Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30, meaning that Floridians spend a good portion on the year on storm-watch. Preparing for severe weather means many things to Sarasota and Tampa homeowners – including making sure their yard can withstand the storm. Whether you like to plan ahead or wait until your home is “in the cone”. We are here to help make sure you are ready to weather the storm.
Prepare Your Yard for Storms
Even if a “named” hurricane never makes a direct hit, the summer is known for bringing driving winds and rain throughout the season. Here are some tips on how to best protect your property from harsh weather.
- Stake Younger Trees: If you have trees which have been planted within the last year or so, you may wish to stake their trunks for strength. In this area, it is not uncommon to see palm trees with 2×4 boards positioned around them. Because our ground often gets saturated with daily rainstorms, the amount of support that trees need throughout the season may increase, so keep an eye on them. Sometimes, a tree which would have never fallen in June topples in October, due to soil erosion.
- Trim Mature Trees: It is important not only to trim away branches which overhang your home, but to also cut away any limbs which may break off and become projectiles in a storm. Look for rotting or old wood, drooping branches, or insect-eaten areas. It has also been proven that the more air can pass through the tree branches, the more likely it is to stay upright. Therefore, thinning tree branches (as opposed to having a tight, full canopy) should help withstand hurricane gusts.
- Choose Hurricane Resistant Plants and Shrubs: If you are landscaping a new property, choose plants which are proven to have high resistance to hurricane force winds and rain. Sand live oak, Southern magnolia, crape myrtle, bald cypress and sabal palm are all good choices, according to the University of Florida’s International Forestry Students’ Association.
- Check Trees for Rotting Roots: If your trees exposed roots appear rotting or are increasingly exposed (shallow), you may wish to consult with an arborist to see if that tree should be removed for the overall safety of your home and property.
- Check Gutters and Downspouts: Your gutter system is designed to funnel excess amounts of water into specific areas. If the gutters are clogged, sagging, or broken, water can overflow into beds, ruining landscaping; as well as over-saturating areas of your lawn which could be vulnerable to fungus and disease.
- When in Doubt, Store It Away: You would be surprised at what can become a flying projectile in 150 mph winds. It is imperative that you store away patio furniture, hanging plants, potted plants, freestanding firepits, barbecue grills – anything that it not physically bolted to the home. Remember items in screened porches, as those structures themselves are vulnerable.
Planting new trees and flowers may be risky during hurricane season. As stated, even if we do not experience a named hurricane, the chance of encountering severe weather, deluges of rain, and high winds are still excellent. Young trees and plants without solid root systems will be vulnerable during such weather conditions. Although we need to exercise some caution when living in paradise, life here is amazing, and has innumerable benefits. For any questions on how to grow a beautiful lawn, create vibrant landscaping, or successfully maintain your flower beds – you can trust Big Earth Landscape Supply. We have the ideas, inspiration, products and advice you need. Shop online, or visit us today -before the storms show up!