To plan a successful garden, you must consider many factors, such as sunlight and soil conditions. If part of your landscape is in a windy area, this also should be considered. Careful selection and placement is a must in high-wind locations to save plants from damage, such as broken branches, significant heat loss, dehydration, stunted growth or death.
Select plants with small, flexible leaves and a low center of gravity, which tolerate wind better than plants with broad, stiff leaves and a higher center of gravity. In addition, native plants tolerate harsher weather conditions than non-native plants. Plants that tolerate dry soil also tolerate windy areas better than plants that are heavy drinkers.
Group plants together so that they are better protected. Groups of odd numbers in a triangular pattern look attractive and provide some wind protection for each other. They also help prevent heat loss, a common problem with plants in high-wind areas.
Add a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the plants to help conserve moisture in the soil. The soil in windy areas often dries out more quickly than elsewhere. Water these plants more often than you would normally to help prevent dehydration.
Add solid fixtures to your landscape on the windward side to help block the wind. For example, grow wind-tolerant plants in large wine barrels and grow less wind-tolerant plants in front of them. You can also install a solid wooden fence on the windward side to block the wind.
Grow large trees or shrubs to act as a windbreak on the windward side to protect less hardy plants. Choose trees and shrubs that are wind-tolerant and plant them in two rows, staggering the planting so they form a zigzag pattern to offer more protection. In addition, plant them closely together, at the minimum spacing recommendations, so they fill in the space more quickly. Note that while your windbreak is growing, you can still plant smaller, less wind-tolerant plants in front.
- University of Florida Extension: Right Plant, Right Place
- University of Washington Botanic Gardens: Gardening Answers Knowledgebase
- Colorado State University Extension: Wind Tolerant Trees & Shrubs
- PennLive.com: Wind-Tolerant Planter Plants
- Gardening Know How: Wind Resistant Plants for Your Windy Garden
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