While there isn't much that we can do to predict hurricanes, or control them from coming to our areas, there are things we can do to prevent landscapes from being completely destroyed. As Florida braces for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, we encourage homeowners to do the following to maintain a storm-resistant landscape:
Let's not sugar-coat things. Your potted-plants will most likely be blown-over by the severe weather; so, it's best to lay them down with the tops pointed away from the expected direction of the strongest winds. Do not wrap them in garden netting or tarps because the mesh netting will tear apart the plant leaves. Protect fragile clay or glass pots by wrapping cushioning around them. Use wooden bricks or sand bags as a plant barrier to stop winds.
Hanging Baskets and smaller potted plants can be brought inside (or anything that isn't firmly in the ground). There isn't much that can be done for some flowerbeds (just let them ride); but will most likely require re-planting after hurricane season.
Deerbusters prides itself on having easy-to-install garden fencing that is both simple to install and dismantle. If you can, take down the fence until the storm is pass your area. Hurricane Irma will be a Category 4 when it reaches Florida; and the fence mesh will not survive wind gusts over 140-150 mph. If you choose to leave the fence up, drive the fence stakes further into the ground for maximum strength.
A popular theory, now debunked, was that pruning palm trees could stop them from falling down during a major storm. Over-pruning though can cause the tree to become brittle and chip away during a storm. Thankfully, Palm Trees are very tolerable to high winds and do not need much maintenance except the removal of dead leaves. Other wind-resistant trees include oak, magnolia and cypress. If you have time, use ground stakes to stake down small trees and shrubs to block some wind.
Garbage cans, birdhouses, lighting and other hanging garden accessories should be taken inside to avoid being blown away.
Hand tools, wheelbarrows, and lawn mowers need to be taken inside immediately to avoid being relocated by strong gusts of wind.