We had a huge freak hail storm hit last night with hail the size of a nickel to a quarter, and winds that were very strong with the thunder and lightning.
Here is some of the damage caused by the hail, the wind also knocked a lot of fruit off the plants.
It was difficult to not be able to do anything at the time of the storm since we had no warning, all I could do was get up in the morning to see how much damage was caused by the storm and start the process of cleaning up.
What to do with damaged fruit
After all of your hard work, it is very sad to see mother nature throw you a curve ball and destroy what you have put so much work into growing.
Pick the fruit that was damaged, you might see if it can be used by cutting out the piece damaged on cucumbers. For the tomatoes, if it is starting to ripen you can try to ripen them on the window sill but you may have to throw them away.
Any tomatoes with cut marks need to be removed from your plants to prevent disease and invite pests to your garden.
Check your vegetables daily to see if bruised marks appear, these will also need to be picked and removed since they will rot and invite pests and diseases.
It is critical to clean up all the fruit and vegetables knocked off the plants and now laying on the ground. If left on the ground it will invite pests and diseases into your garden. Remove these as soon as possible and dispose of them.
First of all, it is hard to predict that you will have a storm that will produce high winds and hail or heavy rain giving you time to do anything.
If you do get a warning the best thing you can do to protect your plants and the fruit and vegetables is to cover the plants with a light cloth such as a frost cloth. You will need to find a way to attach it to the ground so that it does not blow away.
The other thing you can do to protect the fruit and vegetables is to use tulle to wrap the plant, fruit, or vegetables.