Archive for Hurricane Preparedness

The Calm Before The Storm

Hello my gardening friends! I’m hoping that everyone is safe and healthy! As Hurricane Laura approaches I’m photographing the garden, and hoping that we don’t sustain the category 4 status for too long. It seems this is another weather record to be already this far into the hurricane naming alphabet.

Here in the Washington suburbs, we have surpassed doubling our normal annual rainfall total already, and with several inches of more rainfall predicted, I am hoping that the Potomac river doesn’t flood the low lying areas too badly.

I am hoping for all to stay safe, and be careful. Take photos of the exterior of your home and garden just in case you need backup for insurance purposes. Pull in your outdoor furniture, and potted plants if you can. The high winds can make projectiles of even some of the heaviest things. Fill a bathtub with water for emergency. And please don’t go out in the storm, let it pass. Mother Nature is a force like no other!

These are all the volunteer vinca grown from seeds from last years flowers. They have filled in beautifully. We are veterans of many hurricanes in this area, and have found that these cement benches hold up to even the worst weather. Any of the wooden furniture we have on the deck will get moved to safety.

All wreaths, flags, lanterns and potted plants can become airborne in hurricane winds, and need to be brought in. Better safe, than sorry!

Here’s the back perimeter garden now. I have done so much work this season to facilitate better drainage, through loosening up the soil, adding amendments like compost and grass clippings, and this hurricane will be an extreme test. There is also an aqua drain system in place, with two additional drains which feed into the storm sewer hidden behind the large junipers in the corner. Finger’s crossed this will be enough!

Lastly, the two wisterias and hyacinth vines have been pruned back to hopefully reduce the weight, and improve wind resistance.

Take care, friends!

Getting the Garden Ready for a Hurricane

We now have Hurricane Irene on route to the eastern seaboard. Possibly a strong 3 from all the forecasts. There is much to do at our garden to prepare for the winds and potential flooding which could ensue.

Move all potted plants to a protected place, and cluster them together for wind protection.

I started by moving all the potted plants, and other small garden accessories under the deck. The pots are touching, to give them support against the wind. We are expecting the wind to come in from the Northeast, and the deck is on the Southeast side of our house, so this will hopefully give the pots the most protection.

Next, we removed the lattice panels from the arbors, laying them flat on the deck. We then flipped the patio table, adding it to the pile, then the chairs. I strapped the whole pile to the deck and joists below.

Strap down all outdoor furniture.

We have also removed the propane tank from the grill, and stored it in the garage. The grill will also be tied to the railing, as well as the deck box, holding all the chair cushions. It is a good idea to bring in or tie down anything loose in your yard. In high winds things can become projectiles, causing more damage than anything else.

Don’t forget to check any low-lying doors and windows. We have a walkout basement with French doors that are at the lowest part of the yard. We sandbag the door, laying down plastic first to give extra protection. There is also an outdoor sump pump closeby, just in case.

Sandbag all low lying doors and windows.

If you rely on a sump pump, make sure you have back-up battery capability. If a storm is that intense, you could lose power, and will be very glad you have back-up.

Check all arbors, swingsets and even small trees to see if they might need to be tied down, or staked. Its also a good idea to check your gutters and storm drains for anything which might or is blocking them. Lastly, make sure your rain gutters on the house are cleaned out as well.

An outdoor sump pump can give added peace of mind in an intense storm. Just make sure you have a battery back-up system in place.

Mother nature is the biggest force we know, when she decides to make herself known, it can be quite daunting. I hope my tips will help you protect your garden. Stay safe!



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