orgainc mommy
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Hurricane-Proofing my Garden?

I have been gardening for a few years but have not yet been tested by a hurricane at really any level. I have weathered (haha) some stong thunderstorms, but not yet a hurricane. I am about 80 miles inland but with Hurricane Irene heading our way this weekend, I would like to know if anyone has any ideas about protection of my garden from the high winds.

For context, my garden is comprised of raised beds and in-ground beds (about 15 total), covering about 1/3 acre, with all varieties and heights of vegetables.

Any advice?
Karen

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Moley
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I am using motorcycle tie-downs to secure my pot ghetto to the deck, I removed or moved anything that may have a chance to blow away and damage the garden or the house. (chairs, buckets etc)

I think just some simple common sense will help in prevention of unwanted destruction, but like Murphys law, stuff can and will go wrong, we can only hope to be prepared.

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Francis Barnswallow
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I used a blue tarp and then stapled it (heavy duty staples) to the garden itself. It took around 250+ staples to keep the tarp down. Hours later I had 107+ mph winds and it worked like a charm. Just make sure to staple all potential openings in the tarp. If wind gets into one of those openings the tarp will act like a parachute and will fly off the garden.

And be thankful it won't hit as a cat. 3 or higher.

Check this site out regarding Irene. Very informative.

https://classic.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at201109.html

RyNJ
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Location: West Central NJ, Zone 6B

I'm gonna be in Irene's path, too, and I think I'm gonna just prune what can be pruned, and add secure supports to all my taller plants. With my leaf lettuce, kale, broccoli, herbs, zukes and stuff, I'm gonna put a post on each end of the row and run some twine between the posts on each side of the row to help keep the plants up and avoid breaking.

Ladybug027
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I am concerned for my garden as well, but I don't think anything we do short of digging plants up and taking them indoors will help, which isn't good either, so I am just going to pray and hope we get missed. I may go pick a some green tomatos just in case.

brooklyn boy
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Yea I'm kind of skrewd too

I wonder what those in Florida do they have hurricanes every year... Anyway
i only have a few outdoor buckets/flower pots I'll just bring them indoors for Sat/Sun ,my only concern is that my pepper plant just started to bloom and I've got a small pepper growing will it get shocked or abort its baby if its so long without sun ? (I've got no other choice anyway)
NYC is not a nightmare , a nightmare is faster

Father's Daughter
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I'm picking anything that's close to ready, pruning what can be pruned, and waiting to see what's left come Monday morning. I agree, I don't think there's much that can be done when you're dealing with a large area and tall plants.

It might just give me the opportunity to try out those recipes for green tomato jam and pickled green tomatoes a little earlier than expected!

SLC
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I was just coming here to see if anyone had posted anything about this to get some tips!

I live in Connecticut and will be in the direct path of Irene - unless things change, which can always happen. Either way, luckily, I am in central CT, so by the time it hits here, it "should" be downgraded to a Tropical Storm of up to only 75 mph winds. Still bad for my garden though! But I think the worst part for me will be the 6-10 inches of rain. I already have a swamp back there.

This is my first year actually having a "real" garden, and I have had nothing but one problem after another. It's a mircale anything is growing at all! But it is....and since I started late (long story), everything is just about there....but not quite. I still need a good couple weeks at least before I can start picking stuff.

I've actually been documenting my garden with pictures and am putting together a journal that I hope to share on here...someday. I've got lots of questions and need some advice....that's if it even makes it through the hurricane!

Anyway, I can almost guarantee that it won't be that bad here cuz I took some vacation time off of work today and staked my whole garden! It took me a few hours, but I gave every plant a sturdy stake to hold on to. I tied each tall plant to the stake with rubberbands, thinking since they stretch, maybe it will work out well. I put bands across the trellis to hold my peas in place and I put a low fence around my green beans. When I ran out of stakes/fence, I took sticks I found around the yard and created like a teepee over my potatoes and - the few peppers that are only a few inches high. Not sure what to do about my lettuce and onions though. The onions are half out of the ground and are between the size of a marble and ping pong ball, just not quite big enough yet. I hope they don't drown.

Who knows if any of this will work though - I guess I will find out soon enough! Even if it does, the 10 inches of rain might still get it.

I hope everyone comes back here to let us know how their garden made it through - I'd like to know!

Ladybug027
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SLC it sounds like you have done all you can. I hope Irene lightens up by the time it gets to us.

I am going to pick one of my watermelons tomorrow and see if it is ready so I can pick the rest of them. I am also going to pick a bunch of green and almost ripe tomatos, and some peppers.

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SPierce
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Since most of my garden was already ruined by hail, I just brought my (now 4 feet tall! yay!) pepper plant up to the patio.. if the winds get really bad, i'll bring it inside.

I really want to bring in my potted gourds, also, but they've already rooted and attached themselves to a few of the local plants, and i don't want to disturb them :( It's got two tiny gourds on it- should I move it, or wait things out?

garden5
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I guess it all depends on what you have lying around or what you can purchase as to how you can protect your gardens.

I would say that probably your main concern should be the sides of the garden. That's to protect it from the wind. The best would be boards, even scrap wood, just something to act as a wind-break.

Next, if you expect hail, the top would be your next concern. Tarps sound like a good idea for this, but make sure you fasten them securely because when the wind gets a hold of the broad side of a tarp, it's amazingly strong.

If the size if your garden permits, I think that window screen would actually be a better choice for top-protection. It would keep the hail out, but allow the rain to flow through and the wind wouldn't be able to exert as much force on it as it would on a tarp.

I hope these suggestions help you all.
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bcallaha
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Updates from those that were in the path of Irene, please. How did you weather the storm?

Brad

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Francis Barnswallow
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^I was thinking the same thing.

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SPierce
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As was I! The only thing i lost were my 2 pumpkin plants, and that was both irene and squash vine borer :x i've got one gourd plant left I'm nursing along, and a big max pumpkin that won't make a pumpkin, because i planted it too late-- but i can always try!

Ladybug027
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Irene was down graded to a cat 1 by the time she got here and she didn't come in this far so my garden was unscathed. We did get 2 inches of well needed rain and some winds but no damage. Shewww! :)

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Francis Barnswallow
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Keep an eye on this potential new storm:

[url=https://classic.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at201112_5day.html#a_topad]Next hurricane[/url]

(scroll down when on page)

SLC
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Location: Central Connecticut

HELP! The aftermath of the hurricane, and I have questions

Well, my garden survived the wind, but it did not, however, survive the rain. We got THREE MONTHS WORTH OF RAIN IN ONE DAY!!!! That sucked. And sure enough, I was in one of the towns that got hit the worst with rain. :cry:

It's been 2 days and now the pepper leaves and broccoli leaves are wilting...they actually look like they do when they need water. I assume it's because it has too much? There are puddles of water in the garden, and if you step in, your foot gets covered with muddy water.

I have potato plants growing, and since they are underground, I assume those are ruined too?

My green bean leaves are turning yellow and the beans themselves are soft and bendable, not firm. Also, there are a TON of ladybugs on them, and the leaves have holes in them and it looks like they are actually eating the beans. Can this be?

Also, I was worried about my corn, so I broke off a husk - the silk was brown and dry, but the husk was not fully developed, but I assume that will go bad as well so I broke one off to test it. There were all these little tiny bugs on it. Ew!!! I HATE bugs. I brought it in the house and put it the sink and just ran the sprayer over and over and over it. A spider came out! EEK!!! I am petriefied of all spiders, but I was able to wash it down the drain. It looks like all of the bugs are off of it, so I opened it up, carefully, and sure enough the kernels stop maybe a little more than 3/4 up the cob - I am only missing like an 1 1/2 inches of kernels, but also, they are not as plump as when I buy corn in the store. Of course, the corn in the store is much bigger as well. Do you think I should let the corn grow more or do you think it will die in the lake it is now in? Technically, it should have at least a couple weeks left of growing, that would be about 30 days since the silk appeared. And I did try to pollinate it myself by rubbing off the tops in my hand, grinding it up and sprinkling it over the silk. Then again, I have absolutely no idea if I even did that right?

Do my plants have any chance at all of surviving?

Does anyone know what to do about the bugs? So far, I haven't used any sprays or anything.

I am leaving for my Orlando, FL, vacation on Friday and I am worried when I come back 10 days later, there will be nothing left.

Is there anything I can do?

Ladybug027
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Thanks for the heads up Francis. Crossing fingers again.
Francis Barnswallow wrote:Keep an eye on this potential new storm
[url=https://classic.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at201112_5day.html#a_topad]Next hurricane[/url]

(scroll down when on page)

Father's Daughter
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We were among the lucky ones as well. About five inches of rain, and some high winds, but no damage in my immediate neighborhood. A chunk of the town is still without power, but we never lost ours. The news of the massive flooding from some areas of VT, Eastern NY, and Western MA is heartbreaking.

As for the garden, it faired well except that I now have sprawling tomato plants instead of neatly staked! The weight of the plants and the high amount of rain that fell has left them either leaning over or laying down. Some top breakage, but otherwise they're fine. The pole bean tower is listing a bit, as are all the sweet fennel plants. Everything else came through fine.

Again, I consider us very lucky compared to those in the Northeast who lost so much.

RyNJ
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Location: West Central NJ, Zone 6B

Luckily I made it out mostly unscathed. They say we got 6", but I know it HAD to have been more than that. Entire towns are still underwater.

[img]https://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x323/RyNJ/DSC01040.jpg[/img]

Poorly secured posts swayed a bit. Zukes got blown over rather than snapping (though this extra rain has helped boost the powdery mildew :( )

[img]https://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x323/RyNJ/DSC01041.jpg[/img]

I though I had tied all of my tomatoes to their vines, but I guess I missed one. These were the only ones to fall, thank goodness!

[img]https://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x323/RyNJ/DSC01042.jpg[/img]

Some snapped tomato branches, but they still seem to be growing strong down the vines. Very oddly enough, my poblano seems to be taking off since being soaked for about a month; only got 3 small guys off it thus far, but it currently has 7 fruit set. Everything else was lower to the ground, so no real damage there.

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