Protecting plants from extreme weather, particularly wind is a key element of growing a garden. While it may not seem like an obvious issue, high winds can severely damage or even kill your beautiful plants. While hanging plants can be brought inside to protect from the wind, others, like vegetable gardens, require more DIY protection.
So, what can you use to protect plants from high winds? Should you bring potted plants inside if there are strong winds? Should you trim back the leggy parts of plants when strong wind is coming? How much wind tends to be too much for plants? Finally, how does wind damage plants?
Continue reading to learn more about how the wind may affect your plants.
What Can You Use to Protect Plants from High Winds?
For your garden plants that you cannot move, you can create various types of wind barriers to suit your plants. You can start by creating a general wind barrier using bags of sand or potting soils and piling them around your garden. For raised beds, hoop tunnels or cold frames make excellent windbreaks. You can purchase them at any garden store or make your own using steel stakes and a clear tarp. You can also create a tent using burlap and wooden stakes.
For taller plants, use two or three wooden stakes in the ground as an anchor and tie the stem to the wood stakes with twine or string. Consider pruning your tall plants before anchoring them to make them as light as possible.
Meanwhile, buckets or cloches can be weighted down with rocks for smaller plants. Ensure the cloche or bucket resting over your plants has holes to allow ventilation. If you do not have a cloche or a bucket, make your DIY barrier using a recycled milk jug or any other tall plastic container.
Should You Bring Potted Plants Inside If There Are Strong Winds?
If the weather forecast calls for heavy winds, take preemptive measures and move any hanging plants or potted plants indoors or in an area blocked by the wind.
If you know that high winds are coming, take all your potted plants indoors. However, if you do not have space in your home or a shed, consider moving them underneath an awning or in a corner to provide some semblance of protection.
Overall, it is best to make space indoors for your potted plants where adverse weather, be it extreme winds or otherwise, could affect them.
Should You Trim Back Leggy Parts of Plants When a Strong Wind is Coming?
When your bushes, trees, or other plants are left to grow without pruning, the plant will become leggy, and these leggy branches will begin to weigh down your plants and possibly lead to breakage. High winds will make breakage even more possible if you do not trim back your branches and stems to lighten the weight of your plant.
For all your climbing plants, double-check your trellises, prune any overgrowth, and ensure the trellis is secure in the ground.
While pruning your plants and breaking off access limbs, ensure your plant is firmly rooted, as high winds can tear a plant out right at the roots. Pruning your plant will make it much lighter and lower the risk of this happening.
How Much Wind Tends to Be Too Much for Plants?
Wind will considerably damage your plants once they reach over 30 mph or above. Monitor the wind speed on the forecast to prepare your garden better.
Also, be aware that some plants may be more sensitive than others and require more attention. Research the plants you plan to grow in your garden to determine when you should take preemptive measures to protect your plant from the wind.
How Does Wind Damage Plants?
Strong winds can tear off leaves, limbs, and buds from your plants and even uproot the entire plant. Strong gusts will also strip the moisture from your plants and soil, making it difficult for your plant to avoid drying out. After the wind damages your plants, they become vulnerable to bugs and diseases, leading to further damage.
Wind can bring in cold and hot air; cold air can freeze plants, while hot hair can dehydrate plants. In both cases, the high winds exacerbate the damages already incurred from the extreme temperature.
Conclusion: How to Protect Plants from Wind
When growing plants, it is important to be prepared for any nasty weather that could damage them, particularly high winds. To protect your plants from high winds, create a wind barrier around your garden plants or make individual wind barriers for small plants using cloches.
If you have hanging plants or potted plants, it is best to bring them indoors or at least move them to an area where they will have some protection from the wind. Trim back any overgrown plants, and ensure they are firmly rooted in the soil.
High winds can tear your plants out of the soil from the roots, break leaves and limbs, and strip the moisture. Wind damage will also make your plants more vulnerable to bugs and diseases.