Hurricane Garden Repair

This post originally appeared on

Nothing Lasts Forever … Even Warm October Rain

Kicking Your Garden Back into Shape after Hurricane Joaquin

Most health conscious Americans have one major thing in common: they LOVE fresh fruits and veggies!

If you’re lucky enough to have a green thumb and a sunny back yard, chances are there’s some delicious treats in there that may or may not have been put through the ringer thanks to Hurricane Joaquin.

Today, we’re going to give you a few tips that can help repair garden damage caused by standing water, strong winds and saltwater introduced into your perfectly pH balanced soil. It’s our Hurricane Garden Repair CHEAT SHEET!

Workin’ at the KALE WASH!

The first step to plants bouncing back is to eliminate any contaminants on the leaf or stem. I like to take a garden hose and spray everything down, but feel free to use a sponge if being more intimate with your plants is important to you. The main reason we do this is to get the salt water and mud off the plant so that any damage can heal without being infiltrated by disease. If there is sever saltwater damage, try using gypsum to replace the sodium with calcium, but only after you check with your extension agent first for the right amount for your particular soil.

Clean up and compost

The bacteria levels after a flood can be pretty high, which isn’t good for a lot of things outside of rapid decomposition. Gather up all the branches, leaves and twigs and place them in an already existing compost pile or start a new one if you haven’t got one going already. Storm debris breaks down relatively quickly, so as soon as it turns into that “black gold”, put it back in your garden beds or around the base of your trees and bushes. Ah, the circle of life.

Prune baby, prune

Once the mud and salt are washed away, you can assess the damage in order to see what’s a lost cause and what can be repaired. I would wait a couple days after your Kale Wash to see how the plant is bouncing back and if there’s any new growth. If you can spot new growth, it will be easy to see where to prune and how far back. Keep in mind, that extensive pruning can be pretty stressful for plants, so don’t go nuts. This is especially important for fruit trees and berry bushes, so try to refrain from testing out your homemade Edward Scissorhands costume on the apple trees.

Container garden quick fixes

If the potted plants on your deck have been standing in saltwater, you’ve got two options: replace or flush. Replace the old soil with fresh potting soil that’s high in organic matter and contains natural fertilizers like sea kelp, compost and worm castings or simply take a hose and heavily saturate the pot to flush out most of the moisture built up in there. You might not think adding water is a good tactic, but pushing the existing water containing bacteria and excess sodium down through the drain holes will do more good than harm. Don’t forget to fertilize after!

The post Hurricane Garden Repair appeared first on Coffee Break University.

Coffee Break University

Hurricane Life Hacks

This post originally appeared on

Hurricane season is upon us, and so are the same stories you read every year about stocking up on survival basics: water, canned goods, flashlights, batteries, the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series, etc …

But we’re not the type of folks who think about “the basics” of hurricane preparedness, are we? Whether you grew up with MacGyver teaching you how to repair a blown fuse with a chewing gum wrapper, or learned how to make a winter scarf out of snakes from Bear Grylls, the mantra is still the same: make the most out of something seemingly insignificant and look cool doing it!

These hurricane hacks will help keep your life as normal as possible while you save the world, or at least your neighborhood, and dub yourself the “Hurricane Hero of (insert your unfortunate coastal community here)”.

5 Important Hurricane Life Hacks

Headlamp Water Jug MEGA LIGHT

You can pick up an inexpensive camping (reading) headlamp at most stores near you for under $ 20 and turn one of your water jugs into a lamp that will light up an entire bedroom. Don’t have a water jug? Well, you’re not prepared for a storm, are you?!

Crayon Candles

Sure, you might think crayons are just for kids, but did you know that there are actually coloring books with stress relieving patterns out there for the overworked and underpaid thirty-something? Keeping a mega-box of crayons in your house at all times is not only great for artistic expression, it’s a blackout survival tool. Simply melt a bit of the bottom, stick it to a plate and light the top for a candle that will burn up to 30 minutes while you get your Water Jug Headlamp MEGA LIGHT up and running.

Terra Cotta Refrigerator

Stocking up sometimes means the fridge is overflowing with perishables you’re just not willing to go without. I dare Hurricane Joaquin to deny me the joys of coconut milk yogurt! Take two large terra-cotta flower pots (making sure one is at least 3 inches smaller than the other in diameter) and place the smaller one inside the larger. Fill the space between them with sand and put all your perishables inside the small one … just don’t put the eggs on the bottom.

Dryer Lint Fireballs

Dryer lint itself makes for a great ball of fire, but unfortunately it’s out just as quick as it’s lit. Add a bit of petroleum jelly to your lint balls, and VOILA … great balls of fire! Don’t have a steady stream of lint in your laundry room? Try using a 100% cotton ball instead.

Water Bob

Common sense tells you to stock up on water when a hurricane hits. What’s one place in your house that holds the most water? The bathtub! The fill up is easy, it’s the thoughts of your dad washing his man feet in your bathtub Big Gulp that’s a slight turn off. The Water Bob is basically a heavy duty (food grade) 100 gallon plastic bag that fits inside your tub and comes with a siphon for easy water jug filling. And, it’s under $ 20! That means you can put off cleaning the hair out of the drain for one more day.

Remember, hurricanes are some serious business so don’t go out there and build a water powered generator from your flooding front yard in the middle of the storm just yet. The most important thing is making sure your family is safe and has the tools necessary to keep a relatively normal life during a power outage.

The post Hurricane Life Hacks appeared first on Coffee Break University.

Coffee Break University