With summer storm season upon us, protecting our homes and landscape should be a top priority. Now is a great time to get out and inspect your yard to ensure it is ready for an active season.
8 Steps to Creating a Safe summer Landscape
Identifying a potentially hazardous tree starts below the ground. Without a strong root system, trees are more likely to be uprooted or blown over in stormy weather. Look for nearby construction that may have already severed large roots or compacted the soil too much to allow for healthy root growth. Contact an arborist for a consultation if you’re worried.
For smaller trees, water and fertilize at the root to encourage growth. Spread two to three inches of mulch around the tree’s drip line to protect roots. Do not volcano mulch; instead, keep mulch one to two inches from the tree’s trunk.
2. Check tree branches
Look for dead branches and prune. Prune small branches sticking out from the main leader to avoid weak unions, where two or more branches emerge from one trunk. Check for open cavities, cracks or decay in the trunk. If you are unsure about the condition of your tree, consult a certified arborist.
Poor tree architecture is characterized by excessive leaning of the tree, or branches growing out of proportion with the rest of the tree crown. A heavy canopy is especially susceptible to damage by catching more wind during stormy weather. Consult a certified arborist if any of your trees show these signs.
4. Inspect watering systems
Old systems in bad repair are vulnerable to leaks. Test the timer and clock and inspect individual valves and zones for damage or blockage. Turn the system on and monitor water flow and coverage area, then test the rain sensor.
5. Adjust lighting
Well-planned outdoor lighting improves the curb appeal, safety and security of your home. Test and inspect outdoor stair and pathway lighting to help eliminate hazards.
Install motion-detection lights near the garage and entry doors, and ensure paths and walkways are well lit.
6. Inspect and repair walkways
Inspect walkways around your home and garden. Look for cracks, wobbly stones or missing bricks and repair. Cover smooth concrete with a slip-resistant paint or sand blast the surface to avoid a slippery surface when wet.
Learn how to make garden paths and walkways.
7. Keep tools sharp
Not only do clean, sharp tools work better, but they lessen the chance of injury, too. Replace split or rotten tool handles and keep blades sharp. Clean tools after each use with water and rub steel tools with motor oil to protect against rust.
Learn how to make a DIY tool storage container.
8. Know your limits
A lack of experience can lead to serious safety issues. Consult your Garden Center associate for proper safety measures before starting a project. Wear safety goggles and gloves when necessary.
Don’t be afraid to hire a professional. Their services can reduce the risk of property damage.