Storm Ready Gardening

The Mid Atlantic's unpredictable weather patterns are infamous. The top 50 storms in Maryland have all occurred in the months of September and October. Property damage has included unnecessary destruction from loose limbs, untethered patio furniture and garden containers that have been lifted by high winds.

Take It or Leave It

Take an inventory of your outdoor environment and decide what you can live without until spring to protect against impending fall and winter storms. You are not only working to protect your home but, also to protect against uncontrolled breakage and ripping of limbs and tree bark. The smarter way to control your plant care is to make the decisions in advance. Ripped, scared and open bark houses disease and is a haven for pests.

We Don’t Mean Pruning

If you have waited until now to general shaping and pruning, you’ve waited too long. This is not the kind of plant maintenance we’re talking about here. Only the very vulnerable need to be attended to in October. We are addressing weak limbs that have already started cracking, anything you missed last month that is hanging over your house or driveway, and anything that may cause damage to your neighbors’ property. Cutting back is a version of pruning that can cause new growth so be judicial.

Shoring Up Container Gardens and New Plantings

If you have space to store your planted containers, wait until the first light frost and then drag them into the garage or shed. If you intend on leaving them out, you’ll want to insulate the pot with straw bales or burlap covering over the entire planting.

Next week, we dressed it all up for the holiday!

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