Not only do your family and your pets need a hurricane plan, but your yard does also and now is a perfect time to put that plan into action – well before a storm threatens.
First take a look at your property’s drainage. Is there a ditch, swale or drain? Is the area around it clogged with landscaping, weeds or debris? Start there and clear that area. If water can’t drain off your property, it’s going to back up and cause problems.
Trim your trees and shrubs now and put the debris out for yard waste pick up. You’ll appreciate not having regular pruning and hauling added to your post storm clean up. Remove any dead or dying trees and trim back any tree limbs that are too close to your house or power lines. Consider calling an expert for any work near power lines. Hurricane Irma caused plenty of tree damage in 2018. While the worst of it was cleaned up, there may still be cracked limbs or broken branches that should be removed. That tree that you hoped would come back, but didn’t? Remove it before the next storm.
No Mohawk Cuts
Do not remove green palm fronds from palm trees, aka the hurricane cut. Removing green fronds weakens the tree, making it more susceptible to storm damage. Wait until fronds are completely brown before removing them. The University of Florida/IFAS Extension Service suggests that your palm should have a rounded canopy, not a mohawk.
Any new plantings that are braced or staked should be left that way until after storm season, but now is a good time to remove coconuts from your palm trees, before they can become projectiles in high winds.
As a storm approaches, turn off your irrigation system, bring in any container plants, hanging baskets, lawn furniture, etc. Take a slow walk around your property and look for items that are loose and could become airborne in high winds or float away in high water. Put them inside or toss them now.
For additional hurricane preparation information for your landscaping from the University of Florida extension service, visit http://bit.ly/StormYard
By Missy Layfield