Following the tail ends of hurricanes Lee and Nigel, the UK is set to face yet another climate onslaught in the form of Storm Agnes.
The storm is set to hit the UK and Ireland on Wednesday the 27th of September, with gusts predicted to be as strong as 75mph in certain areas.
If you’ve got a garden, chances are you’ll be a little worried about keeping your beloved blooms safe during the rough weather. Thankfully, Sean Lade, gardening expert and director of Easy Garden Irrigation, is here to help.
“There are a few important tasks gardeners should carry out to ensure their garden stays as protected as possible during the extreme weather,” the expert said. These are:
1) Removing garden furniture and other loose items
Lade says that loose garden items can become damaged ― or cause harm themselves ― if left out during a storm.
You should “Remove loose items from your garden such as garden furniture or plant pots, and store them safely and securely. Secure any garden structures, such as trellises, fences, and sheds, to prevent them from blowing over,” the gardening expert says.
2) Covering any delicate blooms
Whether you have your plants or thin, delicate stalks, it’s a good idea to keep them covered as they likely won’t be able to stand up to the gusts. And it’s even better if you can move them indoors.
“If you have premature or fragile plants, cover them with a protective layer, such as burlap or cloth, to shield them from strong winds; if they can be moved indoors to your greenhouse or shed, even better,” Lade says.
3) Make drainage easy
A deluge of rain can soak your lawn, and if you’ve got poor drainage, you risk root rot and other problems. So, Lade advises you to “keep your garden well-drained to prevent flooding by checking gutters and downspouts and clearing any debris that may block the water flow.”
4) Prune now, before the storm hits
Just like loose objects, weak branches and plants can come loose in a storm. For your safety (as well as the plant’s), it’s a good idea to trim these back now before the winds rush in.
You should “trim any dead or weak branches from trees and shrubs in your garden to reduce the risk of them falling and causing damage during a storm,” the gardening pro says.
5) Switch off your sprinklers
In fact, leaving any outdoor water systems on during Storm Agnes could exacerbate the risk of flooding or soil erosion, Lade says. And “If you have a greenhouse or garden shed, ensure it is properly secured and protected to withstand high winds, debris, and heavy rain.”
With great gardens comes great responsibility, right?