We have already seen our fair share of windy days here in the UK this summer and we probably haven’t seen the last of them.
For us gardeners, strong winds can be one of our worst enemies so we thought we’d show you how to wind proof your garden with a few simple steps.
Unfortunately, if you haven’t already wind-proofed your garden there are only a few things that you can do to protect your plants once the wind picks up.
Essentially you need to batten down the hatches and protect, cover, and move what you can. It may seem like common sense, but in your haste to beat the wind, it can be easy to forget things.
Bring any smaller items like your plants in plastic pots, small plastic ornaments, kids’ toys, and dog chews inside. This will keep the plants safe and eliminate the possibility of Barbie’s favourite dress and Fido’s chew rag getting caught in a wind funnel and ending up in next doors Koi pond, taking half your treasured begonia with them.
If you can move them, put your larger pot plants against a sheltered house wall, but makes sure you avoid putting them where the buildings create a wind tunnel and remember to keep them well watered.
Take down anything that is hanging — like planters or, ironically, wind chimes — to lessen the chances of something swinging loose and breaking a window.
How to wind proof your garden – larger items …
The larger items in your garden, like patio furniture, need to be anchor kits if you are unable to bring them into the house. As long as they are secured, larger items like trampolines and play structures should be fine where they are.
Damage to shed doors and garden gates is also common in high winds. Check them to make sure that they are closed properly and securely locked. This will not only prevent the wind blowing them off the hinges, but will also stop you going mad at the constant banging noise they can make.
Gardening tools and equipment can be seriously damaged by bad weather, but more importantly, can become incredibly dangerous if picked up by the wind – Barbie’s dress and Fido’s rag are going to be nothing compared to a rake, broom or stepladder falling against the fence.
How to wind proof your garden – longer term …
To protect your garden in the longer term, it’s worth investing in a good quality shed to keep all your larger items and garden equipment in. In addition to protecting your equipment from wind, a shed can also help guard against rust and frost damage.
Do not be tempted to put up big solid defences to protect your plants, because when wind hits a solid barrier such as a wooden fence it tends to deflect upwards only to descend with greater force on the other side. Instead, invest in some open fences or screens and plant some wind-tolerant trees and shrubs to deflect some of the wind’s strength away.
Protect plants and vegetable patches with windbreaks made of netting or mesh, and use canes to support plants but do not to tie them too tightly, as this will cause breakages. As the saying goes, they need to be able to bend with the wind.
Thanks to Mark Bartram – managing director of Lawnmowers Direct, and has been a keen gardener since he was a child.