Ten Gardening To-Do Tips After a Storm

October 19, 2010

Usually, the first thing I do the day after a storm is to walk the front and back yards, and the perennial and vegetable gardens.

Here are some of the things to look for after a storm:

  1. Check for broken tree and shrub limbs. Remove with proper pruning tools. One size, one type/style does not fit all.
  2. Remove leaves that have major damage.
  3. Check stakes and ties. Replace or secure where needed.
  4. Check for erosion and exposed roots. Immediately cover roots with top soil and/or compost. Letting the roots dry out could damage or kill plants.
  5. To avoid breeding grounds for mosquitoes, empty, turn over or put away pot saucers, buckets, birdbaths, wheelbarrows—anything holding water.
  6. Check for areas with standing water. Try to avoid walking in wet beds. This will compact the soil and could damage roots. Plants need loose soil for air circulation.
  7. Check for snails and slugs, and treat organically. Remove old wood lying on the ground where snails, slugs, and earwigs can breed.
  8. Check plants for powdery mildew and treat before it spreads.
  9. Watch for weeds after it rains. Hand pull making sure to get the roots. Mulching will help prevent weeds but keep mulch at least three inches away from trunks.
  10. Check timers. Turn them off or adjust accordingly.

Copyright © 2010 Dianne Marie Andre




  1. Dianne’s tips are right on! I always check my fruit trees for broken limbs and branches this time of the year after a storm because they are heavy with persimmons. With the threat of West Nile disease, it is always wise to avoid standing water to discourage mosquitoes breeding throughout the year. However, depending on your location, I generally do not change my water timer. We do not get a lot of rain, but when it is forecast, I do temporarily turn it off.


  2. The worst offenders for having standing water are my husband and one of my sons. Tires and pans used for oil changes and other pieces of their junk (er I mean treasures!).

    I squashed about 12 snails on my porch and driveway. I only found one on my hedges, but I am sure there are many more hiding.

    I am waiting for the winds of winter to come and break some branches and that usually spoils the shape of my trees. Chinese Pistache and Crepe Myrtle trees seem susceptible to having broken branches in my garden.


  3. The snails like to come out in the early morning. You can see and find them on the leaves of flowers and shrubs as well as vegetables easily (you don’t have to hunt for them). They can then be picked off very easily and placed in a plastic bag. I find that this get rid of more snails than any other method or bait.

    I made the mistake of watering my baby vegetable in the early morning one day before dawn while waiting for my newspaper to arrive. I guess the watering washed away my snail bait. When I went out later in the morning, the snails had taken a big bite out of my new seedlings. They are now just beginning to look “normal” again. Now I do not water until after sunrise.


  4. I have over 200 boxwoods planted as a hedge. Many times in winter after a rain I do find them on top or sides of the hedges. I probably will as fall turns into winter. Good idea about the plastic bag. That way I can take them down to my neighbor whose chickens will love a snack.

    My neighbor isn’t bothered by ear wigs either as the chickens love those. They sure make a mess out of her bark she puts down though.


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