Hurricanes, blizzards, nor’easters – New Jersey has its fair share of rough weather that can wreak havoc on your home and property. While we can’t control Mother Nature, we can do things to prepare for bad weather and protect our properties. Here are some tips that can help to weather the storms when they do come:
- Take a good look at your landscape and yard. Are there dead branches, loose fence slats, or damaged trees? Now’s the time to remove or repair them. High winds, heavy rains or snow and ice can easily uproot weakened trees and shrubs. Dead branches can snap off in heavy winds and become dangerous projectiles.
- Do you have tree branches that touch your house? Trim them back. Strong winds causing branches to whip against your home can result in torn roof shingles, broken windows, and damaged siding.
- Also check to see if trees and branches are near power lines. If so, contact your power company and ask them to cut them back to safely clear power lines.
- Make sure gutters are clear of leaves and debris so rainwater and snowmelt can drain properly from your home, avoiding water damage and interior flooding.
- Heavy snow and ice can damage even hardy perennials and evergreens. If you have plantings that edge your driveway or walkways, try not to put snow you are clearing directly on top of plantings. If that’s not possible, consider investing in plant-protective coverings (these often come with some type of rigid framework with a semi-porous covering) over your plants.
- Heavy, wet snow is responsible for a lot of plant and tree damage. Try to knock off accumulating snow from branches, and limbs before there is too much accumulation, or before a thaw-freeze cycle causes snow to turn to ice. If ice does form, or accumulates due to freezing rain, be careful about its removal – it’s very easy to break or damage plantings encrusted in frozen snow and ice.
- Outdoor furniture should be brought indoors if possible, or at least solidly secured outside. This also applies to shade umbrellas, folding chairs, garden tools, lightweight pots, garbage cans and other easily movable objects. Object made from porous materials (clay, concrete, wood) should be stored in a garage or shed for the winter to avoid freeze-thaw cycles that can crack and damage these items.
- If you have large clay or ceramic pots that are too heavy to move, wrap them with protective coverings such as burlap or foam, and add a protective, waterproof outer layer to keep moisture absorption to a minimum. Secure the pots with bricks or wooden blocks at their bases.
Don’t forget you can always call us here at Farmside to help you assess potential problem areas in your landscape or plantings and trees that may be vulnerable to inclement weather.