Prepare the Garden for Hurricane season

As we celebrate harvest season, bloom and greenery, there is also another side of these month’s thunderstorms, tropical storms and hurricanes. This year is predicted to be an “above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season,” and it’s it time to start thinking about how to prepare the garden for hurricane season.

After the obvious; ensuring that people, homes and such are safe, we as gardeners naturally thinks of how to protect our gardens. We have put a lot of time, energy and money into them, so how can we protect our precious investment? How do you as a gardener prepare for hurricane season?

First, keep up to date to know when storms are predicted so you can prepare a couple of days before. Set reminders for tasks that needs to be done related to your garden Areas. Do not go out in the storm and move stuff around.

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Prepare your Garden for hurricane season: Before the storm

General / Appliances

  • Close patio umbrellas
  • 1. Store garden furniture indoors. 2. Stack in corner, by fence, under tree, in hedges, and tie it together and tie to fence, tree, or hedge. 3. Put patio furniture in the pool if you have one. Tie off a rope to your patio furniture and toss them in.
  • Bring hanging baskets, wind chimes, bird feeders, and items hung from fences and planters into the home, shed or garage.
  • Secure all bikes and grills with more chains
  • Make sure when tying things down that the rope can handle the load. Nylon rope instead of string for heavy objects etc.
  • Collect or store pots in the yard in one large trash bag or plastic bin.
  • Store all of your garden tools, especially the sharp ones
  • Put up your fertilizers for the spring
  • Store or use bags of soil to prevent snakes and other animals to find its way in
  • Turn over anything that might store water
  • Close all doors and windows on sheds, and reinforce if possible

Trees

  • The most susceptible part of a garden to wind isn’t any of the plants or flowers, but rather the trees throughout the property.
  • Examine trees for cracked or broken branches and remove them
    If trees are large, hire a certified arborist to inspect them. Cheeper then damage.
  • Stake any newly planted trees to support them.
    Remove coconuts from palm trees to store indoors,
  • Pick any ripe fruit.
  • Make sure fruit trees are pruned, anchored or tethered.
  • Collect firewood from pruned trees.

Plants

  • Consider moving larger potted plants indoors
  • Container plants that are too heavy to move, can be placed behind a hedge close to the foundation of the house and lay them flat, or another protected spot.
  • Protect the flowers of small blooming plants by covering them with buckets or cloches topped with something heavy, like a brick, to hold them in place.
  • Wrap larger plants with burlap secured with twine. Orchids, bromeliads, succulents, air plants and other tree-dwelling plants can be tied into place with fishing line.
  • Tall plants and trellis should be laid down
  • Check that all vining plants are secured to their supports, and that the supports are firmly staked into the ground.
  • If they don’t feel secure, remove the supports and lay them – and the plants – on the ground until the threat passes.
  • Lay row cover fabric over tender, young seedlings and pin it into place with landscape pegs.
  • Avoid wrapping any plants with tarps or blankets, as they can then turn into a “sail” or “kite” once the wind hits
  • Start a Yearly Schedule, and set reminders in the app
  • Take time at the beginning of the year, before new growth begins to develop, to thin out the canopy of any trees.
  • If your soil has become moist, apply 3 inches of mulch over beds and border

Systems

  • Check Drainage and sewer systems. Look around your garden area, and the foundation of your home. Note where any drains are located and consider taking up mulch in that area. Water damage can be caused by drains being clogged by leaves, branches, mulch, and other organic matter.
  • Turn off irrigation; if possible shut main line or power
  • Pull out solar powered devices, chargers, solar panel, etc.

Gardenize app tips

When planning your garden preparations for hurricane season, create an Area called Storm Prep or something similar using “Areas” feature, After that you can assign tasks to this specifik area by using the “Events”.  Set up reminders according to your storm preparation plan so you make sure everything that needs to be done, gets done.

During the Storm

  • Do not prune trees and leave debris on site if a storm is imminent. Branches and other debris become dangerous projectiles during a storm.  
  • Do not spread fertilizer if a tropical storm/hurricane is imminent or prior to a heavy rain.   
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After the Storm

  • Clear away fallen fruit and vegetables, which could attract rodents if left to rot on the ground. 
  • Remove protection from around plants. 
  • Inspect trees for damage. If you can safely remove hanging, broken branches while standing on the ground, do so.  
  • Prune away trees or shrubs that are too close to the house now and get the debris cleaned up before the next storm.  
  • If a small tree has been toppled or uprooted, straighten and stake it as soon as possible, tamp the soil firmly when replanting, apply mulch or straw over the soil, and water regularly  
  • Don’t keep the tree staked for longer than six months to a year. Wind sway helps trees develop strong trunks and roots. 
  • Apply mulch around trees to retain soil moisture, and water deeply and repeatedly to flush out salts. 
  • Refrain from pruning evergreens or removing dry tips until after new growth appears the following spring. 
  • Restore damaged salt-crusted soil: Water deeply, then spread gypsum over the soil. Continue watering deeply for the rest of the year. 
  • Keep storm drains clear of debris so they can function properly.  
  • Clear gutters of leaves, branches and other debris to make sure water from heavy rains has free movement away from the house.  
  • Make sure gutters are firmly attached and directing water away from the home. If water pours off the roof in a concentrated area, consider placing pavers in the runoff area to reduce soil erosion. 
  • After a period of heavy rain, pull back the mulch on garden beds to allow the soil to dry out and prevent any root rot from developing. 

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