The wind has ceased and tropical storm Irene has left the building. If your landscape is not completely flooded, take a walk around your property today, if you haven’t already, to assess the damage from Irene.
The Philadelphia region experienced approximately 5 inches of rain; so you may have puddles of water throughout your property, which will let know you have a drainage problem in that spot. You may find vegetables such as peppers, green beans and tomatoes leaning over, but many still attached strongly to their stakes, stalks of corn may be broken and laying on the ground, and woody shrubs such as butterfly bush and ornamental grasses have either opened wide or completely bent over. Perennials have taken a beaten but they’ll be okay. The apple tree has thrown all its weaklings to the ground. And finally, some areas have experienced trees down, and others, just branches; so you may have a few branches to pick up. But all in all, nature was kind to the Philadelphia region.
What to do
The ground is soaked and the garden shouldn’t be stepped in because you’ll compact the soil. You can prop stakes back up as long as you don’t step in the garden; and you can also remove any fallen branches. If you took the proper steps preparing the landscape for Irene yesterday, then just let the garden dry out, the wind will help that, and later today or tomorrow, you can get the garden back in order. Many bent over plants and trees will return to their proper posture on their own.
Action news reported that wind gusts were up to 40-50 mph all day on Sunday. There are quite a few fallen trees around the Philadelphia area, and with saturated soil, many trees have been compromised and the danger of more trees uprooting.
If you’re in Center City Philadelphia, or anywhere for that matter, stay out of flood waters. If your property is flooded, stay away from the landscape. If you can walk on your property, assess areas with bad drainage for future maintenance. Also, empty standing water in plant containers, wheelbarrows, tarps, etc.
Stay tuned for upcoming articles on Fall planting, Fall gardening, Philadelphia’s City Gardens contest, Inside Burpee Seed, and the Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s Pop-Up Gardens.
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