You put a lot of effort into your garden and landscaping, so you want to protect those plants from any harm. In normal conditions, that means making sure they get enough water and sunshine, keeping the plot weeded and the soil nourished. But what do you do when there’s a storm coming?
Wind and water damage are major threats to the health of your plants, so when a storm is brewing, you need to take serious precautions to keep them from being stripped or uprooted. The good news is that it is relatively simple to do and can utilize all sorts of items you have laying around the house. Read on for several methods of protecting your plants from a storm, DIY style.
Smaller plants can be covered with all manner of container: buckets, flower pots, cooking pots, and large bowls. As long as the container is deep enough to cover the plant without breaking its stem, you can use it. Simply place the container over the plant and brace it with bricks or rocks so that it doesn’t blow over in high winds.
Covering is great for individual plants and provides significant protection, even in a heavy snow or rain storm.
To protect an entire garden plot or row of plants, tarping might be your best bet. To start, place sturdy stakes of some kind (wood or metal) around the plot as well as throughout it in regular intervals. The stakes are there to hold up the tarp that you’ll toss over the garden next. Use bricks or rocks to hold the tarp securely to the ground.
Note that tarping does not hold up as well if the precipitation is heavy. It can be excellent in light rain or snow when the primary concern is plunging temperatures.
Trees may not be able to be entirely covered, but you can wrap the trunks with burlap or a quilted blanket. Secure the trunk cover with twine or rope. Roots can also be insulated by adding about inches of mulch around the root area. (This works for other plants, too.)
For the branches of trees, especially young ones, you can use strips of fabric to tie up the most slender of them. Pantyhose is another good material for this in a pinch. The purpose is simply to keep the branches from snapping in the wind or under the weight of heavy snow.
Young trees can be anchored to keep them from being uprooted by a storm. To do it, drive stakes of at least 2-3 feet tall into the ground about 20 inches. Make sure that the stakes angle away from the tree. Then use twine to tie each stake to the trunk of the tree.
This should be done tightly enough to keep the tree from falling all the way over, but loosely enough to allow it some bend and give. If the trunk is tied too tightly, it is likely to snap under the pressure of heavy wind.
As much as they need water to survive, water damage from a heavy rain, snow, or hail can wipe out your whole crop. Wind will snap stems, trunks, and branches and strip plants of all their leaves and fruits. So the bottom line is that when a storm is brewing, you should use whatever you have handy to get your plants covered, insulated, and supported. Mother Nature can be a fickle lady, but with a little forewarning and some ingenuity, you can protect your garden from her wrath.