The unfortunate reality that is hurricane season is upon us and on the minds of many living along the Gulf Coast. While taking care of your gardens and landscape isn’t a top priority when a named storm is headed your way, there are things you can do to protect your home and garden before a hurricane hits.
Safeguarding your garden from these weather events involves both short-term and long-term planning. Common sense and good tree care are critical in your long-term plan. Much of the damage caused to homes comes from trees that are either break apart or are uprooted during storms. Making sure your landscape features trees proven to be more wind resistant, like live oak, magnolia and bald cypress will go a long way in helping to prevent storm related damage and these trees are native to the southeast and will grow well.
Location of trees is very important. You don’t want to plant trees too close to structures or under power lines. Once planted, make sure you keep an eye on them as they grow and mature. When starting with young trees you are in the driver’s seat to ensure proper maintenance resulting in trees developed to withstand some of the forces of nature. Regularly inspect trees with an emphasis on the mature ones for structure and general health. Weak or diseased trees come with increased risk of damaging your property in the event of a storm.
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When a storm is approaching and your find yourself boarding up the windows in preparation, be sure to look around your yard for any and all loose, lightweight objects small enough to be stored indoors. Pool owners should toss large objects like patio furniture in the water as it will help to keep these objects from being thrown around by the wind. If you don’t have a pool or a garage and have large objects of concern in the yard you can tie the items together and use a strong, heathy tree in the yard as an anchor.
Generally, flowers and shrubs don’t require storm prep. That said, be prepared to do some pruning and possibly replanting should you experience a storm. Small potted plants and hanging plants should be brought inside.
Following these suggestions will help prepare your garden and landscape for hurricane season and allow you to focus on what is most important – protecting your family and property. Here’s to a quite hurricane season.