Preparing Your Home Garden for a Storm
In addition to the many preparations you already make for weathering hurricanes, there are also steps you can take to minimize damage in your landscape and garden.
When a storm is imminent. It may be too late to commence preparations when a storm threat is imminent. We urge you to follow the storm watches and warnings from the National Hurricane Center to ensure you stay safe as you prepare for Hurricane Irma and if you need to evacuate or shelter in place.
When a storm threatens. Identify anything that can be moved by wind, including potted plants, hanging plants, empty pots, garden ornaments, sculptures and furniture, barbecues, birdbaths, hanging birdhouses, garden tools, wheelbarrows, etc., and bring these indoors if possible. If not, move these items to a sheltered location like a patio and secure them to each other and/or to a stable structure.
- Patio furniture can be stacked and tied together if it’s not possible to bring them indoors or to a sheltered location.
- Secure trash bins or move them inside if possible.
- Vining plants can be secured with twine.
- Cluster together very large potted plants or lay them down onto their sides and secure them from rolling.
- Secure trellises with rope if possible.
- Consider removing large, especially near-ripe fruit from trees.
- Safely remove coconuts from palms if possible, and clear the ground of any coconuts as well.
- If you can safely do so, remove any dead or weak tree limbs.
- Do not leave garden/landscaping litter like branches or similar material on the ground, as these can easily become airborne.
Planning ahead. We recommend you create a storm preparation plan for your home and garden each year that you can implement on June 1. Planning ahead is the best way to minimize catastrophic damage from high winds and heavy rains.
- Plant trees with a proven resistance to high winds, like native trees.
- Have trees professionally pruned by a certified arborist—who will not overprune or hatrack trees—to improve their wind resistance.
- Improve drainage in any problem garden areas.