Surviving The Storm

Wow! That was some storm this past Friday evening!  Here at Bob's HQ in Mason, WV we are running diesel backup generators, gasoline generators, and lots of batteries.  Right now we have limited phone and internet access. (I'm actually writing this from home where I am lucky enough to have power and internet access.)  The greenhouses survived the winds unscathed and hopefully our supply of water holds out.  As we try to go about business as usual, I am left worrying about you and your garden.

Here are some tips to help you and your garden through this power outage, heat wave, and possible water shortage:

  • Move plants in hanging baskets and containers to a shady area to protect them from the heat.  This will slow evaporation.
  • Fill a saucer with gravel and water to set your pots on.  As the water evaporates it will help cool your plants.
  • Stockpile water for your containers and baskets in the event of a water shortage, and ration water if necessary.  
  • Mulch to help retain moisture.
  • Eventually you may need to trim some plants back to further limit water usage, or sacrifice some plants if needed.

Some other garden considerations:

  • If you have a water feature with fish there is a chance that the oxygen level will drop dangerously low with the filter / pump not running.  You can manually oxygenate the water using a bucket with small holes drilled in it.  Fill the bucket with pond water and hold it above the pond to create and artificial fountain.  There are also battery operated air pumps available to help oxygenate the water.
  • Solar powered garden lights make great emergency lighting inside!  Stick the stake in a pot filled with sand or gravel to make it portable.  During the day take them back outside to recharge!
  • Don't use citronella candles or citronella infused oil lamps inside.  Citronella creates more soot than normal candles or lamp oils when it burns.  This can aggravate asthma and other lung conditions when burned inside.

I hope these tips help you out through the next few days.  The last estimate we got from AEP was July 5th before power will be restored to Mason.  Hopefully it will be fore then!

Stay Cool,
John Morgan, IT Dept. & Blog Editor