Prepare for the wind

Gardening in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in the Seattle area, means you need to prepare for the wind.

Every year, generally starting right on thanksgiving, we get some serious wind storms. I remember this because more than once I have lost power just as I was preparing a beautiful butterball turkey. Now, ensuring that you can cook your turkey despite a power outage is another topic. For that, I could refer you to our blog about Outdoor Kitchen Accessories. In this blog, we want to talk about protecting your garden treasures during the upcoming windy weather.

Which months deliver the strongest wind gusts?

I was curious, so I did some research and learned that according to reports on, the months with the strongest wind gusts have been December and July (I was surprised!), with March, February, January and November as close contenders. This means that although most of our windy weather occurs between October and March, July weather can surprise us. When your garden is growing at its best and the weather is warm, strong gusty winds can pop up and cause havoc. You need to make sure you are protected from wind all year long.

If you are someone like me who likes to keep an eye on the weather, here are some helpful websites: and Cliff Mass' Blog

Preparing for the wind

Especially when it's windy, it is important to protect the garden. Prepare for future wind storms by trimming trees and bushes so they do not grow especially long limbs. A more compact growth pattern will survive wind better than a lanky one. Falling branches and limbs of tree can damage surrounding plants and garden structures.

Keep ivy out of trees. Not only does ivy smother a trees and suck the life out of them, but heavy masses of ivy high up in trees catch the wind and force a tree to topple.

Pay a visit to any new trees or tall plants. If they have a stake, check to make sure it is strong. If they need one, now is the time to make sure they are supported.

Windy-day checklist...

Here are a few of those last-minute things to remember to do when the wind begins to howl:

  • Take down umbrellas and awnings.
  • Gather up patio accessories, decorations, or anything that is light enough to be blown away.
  • Escort your delicate potted plants or hanging baskets to safety - I suggest taking them indoors or placing them against a wall that is likely to block the wind.
  • And don't forget to find the charcoal or gas-powered cooking case you need to cook your turkey without electrical power. (Lesson learned!)

It’s good to be prepared, but even with careful preparation limbs can fall and a yard can suffer damages due to high winds. Don't forget, the Garden Stewardship team at Environmental Construction is here to help with yard clean-up if the winds make a mess of your property.

Category: Northwest Gardening

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