Last year was brutal for all of my pepper and tomato plants when numerous hailstorms left me with nothing but sticks poking up out of the ground. This year, I decided to do something a bit different and plant directly into the ground with a raised bed. But, how am I going to protect the plants from the impending hail? Here is how I did it.

I created a quick frame out of four 2x4's, half-inch pipe and shade cloth. Overall, this quick and to the point protector helped immensely. When the storm was all over, it appears that I might have lost only one plant. That plant was a small tomato plant that can easily be replaced this early in the season. I will certainly be keeping this assembly around for the growing season as it has proved to be helpful. I will probably add a couple of sheets of shade cloth to the front and back for better protection to the plants on the perimeter in the near future.