We had a little visit from Hurricane Irene last weekend. We were fortunate. She didn’t come ashore here, which is good, because she could have come ashore as a category 3. But she was 50 to 100 miles off shore as she passed by, so our winds were probably equal to a category 1 or possibly even a tropical storm. Also a blessing was being on her western flank. The eastern side of a hurricane is the one with a highest probability of producing tornadoes. I’m not a huge fan of tornadoes.
We did have some pretty strong sustained winds, though, and the poor garden definitely suffered. Fortunately the damage to the house and belongings was minimal – a few shingles missing and a chiminea that fell over and broke in half. The rest was damage to the garden.
The tomatoes were already drooping because of outgrowing their supports. If they hadn’t been, I think they would have weathered the storm with little to no damage because of the nature of their support. The tomatillo, which had fallen over on its side a couple of weeks ago and was put back upright with the help of about six bamboo supports (all on one side), fell over on the other side this time. The winds as the storm was leaving were blowing in the opposite direction from most of the supports. It’s not actually just one tomatillo plant. I planted four of them a couple of feet apart from each other and put a cone shaped tomato support in between the four plants. I had never grown tomatillos before, so I didn’t know what to expect. Next year I will probably plant them further apart and give them each their own support.
Some of the sunflowers ended up flat on the ground, but most of them were just leaning way over. Same with the peppers. The eggplants are leaning but not anywhere near as bad as some of the tomatoes and sunflowers. Some of the eggplants and peppers seem to have experienced some bruising from the wind. Or they could just be more exposed to the sun now that their plants are leaning over, and maybe that causes some of the surface of the vegetable to turn brown. I don’t know.
Most of the basil in the herb garden just broke right off near the base. The stems are woody there, and apparently not very flexible. I harvested them before they wilted and had hoped to be able to process them for freezing, but they started going bad before I had a chance. So I have learned that basil only lasts in the fridge for a couple of days. There’s still enough left in the garden to get a pretty good harvest, though, so it’s not a total loss. The rest of the herbs were not damaged at all.
I’m still preparing the lower garden for the fall planting. I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with the side garden. I’ll probably pull up the tomatoes because they’re a mess and they’re not producing much right now. I haven’t decided yet what to put in their place for the fall/winter garden either.
Here’s the herb garden after the broken basil was harvested
Here’s the side garden. If you look closely at the eggplants, you can see some of the damage I mentioned