Hurricane Season is just around the corner; beginning June 1st; and while years can pass between the worst storms, it’s important to prepare your lawn & garden in the event that we have an active year.
In addition to all the things you do to prepare your home to withstand the possible onslaught of a hurricane’s high winds and torrential rain, there are things to do in the landscape as well.
Secure Small & Loose Objects
Loose objects can become deadly projectiles during hurricane-force winds. The beginning of hurricane season is a good time to take note of what would need to be moved from the lawn into the house or garage or secured in the yard.
Take a look around for container plants, hanging baskets, tools, lawn furniture, garden art, compost bins, swing sets, toys, bicycles, bird feeders, wind chimes, barbecue pits, trash cans, playhouses and doghouses.
Cleaning chemicals, insecticides and other pesticides and motor fuels should be stored in areas that are secure and as high as possible; these products can be hazardous if floodwaters spread them through your home or garage.
Do not put your lawn furniture in your pool. This could permanently damage the finish or even cause a leak in your pool.
When a storm is approaching, if you have time, mow your lawn. If heavy rains occur, it may be a long time before you can mow again. Shorter grass also makes it easier to wash or rake debris from the lawn after a storm passes.
Containerize all your lawn clippings, pine needles, leaves, etc. and dispose of it before a storm is even named.
Once a storm is named and a “Warning” or “Watch” has been issued, garbage/trash pick up and removal services are likely not going to be making pickups. This is why it is a good idea to get all trimming finished beforehand.
Note: Remember the ‘6/40 Rule’ when putting yard and lawn trimmings out for pick-up: no pieces longer than 6 feet and weigh no more than 40 pounds.
Protect The Delicates
Bring in your delicate plants. Any plant that has delicate leaves or that stands tall will take a hit in extreme winds. It’s a good idea to bring these in for safety, or at worst to stash them safely in a corner away from doors and windows.
Lastly, after the storm, before walking outside, check for down power lines and stay clear of standing water. Keep storm debris separate from trash and recyclables. Tune in to local news or NOAA for updates on “boil orders”, road closures, local curfews, etc.
Investing just a little time in maintenance and having a plan for your lawn/garden for Hurricane Season, will pay off greatly in the event of a severe storm.
And if South Florida is lucky enough to avoid having a named store make landfall again this year, your landscape will be ready, clean and manicured for the summer season.