We get a few storms every year in the UK and they always make the news. We've all seen the reports of power lines being brought down, branches crashing into roads and train lines blocked by landslides. But often it's the day-to-day effects of wind that effect gardeners the most.
Fencing gets battered by elements throughout the year but a sudden blustery spell will take down susceptible panels. Check for wobbly fence posts and rattling panels before the storm hits. Replace if you have time or, as a precaution, take out battered panels before the wind drags them over your garden. If the wind does snap a post it can either be completely replaced or repaired.
Sheds and structures
Sheds and greenhouses can move in the wind unless they are bolted to a base or secured into the ground and lightweight grow houses are vulnerable too. Use a full bag of compost as ballast and place in the base of such grow houses to prevent damage. Or take the few pots and trays out and pack it away until the weather has improved.
Always lock your shed and greenhouse. The wind can rattle at unlocked doors, prising them open and ripping them off their hinges. Locking doors also helps prevent burglaries.
Often a branch will come down and tear at the trunk of a tree. Tidy up the tear by sawing off with a pruning saw back to the trunk. Snags and rips are great places for fungus and bacteria to get into a tree or into your shrubs. If part of a branch rips off then consider pruning back to the trunk.
Dahlias are one plant that can be battered to the ground by summer high winds. Branches completely broken off are destined to the compost bin, but often plants can be carefully eased up and tied upright to ensure a good display. To prevent this, stake plants before they need it so that when they do, you can rest easy in the knowledge your herbaceous plants are intact. Stout stakes are the minimum requirement of dahlias - hoops, canes and twine and shop bought frames will protect herbaceous from being flattened.