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Storm Proofing Your Garden

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on October 30, 2010

As we move into fall and winter, it is time to storm proof your garden.  Depending on your location, you are vulnerable to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, or just hard rain and hail.  All these natural phenomenon take their toll on your plants.  They, however, can weather the storm better if we take some precautions.

Most of these precautions are common sense.  However, we may get busy and forget to perform them.  So, remember to:

  • Bring patio and other outdoor furniture indoors or make sure it is anchored firmly in the ground.  Otherwise, it becomes flying debris in a storm.
  • Bring plants that cannot handle the winter in your location indoors.  Those potted plants that look great all summer will freeze in the cold.
  • Secure awnings, shade cloth, and other material that can get torn loose by the wind and thrown around.
  • Bring spare pots and small tools inside.
  • Trim limbs that may not make it through the storm season.  No, it is not the ideal time to do that, but it is better than waking up to a big limb crashing into the house or car.
  • Winterize bird baths and other water sources.  Take hoses off and put them up, clean the birdbath and refill it, if necessary get a stock tank heater to drop in the birdbath and keep it thawed for the birds.  Remember small mammals, too, that still need water in the winter.
  • Look around and see what else can become shrapnel or debris in a storm and secure it in some way so that does not happen.

If you take these steps now, the storms may still damage things, but the damage will be much less than it otherwise would.  Just as you winterize your car and your house, winterize your garden.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ileane October 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Stephanie, my friend is a great gardener. He has over thirty beautiful plants that need to be hauled indoors in bad weather. The problem is he just doesn’t have enough room for all of them. Do you have any suggestions for what he can do with the overflow? He doesn’t want to invest in any composting equipment.

Thanks for the tips, I’ll be sure he reads these.
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Stephanie Suesan Smith October 31, 2010 at 9:28 am

If he just wants to get rid of them, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and the like would probably appreciate them. However, a compost pile can be as simple as a ring of welded wire fencing around a stake. You can learn more about that in my composting article.

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foto canvas December 7, 2010 at 1:59 am

I love mother nature and personally my hobby is gardening. Everytime strong typhoons came I felt pity of those plants devastated. Those little ones can be kept temporarily indoors,however, those big ones felt their fury. I notice that excessive exposure to windy environment makes them even more unhealthy, their leaves are rotten and pale.How can this be cure?

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Seed Bank February 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm

You would be amazed at the amount of hazards that a backyard/garden can have. I didn’t realize it until the last tornado I experience, where my hanging plant bashed through the window! Why do you think the little things are so often forgotten?

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Tim Johnson March 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Also don’t forget to batten down the gates and check those hinges as well as any other loose fittings.

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