It’s summer, and no matter where you are, extreme weather conditions such as high winds or hurricanes, heat waves, heavy rains, and hail damage can decimate a garden in mere minutes. If you have enough time to act, here are a few tips on how to prepare and protect your garden before the onslaught.
Protect Your Garden Plants From High Winds:
- Move hanging baskets and containers to sheltered areas where they cannot be blown away or broken apart.
- Cold frames, hoop tunnels, and small portable greenhouses should be moved or taken down if necessary and possible.
- Stake tall plants that may suffer breakage.
- Set up wind barriers around your garden beds by using heavy bags of potting soil, rocks, or sand.
- Place large buckets or cloches weighted with heavy rocks over individual plants to protect them.
- Large plants and shrubs may be wrapped in burlap and secured with twine.
Protect Your Garden Plants From Heavy Rains:
- Protect young seedlings by laying row cover fabric over top of them and securing the edges with landscape pegs. The fabric will keep the rain from hammering the soil and the tender plants.
- Hoop tunnel structures covered in row cover fabric made from polyethylene will slowly filter the raindrops to the bed, preventing damage. As a bonus, these structures can be left up during the entire growing season.
- Mulching beds with straw or other organic material will keep exposed soil from compacting from hard rain, and may protect the root systems of plants.
- Staking tall plants may help them from breakage.
Protect Your Garden From Hail:
- Hail damage may be mitigated by overturning buckets and tubs on top of plants and weighting them down with rocks.
- Hoop tunnels covered with high-grade row cover fabric can be a lifesaver over raised bed vegetable gardens, providing a barrier to all but the extremely large (and rare) hailstones.
- Row cover fabric, burlap, or even tightly-woven bird netting can be staked in a teepee-like fashion over large beds or positioned over small trees, shrubs, climbers, and tall herbaceous perennials.
- Plants in containers should be tucked into sheltered areas beneath the deck or temporarily placed inside the garage.
Protect Your Garden From Extreme Heat:
- If you are growing plants in containers, move them to a shaded area to combat heat stress.
- In-ground and raised garden beds may be shaded by stretching a lightweight beds heet or row cover fabric over stakes and securing it with twine.
- A hoop tunnel can once again be useful to cut back on the effects of extreme or prolonged heat.
- Water deeply and regularly during a heat wave, preferably during the cool of the morning instead of in the middle of the day. Be careful not to overwater, as this may encourage plant diseases.
- Apply mulch to the base of your plants to keep moisture near the roots of your plants. When selecting plants for your garden, try to purchase heat-tolerant varieties if this is a common occurrence in your region.
- Check out this list of drought tolerant plants
Don’t forget to remove any temporary coverings from your plants after the storms have passed so that plants can once again receive proper sunlight, moisture, and air.
What do you do to protect your garden? Tell us in the comments below!
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