Kathleen Williamson's Blog
High winds and heavy rainfall have the potential to cause serious harm to your lawn, flowers, shrubs and trees. Fortunately, strategies exist designed to minimize the damage. If a storm has been forecast for your area, here's what you need to do before it hits.
Mow Your Lawn
Mow your lawn if at all possible before the storm. This will help ensure that cleaning up any fallen debris will be easier when the storm has run its course. Besides, it will be one less thing you'll have to do after the storm has passed.
Pick Your Fruit
If you've got fruit trees in your yard, pick the fruit that's ripe or soon-to-be ripe. Otherwise, they may become projectiles in high wind conditions, posing a significant hazard that can break windows and harm people or animals, and even if this doesn't happen, it's likely that you'll lose the fruit if you don't pick it before the wind starts. As an added bonus, you'll have plenty of good things to eat while you wait out the storm.
Move or Secure Outdoor Plants in Containers
Moving potted plants into the house, garage, or a sturdy outbuilding helps ensure they don't become damaged by high winds. For planters that are too large to bring inside, try to place them on their sides. Make sure you either remove or thoroughly secure any trellises or stakes.
Stake Newly Planted Trees
Recently planted trees won't have had the time necessary to develop strong root systems, so be sure to stake them firmly to help keep them in place. Use tree stakes or two-by-fours, and be sure to keep the tie-downs loose enough to allow the trees to be able to move in the wind.
Clear Your Storm Drains
Storm drains that are full of accumulated debris can quickly fill with water during storms, resulting in flooding. Making certain yours are clean and clear will help prevent standing water situations in your yard and garden area. Standing water has the potential to severely damage or destroy the root systems of lawn grass, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees.
It's also important to take protective measures so your yard and garden area gets through the stormy season with as little damage as possible. Healthy plants fare better under adverse conditions, and making the right planting selection also goes a long way toward keeping your yard from being ravaged by wind. When in doubt about what to include in your landscaping, choose plants that are native to the area -- unlike their non-native counterparts, they'll be acclimated to local weather conditions and therefore better able to come through storms intact.