With Hurricane Sandy approaching the East Coast and expectations that she will create all sorts of havoc, I spent some time over the weekend preparing the garden for the storm’s arrival.
Weather forecasters receive their share of complaints but it’s times like this when advance warnings are greatly appreciated! The funny thing is that the days leading up to the storm have been exceptionally mild, calm, and very pleasant to be outdoors.
Prepping the Garden for an October SuperStorm
The approach of this freakish storm provided me with incentive to speed up the timetable for my usual fall garden prep in advance of winter. With the garlic and shallots set out last week all the planting was done but there were still chores to be taken care of.
Normally the fig trees, Bay Laurel, and a few potted herbs would remain outside until at least late November. But the fig trees had gone dormant so I decided to move them into the garage early this year. The Bay tree and a few herb plants joined the citrus trees inside the house.
Securing Everything that’s Not Rooted to the Ground
I was undecided about whether to leave the rain barrels out as a non potable water source but wound up draining and storing them in case Sandy is followed by a blast of extremely cold temperatures. All the hoses and hose reels were disconnected from the outdoor faucets and were moved into the shed alongside the rain barrels.
Bird houses, feeders, and other items light enough to blow around were also gathered up and placed in storage. I also looked around closely for tools, buckets, composters, and other equipment that needed to be secured. The two cold frames were left in the garden without their covers and hopefully they will still be there after Sandy passes through.
All the wrought iron deck and patio furniture was stacked in a corner under the steps and isn’t likely to go anywhere. A final inspection revealed a few tree branches too close to the roof that needed to be pruned back away from the house, and one dwarf apple tree that needed to be staked for support.
Going to Extremes to Safeguard Backyard Bee Hives
My biggest concern out in the garden was what to do with the beehives. For now they are just topped with cinder blocks or strapped down tightly. But I will keep an eye on them and if conditions warrant, the small nuc hives will be screened closed and moved into the shed, garage, or even the house if necessary!
Finally, I took what may be the last opportunity to harvest some peppers, herbs, and leafy greens from the garden… there’s no telling what will be left standing after the storm. Now there’s nothing left to do except wait to see what Sandy has in store for Central Pennsylvania, and to say a prayer that the damages will be light and that everyone will be safe!
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