UK weather is unpredictable at best and we see our fair share of gales and storms. Particularly forceful storms can not only disturb the plant life in our gardens but it can also cause structural damage to our fencing, decking and sheds – especially if we haven’t chosen the most durable construction materials. In this article, we’ll take you through some tips to windproof your garden, ranging from basic safety notes to the type of materials that work best for stormy conditions.
6 Ways to Stormproof a Garden
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Storms don’t often strike without warning, and we frequently have a bit of time to prepare. A daily check of the weather forecast should give you enough time to tidy away any debris or furniture that could be swept into the air and damage your garden. Obviously, you can’t control neighbouring gardens, but you can clear your own property as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of damage.
Get Repairs Done
Are fence panels broken or loose? Perhaps the window of the shed is swinging on its hinges?
When a storm strikes, any unstable or rickety structures in your garden will be the first to suffer. This could result in further damage, and can also cause problems to the property and injuries if people are involved when the structures are affected by the wind. To avoid this, do a sweep of your outdoor spaces and pinpoint areas that could be compromised in high winds – this could include broken greenhouse glass or loose wooden panels. Repairing these issues now could save you further headaches down the line and may not be as time consuming or expensive as you think.
Use Composite Wood
Following on from the above point, your choice of materials for repairs, replacement or construction will influence how well it stands up in windy conditions – and how long it lasts. Created from a strong composition of recycled wood fibres and recycled plastic, composite wood products are sturdier than standard wood. What’s more, composite products are resistant to mold, rotting, warping and cracking – making them better suited to withstand wet, stormy conditions compared to traditional timber alternatives. SAiGE composite fencing has been tested and exceeds gale force 9 winds, making it the ideal solution to withstand the worst weather conditions the UK has in store.
Consider Hedges or Fences as Buffers
If your garden is more open to the elements, you may want to consider more structure and bordering in the form of hedges and fences to break up the garden. Not only can this transform the beauty and intrigue of your garden, but they also act as buffers against strong winds. This will help alleviate the pressure on your garden when storms do strike.
Store or Tidy Loose Items
Is there a storm looming? Be safe and take a moment to store away any loose items in your shed or garage, whether that may be children’s toys, gardening tools, deckchairs and any lighter plant pots. This prevents them being knocked over in the gusts, or blown up into the air to cause damage.
As mentioned in the first point, if your garden is untidy and full of debris, fallen foliage or other general clutter, this too can become airborne in a storm and so should be swept away. Keeping on top of garden maintenance doesn’t have to be time consuming, just a quick sweep every now and then can make this task easy on a stormy day.
Protect Your Plants
The crowning jewels of many gardens are the flowers, trees and other plants. Foliage and leaves can be delicate at the best of times, never mind in the grip of a storm.
Firstly, keep on top of trimming and pruning to ensure all dead foliage is removed – this way, it’s not likely to snap off in a gale and make a mess. For bigger branches that are safety risks in wind, you may want to call out a professional tree surgeon to remove these overhanging branches. Tie down any climber plants in preparation for high winds, and consider taking down your hanging baskets temporarily. If you have windbreakers or plant coverings, use them.