Hurricanes and storms are becoming stronger and more unpredictable every year, so it is more important than ever to be well prepared during the hurricane season. These preparations include working with our yards, our trees, and our potted plants. Proper planning is key if you want to avoid major damage to your house and garden during a storm.
Here are some tips that will help you in preparing for the hurricane season.
Use native plants that are hardy to your zone
- Native plants will not only thrive in your garden, but they are more capable of surviving storms and other natural events in your climate zone. Look for native plants that do well in the type of soil and environment that you have. Check with your local plant nurseries and see which plants they sell and ask them to recommend the most adaptable to your garden plans and environment. You’ll be surprised of the large and colorful variety of plants available for each zone in the US.
Know your plants before planting
Knowing the size that your plant or tree will have once mature, as well as knowing if the tree shed leaves during fall and winter, or how large its root system will be, can help prevent future disasters, especially during the hurricane season. There are many beautiful trees out there, but if they have a shallow root system or their fronds grow too wide and tall, they can become a problem when bad weather strikes. Choose varieties that grow to a manageable size. Also, plant them far from electric wires and far from any permanent structures.
Prune and Trim
Keep your plants and trees well-trimmed before and during the hurricane season. Shorter and tighter plants have fewer chances of being ripped off the ground by severe winds or heavy rain. These plants can become dangerous projectiles with heavy winds.
Clean rain gutters and pathways before the storm
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 direct water away from the home. If there are no gutters on the home and the water pours off the roof in a concentrated area, consider placing pavers in the runoff area to reduce soil erosion.
Keeping leaves and debris at bay is an important objective in gutter cleaning. Leaves, once wet, can weigh down your gutters and potentially damage the fascia on the side of your home.
Bring potted plants indoors and store gardening tools
All your potted plants, gardening tools, and the furniture that you keep outside should be moved to an indoor area when a major storm is imminent. Severe storms can cause patio furniture, potted plants, and other items to become flying projectiles.