Monday, August 22, 2011


The “H” word is being mentioned again and again on the news this morning. We have been lucky the past few years. The storms have gone the other way. You never like to wish bad upon your neighbor, but with a hurricane, you kind of have to…

In the old days, I would enjoy a hurricane. I can remember in the early 1980’s when Hurricane Bob hit the Lowcountry. At the last minute it was downgraded to a tropical storm; however, it still packed some good winds. I remember hurrying to get out to Wild Dunes before they closed the Ben Sawyer Bridge (back then that was the only bridge to Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island). Everyone was trying to leave the beaches; I was trying to get to the beach.

A group of us would enjoy watching the palms bend, the ocean churn, the trees dance in the high winds, transformers blowing up provided fireworks and the feel of the strength of the wind holding us up as we leaned into it.

Between the devastation of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, having 3 stores full of inventory and a house surrounded by pine trees, I have a much different view of hurricanes now.

Preparing your yard for a hurricane is a must. Any loose item can become a projectile. Bird feeders, lawn furniture, trash cans, recycle bends, hanging baskets, potted plants, grills and other items should be secured or brought indoors. Even category 1 storms can have microburst or small tornadoes associated with them, increasing damage a bunch.

The new ethanol gas really takes its toll on small engines. Check your chain saw, generator, and other gas powered tools to be sure they are going to work if you need them. Depending on your situation, be sure you have plenty of gas, oil to mix with your gas, bar oil, a spare chain, and a file for your chain saw. Safety glasses, gloves and ear protection are also good ideas. Remember more people get injured cleaning up from a hurricane than from the hurricane itself.

Usually after a few days of overcast rainy weather associated with hurricanes and tropical storms during this time of year, we see an explosion of sod webworms. The dark overcast days give them a chance to feed without birds or other predators eating them. Sod webworms can devour a yard that you have worked on all summer in a very short period of time.

The heavy rains this time of year can also cause an explosion of fungus. It is always best to treat fungus preventively with a good systemic product like Disarm, Cleary’s 3336, or Prophesy.

Calling a tree company to trim trees now is probably too late; however, you should still call and get on their list for the next time we are “in the cone”. Good luck!

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.