Holes in leaves

Posted: Wednesday 20 March 2013
by Pippa Greenwood

My garden is full of holes. All of a sudden many plants look like they are being attacked by mystery pests.

Hail damage on a hosta leaf

My garden is full of holes. All of a sudden many plants look like they are being attacked by mystery pests. But there are no living culprits, the damage is caused by hail. We have had a couple of heavy hail showers, some of them were very short and sharp, leaving delicate young leaves riddled with holes of varying sizes. Some of the tougher leaves look like they are suffering from a strange disease.

Despite the odd hail shower, the slightly milder weather we’ve had over the past couple of weeks is encouraging my plants to bravely put on some new growth. I will leave most plants to recover from hail damage naturally, but very soft-leaved plants, such as lettuces, will need a little extra care. It’s best to remove hail-damaged leaves from lettuces, as they can be more prone to botrytis or other fungi and bacteria. Mine have escaped damage since I got an Enviromesh cover, which protects plants from hail damage as well as some pests.

There are also vole holes appearing in the strawberry plot. I assume they come up to check how well ‘their’ crop is developing. No such luck, Mr Vole - the strawberries are suffering from lack of sun and warmth and aren’t ready yet.

The final hole in my garden is the huge one in the roof of my greenhouse. It's a gorgeous western red cedar house, but for a couple of seasons now the panes of glass have started to slip. After what must be about 15 years, the putty that holds it together is starting to deteriorate and some of the glazing pins have come adrift.

Because it’s always wet, I keep postponing the task of re-glazing (which I’m dreading anyway). This morning I performed my usual trick of using a long pole to nudge a slipping pane back into place. This time without success, as it came hurtling down off the roof and landed on the ground near me. Luckily, it’s still intact, and so am I.

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oldchippy 21/03/2013 at 16:42

Pippa if you get a strip of metal like a lid off of a ring pull can, you can fold one end and push it over the glass at the top and push it between the pane's that has slipped down and fold the bottom over to hold the slipped pane in place, when roof slate's slip that's what you do. Oldchippy,

flowering rose 03/04/2013 at 19:43

I have holes in my fence where the badger has come to look for food.Holes in the leafs ? are you sure its not those tiny munchers baby snails or those leafcutters.Alot of plants have been affected by the cold wind more than the cold its self.

Bookertoo 30/04/2013 at 17:12

Be thankful it is only holes in leaves - some of my family live in Texas, where they had hail the size to fill the palm of a hand - they sent photos - cars multiply deeply dented, windows broken and I guess various animals with headaches!!

Simon 46 01/08/2013 at 20:22

Holes indeed....
I came back late one afternoon to find the leaves on my giant sunflowers with huge holes.
I too searched for a culprit but alas there was none to be found.
Even though I was only 5 miles away from home my neighbour informed me of a few minute
shower of hailstones so I guess that must be it.