Tropical areas are quite prone to natural disasters like cyclones. If you are residing in such an area then cyclones are almost a fact of your life and if you are a gardener too then you need to understand that you have to be more prepared. Wet season every year brings in increased possibilities for a cyclone hitting the coastlines. Although scientists are working hard but till now it is almost impossible to predict a cyclone and its severity exactly.
As a gardener, I will facilitate you with some of the practical measures that you can easily adopt and minimize the damages and loses. There are few basic principles of making your garden more cyclone-resistant.
First basic principle is the “Right Choice and Placement”. In the outer periphery of your garden there should be bigger tress planted. Size of the plants should decrease as you come closer to your home or living area. This way you can minimize the damages even if the bigger plants and trees fall in cyclonic winds.
Second principle is the “Right Establishment”. This means that you should establish trees and plants in your garden in correct way. When planting trees, you must dig a deep hole in the ground. Sides of these holes should be roughened up properly and then add fertilizer, and water. Regular pruning of the plants is extremely crucial. When watering the plants ensure that it is deep watering. This would facilitate the plants go deeper with their roots and it will be far more secure and the plants would stand against the wind-blow during cyclones.
If you have natural vegetation and natural bushland in your garden then you must preserve it. This will help you protecting your home and garden both. Healthy vegetation and natural bushland is of immense help in deflecting, filtering, and providing a buffer zone from the strong cyclonic winds and rains.
There is a thumb rule for planting in a tropical garden. The rule says, “There is safety in numbers”. It means that you should plant trees in grooves. Your garden will get a lovely appearance this way. You should never forget planting few shrubs amongst the trees. This way you can deflect the strong winds upwards and your trees will be saved from uprooting.
Disaster management experts strongly recommend that you must prune the trees regularly, as it will reduce their centre of gravity. Trees thus properly pruned will not be blown over easily. Thinning the trees out and making them wind-resistant would be quite better in times of cyclones. However, lower branches of trees should never be cut. Upper and top part of trees would become heavier and there are increased chances of falling in cyclonic winds.
While selecting the most appropriate trees you should prefer slow growing varieties. Native varieties that have strong wood are more suitable for this purpose. Any tree with brittle wood will be blown apart in cyclone. Shape of the tree is also equally important and trees with open canopy are the best. You should visit a garden store and select the proper tree varieties. I also advise you to visit a botanical garden and preferably an experienced horticulturist who would help you the best varieties of plants and trees for your garden in tropical areas.