the first step.

The work and hours you've put into your orchards, covered and un-covered are truly amazing and I am in awe of work. To see your 'Texas' rain really makes me step back and say, I'm in control of only so much. I think it is very difficult to see your work dried up on the ground, or a tree that you've really taken care of for five years snap in a hurricane. We don't give up though, too much time and energy is invested in what we love to do. So we are smart and just buy more trees. Less was never more! Mrs. G


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RE: Texas rain

Correction: I am in awe of your work.


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RE: Texas rain

Fruitnut, I am very sorry for your loss. I understand exactly how you feel when it comes to maintaining the painstaking care of your fruit and veggies.When we lose any kind of foodstuff in our gardens and greenhouses, we have lost something that have become a vital part of us. My garden is my baby. Just early this year, I had my neighbor help me put up a 40 foot tarp over my(18) hedgerow of peach, plum and fruit cocktail trees because a freeze was on its way. I got the X-mas lights out, the hot plastic container(gallons) of water and placed them gently under the trees and prayed that I would save a few blossoms from the trees to give me a few fruit to harvest in the months to come. After the freeze came and went, I was left with nearly half of the blooms and blossoms so I was feeling hopeful. And then we had 2 storms since that freeze and one of those storms had a strong wind gust with it so I was down to 1 third of blossoms and blooms. Now, 3-4 months later, my harvest will be minimum at best-but at least there is something unless the weather upends the bounty before the harvest. Fruitnut-the good thing about it all is that the effort we put into our food growing-is that when we do harvest and eat, we know we are eating the best that we can grow. You are an awesome Master Gardener and Fruit Grower and I know you will recover all in time(no matter how long it takes)-but in the meantime, just keep doing what you do because you have a gift that we all dream of having. And that dream is having the patience, wisdom and understanding to produce the best fruit and produce in extreme measures. In other words, you spare no effort in going after what you want and desire. You will recover all, so continue to hang in there and just know that my prayers are with you always...


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RE: Texas rain

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 10:34

ahgrower:

Thanks for your words of encouragement. I hope your harvest is bountiful and ultra tasty!!

I planted some softwood fig cuttings yesterday. If some take I'll be a happy camper again!!


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RE: Texas rain

Fruitnut, I can commiserate. I just put in the first half acre of squashes and 1,000 ft of assorted beans and 300 peppers and eggplants--5 1/2 in flood the next day. All lost. Brown rot wiped out all early peaches in 2 days--rains so much we can't spray. Rained out Sat, Sun, Monday, preventing me from picking all the red and black raspberries and blueberries. One acre of pumpkins put in, came up---wiped out, not by flood this time, but starving insects. Just finished an acre of winter squash---another 5 1/2 flood. Severe erosion issues as well w/all the newly tilled ground and everything either under water or mud. All of this was planted entirely by hand too!! We have had floods in '09, '10, '11, a drought in '12, and floods again this year. I think I'll fence everything and raise cattle----wait, there's that "mad cow" thing!!!


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RE: Texas rain

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 12:53

brookw:

Wow, all by hand and wiped out. That's brutal!! You have my condolences. And you're trying to make money. At least mine is just a hobby even though I sell excess. My cost of production is about double what I can sell it for and that's counting nothing for labor. My best sales year was about $800. I've got ~$2,000 in repairs and upkeep on the greenhouse coming up this winter.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 12:58


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RE: Texas rain

That is the problem when you try to rqaise food or fruit to eat. You can never control the weather. My family farms and they have had crops wiped out several times through the years by the weather. One year my grandfather lost his entire crop the night before he was supposed to start picking it. The only thing you can do is keep going and start over if you have to. I am sure you will not let it stop you. Right now I have a little over 2 dozen trees myself and I lost what crop I would of had this year due to the weather as well. Though mine were all planted last year or this year so I would of had to pull most of them off anyway.


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RE: Texas rain

Fruitnut - your greenhouse survived, I hope?


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RE: Texas rain

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 14:13

Greenhouse was undamaged primarily due to having shade cloth over the poly. Without that I'd probably be doing upkeep sooner than expected.

Hail netting did help. Just didn't have enough coverage with shifting winds.

watermelon with and without hail netting photo haildamagedwatermelon001_zps879c3c75.jpg

Damaged fruit. Even 22 lb melons had rind punctures.

 photo haildamagedwatermelon002_zps111e67b3.jpg


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RE: Texas rain

That is truly heartbreaking. My ground will dry out, and there's still time to replant something--although I am weary of it. The erosion may be tricky though. Thankfully, we don't depend on our farm for any serious income. Instead of going the traditional route of investing, we bought land and chose to develop it into something we wanted. It is really a hobby farm that I hope to turn into a retirement job instead of greeting at W'mart. Whatever we make from it we reinvest in things we want like ponds, equipment, a building, landscape, toys, etc. without going into debt. There is certainly a demand for what we do if nature would cooperate, and the business part of it is a welcome relief from my career. Fortunately, my wife loves it every bit as much as I do, and we spend a lot of quality time there. I can also say I'm much happier and healthier than I ever was.


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RE: Texas rain

Ugh, I just saw all the damage, fruitnut. So sorry, my gosh what a ton of hail you got. I don't know if it's any condolence, but at least you weren't carried away with a tornado, considering all the hail you got. Funny, having lived in S. California all my life, when we moved to N. Indiana, I remember when we experienced our first hail storm. I didn't understand why everyone was so worked up over it until I saw two things - our car, which looked like swiss cheese, and the tornado that touched down right behind our house, then lifted up, and dropped back down about a mile east, tearing up several homes and barns in its path. I didn't know that hail frequently precludes tornadic activity. I learned a bunch in the 10 years I lived in N. Indiana about severe weather. So, now I've traded the threat of hail storms for the threat of fire storms. And earthquakes.

Patty S.


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RE: Texas rain

I feel your pain, fruitnut. I know how you are feeling right now;

In 2011 we had a rare April snow storm that wiped out 99% of my stone fruit crop, then in April 2012, we had below freezing temps that wiped 95% of my crop. This year the winds destroyed about 50% of my Mariposa plum crop--we had the windiest year on record, I believe. To make matters worst, the birds ate 60% of my apricot crop, 65% of Satsuma plums, and 70% of my Santa Rosa plum crop.


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RE: Texas rain

Wow, unreal. It makes me glad I live where I live. We have hail, but it is rare. In my whole life only one bad storm of hail. And nothing of mine was damaged. My car was under a tree! I lost 4 plants out of about 50 I planted this spring. I feel much better now! I was rather upset at losing the plants. I should be feeling lucky!!
I'm really sorry to hear about this storm that hit. Well you learned a lot anyway. Next time you will be more prepared.
Crazy you have to do so much. The weather will give us better springs I'm sure.
Once I establish a bigger garden, as most is new, I will have to send you some product to share the wealth.


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RE: Texas rain

Fruitnut, I was shocked and saddened by the terrible damage done to your fruit trees and crops by that wicked hailstorm. I admire and respect you as one of the top fruit growers on Garden Web and know you have dedicated a lot of hard work and money toward perfecting your investment. Be of good courage and don't give up the ship. There will be better days ahead. We just have to keep trying to do our best and be thankful for the good years when we have them.


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RE: Texas rain

Wow.....your weather sure is a challenge.


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