How did you prepare your plants for hurricane Irene?

HighlanderNorthAugust 27, 2011

I had followed some rare good advice from the internet about using tomato cages for dahlias.

When I first planted the tubers in May and June,I flipped the standard 42" cages over and snipped off the entire straight wire spike ends. Then I layed the upside down tomato cages on the soil centered above where the dahlias would come up, then took the snipped off wire ends and bent the top 3" into an L shape, and pushed them into the ground as spikes to hold the cages in place.

This made a stronger cage that was less likely to fall over. The top laterals(after pruning) grow through the top ring of the cage, and the lower laterals grow through the lower rings and out below the top ring. They then usually lean up against the rings, giving them support.

So when I went out this morning to prepare for the storm, I simply tied the laterals to the rings to keep them in place, so they dont blow around and break.

My Vassio Meggos has grown to 6'5" at this point! It was supposed to be 4'5", but it has grown taller, and its first flowers are going to open in 3-4 days, so they wont be acting like sails in the wind! I put tall stakes cut from tall pines in our yard beside the Vassio Meggos, attached the stakes to the top of the cage, and tied the top of the main lateral branches close to the stake, so they cant blow too far in either direction.

I also took some 39 gallon trash bags and wrapped them around the base of my dahlias and taped them to the base of the cages to make a barrier to prevent rain water from deluging and flooding my dahlia roots and tubers, after adding more soil to raise the ground level under the drip line.

I also sunk stakes and tied all tomatoes, tall Zinnias, etc.

Hopefully all this will prevent any destruction, but we'll see...........

What did you do?

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I'm well inland and don't have a problem with "Irene", but wanted to say - You did good! Let us know it works out. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 8:09AM
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I should have bagged them also. What are you going to use for mold after this is over?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 9:00AM
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The application of trash bags over the ground at the base of the dahlias worked as far as keeping water from deluging them from above, and the mostly dry soil I applied under the bags was still mostly dry after the storm, but it was obvious that some water still got to the soil and roots by seeping in from the surrounding soil that was deluged with rain, but it wasnt nearly as bad as it wouldve been without the bags in place.

As far as mold, I dont really see any.

The only plant of mine that was damaged by the storm was a tomato, which started wilting 2.5 days after the rain was over.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 3:30PM
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I added extra stakes to most of mine and cut every bloom to either bring inside or compost. Then I just prayed that I wouldn't lose all of them and tried not to look outside during the storm. I ended up losing only two out of more than 50 and one was almost 6 feet tall, so that was no surprise. Many are leaning quite a bit now but most I've left leaning onto their neighbors and one week later they're all blooming like crazy again.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 8:15PM
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