Preparing Your Landscape for Hurricane Season


Experts predict an unusually active 2024 hurricane season. Here’s how you can prepare your landscape to minimize damage. From strategic tree trimming to drainage planning, you can ensure your home stands strong.

If you live in Florida, you’re no stranger to the power of Mother Nature. This year, meteorologists are predicting one of the most active hurricane seasons to date. Such forecasts can be daunting, but with the right preparations, you can significantly mitigate the risks to your home and garden. This guide will walk you through essential steps to prepare your landscape for what’s to come.

Preparing for Hurricane Season

Hurricane preparation is a season-long commitment, not just a last-minute to-do list. Here’s what you should start doing now to ensure your home’s exterior is as ready as it can be:

  1. Tree Trimming and Yard Clean-Up

Start by thoroughly cleaning your yard. Remove any dead branches, weakened trees, or debris that could become projectiles in high winds. This will reduce the chance of property damage and promote healthier plant and tree growth.

  1. Reinforce Trees and Shrubs

Consider propping up larger trees and shrubs with stakes to give them extra support during strong winds. This is particularly important for young trees or those that have previously suffered damage.

  1. Evaluate Your Drainage

Ensure your property’s drainage systems are clear and functional. During a hurricane, poor drainage can lead to water buildup, which can damage your foundation and landscaping. Adding additional drainage routes or repairing existing ones can be a game-changer. In some areas, you may want to stack a barrier of sandbags to keep water out.

  1. Turn Off Irrigation Systems

Inspect and secure your irrigation system. Turn it off so that it doesn’t come on during the storm, exacerbating a potential flooding situation.

Immediate Preparations When a Storm is Coming

When a hurricane warning is issued, it’s time to implement your immediate action plan. Here’s what needs to be done as the storm approaches:

  1. Secure Loose Objects

Gather and secure or store all loose objects in your yard, such as garden tools, lawn furniture, and decorations. These items can become dangerous in high winds. Tie them down or store them safely inside your garage or shed.

  1. Protect Windows and Doors

While not directly related to landscaping, protecting windows and doors can prevent damage both inside and outside your home. Use hurricane shutters or impact-resistant windows if available.

  1. Take Apart Large Yard Installations

For larger installations like trampolines or portable gazebos, take them apart and secure them. This keeps them from tumbling around and causing damage to your or your neighbors’ property.

  1. Check Gutters and Downspouts

Check that your gutters and downspouts are empty. Clear channels will help manage the heavy rains, reduce overflow onto plants and structures below, and reduce the risk of water damage to your property.

Conclusion: Stay Prepared and Informed

Preparing your landscape for hurricane season may seem like a big job, but taking these steps can make a difference during and after the storm. Stay updated with local weather forecasts and follow the guidelines from local authorities to ensure you and your home are as prepared as possible.

Remember, preparation is your best defense against the uncertainties of a hurricane season. Start early, and adjust your plans as needed to keep your home and landscape safe. Remember to stay informed and prepared. Your safety and the protection of your property depend on it.