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How to Protect Plants From a Terrible Storm

Adventures of Old Nebraska DaveYes, May is here and gardening is in full swing ... well ... if it ever quits raining. This was a problem last year, but at least this year all gardening areas are ready to be planted. The forecast is for the possibility from 50 to 90 percent chance of rain for the next few days. The forecast is for 1 to 2 more inches over the next 24 hours. The good thing is that it usually comes in slow misty rains, which almost totally soak into the soil. The ground hasn't reached the saturation point just yet so let it rain as much as it wants. My rain water catch tanks are full to over flowing. That's about 500 gallons of water for garden watering. I suspect that's about two months worth of water for the four backyard raised beds.

What I want to talk about in this post is how I protected a few plants from the terrible storms that seemed to sweep across the country in the last couple years. This year is starting out to be very similar.

Basement plants

This is a photograph of plants that were put in the buckets three weeks earlier. I wish I could say that I started these from seed but I bought them from a local nursery that starts their own plants. They were about half this size when I put them in these buckets. The buckets were purchased from a local grocery store and cost a dollar each. They came from the bakery department and were food safe. After another three weeks, it was time for them to meet the world.

Plants outside

In this photo, the plants are in their final resting place for the summer unless a terrible storm heads our way like tonight. Possible wind and excessive rain are headed our way. These plants have grown again since putting them outside. This rain gutter system was detailed in this post if you are interested. The buckets are totally portable and can be moved to a different location if necessary.

Protected Plants

Here's the protection plan at work. If this was just a freeze notice I would have put them on the floor of the garage but since the storm just might have some hail in it, I wanted protection for my truck as well. I could have hauled them back down into the basement but a 5-gallon bucket full of wet soil is considerably heavy. Didn't used to be but in my old age it seems to have gained weight just like I have. Tomorrow when the storm is long gone, I'll heft these plants back out to the rain gutters again until the next threat comes through. I can't save all my plants from the bad weather, but at least I can protect a select few. I hope this gives some of you a few ideas about how to protect plants for the onslaught of a terrible storm.

The next method for terrible storms is not to plant all your plants at one time. Keep enough back in planting pots for a second planting if necessary. I have this year enough for even a third planting as well. It seems a little extreme but I learned a great deal about how bad weather can be on gardens last year. Weather destroyed my gardening year totally. After the third time of replanting, there were no plants to be had anywhere to replant so it became a garden construction year.

May your gardens all flourish and become a tremendous harvest.

Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade. – Rudyard Kipling

marion
8/10/2015 5:06:15 AM

Good idea are cages made from (double layered) wire mesh fixed to the ground for to set in plant pots or to place over the top of plants (Fix old iron angles from scrapyard at the bottom of cage so you can place rocks or something else heavy on them) . Wire mesh calms down wind inside the cage an keeps out hail. Here those cages already made tomato plants survive F2 last year and and 2 whole days of wind at 11 bft this year.. and they are much easier carried about than heavy plant pots are! So if you live in an area where weather is like that its worth making some (they also serve for keeping chicks and ducklings in, if you don t need them for plants.)


terra
5/18/2015 11:22:05 PM

Thanks for sharing :). We are getting TONS of rain over here in Utah. We had a very dry winter, so I'm not going to complain about precipitation, but my containers and garden are thoroughly soaked through and last time I checked we have rain projected for the next week and I'm starting to worry about stunted growth and fungus disease. But that's just the way with gardening I guess. Something always does well in the end, at least. I use 18 gallon tubs, so not really portable. I do have some tomato clones under the grow light inside that I'll keep going in case I need some backups. Best of luck with your season. I always enjoy reading your posts.