Living in Florida means that preparing your yard for severe weather is a necessity. This year’s Atlantic hurricane season is already setting records and is on pace to be the most active season to date, though Florida has fortunately avoided any major damage so far. Given that these weather systems will soon be taking their toll on the state, follow our yard maintenance tips to get ready and minimize any possible damages!

Prune Your Branches

When a storm’s maximum sustained winds exceed 74 mph, it is officially designated as a hurricane. A major hurricane is one that is category three or higher, which has a minimum wind speed of 111 mph. Regardless of the strength of the storm, a hurricane is very likely to tear off any rotting or damaged branches which could become projectiles and harm your home. Leave the big and healthy branches alone, as they are much more likely to hold up against the wind and removing these branches could prove detrimental to the health of the tree.

Turn Off Your Sprinklers

Hurricanes bring vast rainfall over an extended period of time and having too much water is a bad thing for plants. Being oversaturated promotes disease problems for plant roots and the higher winds of a major storm can uproot them while the soil is still loose, which includes trees getting pulled up and falling over. Most irrigation systems turn off automatically in the rain but will continue to run after the storm has ended, even if the soil is oversaturated. Manually deactivate your sprinklers until the soil has had ample time to dry out and set itself.

Inspect Your Drainage

While hurricanes bring heavy rain, it is vital to ensure that your yard is draining properly so that your soil avoids oversaturation and any plants are not damaged further. Inspect any storm drains that you may have for blockages and remove all the debris that you can find, which can include lawn clippings and leaves. Make sure that the path to each drain is clear so that all the rainwater can run off and prevent soil erosion in your yard. Any standing water left after a storm will only cause further damages to your yard even if the hurricane has passed.

Remove All Yard Décor

Before the next storm comes ashore, take a thorough look through your yard for all décor, furniture, and smaller plants that might get tossed around in the wind. Secure anything that is too big to bring inside and designate a location in your home for everything else, such as your garage. Smaller items, like container plants, toys, and wind chimes, will be thrown by the wind and can either get lost or destroyed or wreak havoc on your home. If you have any plants that are too big to move inside, lay them down flat and preferably behind a bush. When the time comes, make sure you have a plan for where to move everything.

If you need professional help getting your yard hurricane-ready before it is too late, contact our team at Leafy Landscapes. Our landscape contractors will work with you and provide the best lawn care available in New Smyrna Beach and Port Orange. After inspecting your yard to determine the appropriate maintenance that it requires, we will provide lawn mowing services, tree trimming services, shrub trimming services, and many more. Allow us to help you prepare for this storm season and contact us today!