A very lucky escape plus vegetable garden update

I think I may have mentioned on more than one occasion that Italy has extremes of weather! When it rains it is in torrents; when it is windy it is gale force (it throws our heavy caste iron chairs to the ground); when it’s hot, it burns. But Friday was a surprise to everyone.

As I described in A vase on Monday – Needs Must there was torrential rain and wind during the early hours of Friday morning, followed by more rain and heavy clouds all day.
At about 6pm my husband phoned to ask if I was OK, I was a bit mystified but he went on to say that he’d heard that Viterbo had been hit by a dreadful hail storm and he was worried knowing I had already planted out some tomatoes, peppers and aubergines.
The hail storm lasted, according to friends in town for 50 minutes to an hour – it NEVER hails for that long!
Here are some pictures taken by people at the station.

Quite a shock after a sunny week

Quite a shock after a sunny week

Luckily it wasn't bad enough to stop the trains

Luckily it wasn’t bad enough to stop the trains

Footsteps in the 'snow'

Footsteps in the ‘snow’

It was about 20 cm thick

It was between 20 – 30 cm thick

The car still had a large amount of accumulated hail on the windscreen looking just like snow; some remained on the ground until the following morning. Friday evening the pavements still looked as if there had been a snow storm. I have never seen anything like it in my life.

We are only about 5 km from Viterbo and I am happy to tell you that we had no hail at all, just heavy rain that broke a few more tulips, but that is nothing to the damage that would have been done by the hail.
Today (Monday, as I write this) the weather has changed again and it is very hot. In the greenhouse the temperature has risen to 39.4° C and I am a little sunburnt on the back on the neck. I have been planting out more tomatoes. One of the stands has been moved to a shady place outside the greenhouse as it is now too hot inside for salad crops and I’m about to plant some other tomatoes into the ground.
I read with interest Gardening Jules’ post about growing tomatoes to just one truss. I’m going to try this in the greenhouse this year (maybe two trusses) as pollinators don’t go in when the temperatures are consistently high and this might be a good way to get an early crop of largish tomatoes and then remove the plants, possible planting some more for a late crop in August.

35 thoughts on “A very lucky escape plus vegetable garden update

  1. Glad you and your plants were safe Christina. We had a similar escape a few weeks ago when folks just a few miles away had a bad ice storm and lost power for several days while we only had rain.

  2. You and your plants certainly did have a lucky escape. Nature is always reminding us that she is in charge no matter what we do to try and tame it.

    • Hail isn’t that unusual here, I remember driving back from a holiday in the South at the end of May through a hail storm that had many drivers stopping under the shelter of bridges over the motorway to stop their cars being damaged.

  3. I’m glad to hear that your garden – and you – escaped harm. Some parts of the US have also recently experienced damaging hail (crashing through store roofs and breaking car window glass). My area of southern California hasn’t been so afflicted, although our temperatures have suddenly soared to unseasonable highs (90-95F / 32-35C) and we remain dry as a bone.

    • We had a couple of days of hot weather, not quite as high as yours; but this year we have lots of rain. Your garden doesn’t look like its suffering from your images but it must be hard to it and for you.

  4. I was impressed that your husband was worried about the tomatoes and the aubergines. Also by the one truss idea – I only read about this in The Garden the other day – and here you are writing about it. I quite enjoy extreme weather too – right now I’m wishing for extreme rain! (But they say we should be careful what we wish for …)

    • I think he was more worries that I would be depressed by the crop possibly being destroyed! I haven’t seen the April Garden yet, they take a while o arrive here; I read about the one truss method on another blog. Gardening Jules.

  5. narrow escape! glad your garden wasn’t hit by the storm but I feel sorry for all those people who’s gardens were caught in the storm, sounds like your salad and veggies are doing well Christina, do you cover those outside at night ‘just in case’ ? Frances

  6. Driving near Crater Lake we encountered a hail storm that left about two inches on the forest floor. Mist rising created a scene that would have made Harry Potter proud. It’s much easier to appreciate magic afoot when it doesn’t threaten one’s own garden.

  7. Wow! Something about a heavy hailstorm just seems so unnatural. Glad it missed you, I can only imagine all the work and replanting that might have been! You’ve already done enough 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.