Ok, so the weather is saying a high wind or even a hurricane is on the way. You're running around buying water, candles and taping the windows. But what do you do with all your beautiful planters? You don't want them to become flying missiles, so you not only have to protect your plants, you may decided, depending on your space and where they are located.
- Find a protected spot - This is easier if you know which way the storm is blowing in from. You can put your planters on the side of the house, close to the wall, where the wind will be best blocked. A caution here is to make sure the plants aren't in the drip line of the house, where huge sheets of water can pour off the roof and mash your plants and send soil all over the place. It's a good thing to know anyhow, when you are figuring out where you can put your pots.
- Garage them - The simplest and safest think may be to fill your garage, if you have one, with your plants. Your car will probably weather the storm better than your plants, so if you want to save your plants, you may want to park them inside.
- Bring them inside - If your plants are on a balcony, if at all possible, bring them inside. You can use a plastic tablecloth, tarp or even a shower curtain to protect your floors, and haul those babies inside. You can also put them in your bathtub, if you don't plan on bathing for the duration of the winds. My tub is filled with plants for the winter, so I'm used to it.
- Lay them down - Plants with trellises are particularly prone to being knocked down. The trellis can act like a sail and catch a bunch of wind. I've had planters with large trellises sail off my deck in high winds, smashing their pots when they landed. I've learned, particularly if the pot is large and has been planted for awhile, so that the soil is settled, that it is sometimes best if you just tip the pot over, trellis and all, and lay it on the ground. Make sure, though that the pot is in a protected spot so it can't be blown into a glass door or window. It is also a good idea, if the planters are round, to wedge them so they can't roll. Put a large rock, log or stake in the ground to secure the planter. It is amazing what the wind can do.
- Pick produce - Chances are pretty good that in a hurricane or big wind, tall veggie plants will get pretty shredded. Pick anything that is even close to ripe and bring it inside. Again, it may work to tip the plant over on its side--even a large tomato plant--which may save it from being completely devastated by the wind
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- Pitch them - First it depends on what time of year the big blow is. If it is near the end of your growing season, it probably makes sense to dump out your containers and put them away. If it is earlier in your growing season, you'll want to protect them using the suggestions above.
- To add insult to container injury, strong winds and hurricanes also often come with huge rains. After the storm, be sure to check that your containers aren't sitting in water and that they are in a good position to dry out.