Cleaning Up Your Own Backyard

Landscaping Strategies For Windy Areas

by Warren Garcia

For those that live in windy areas, landscaping can be a challenge. Many plants are destroyed by high winds, and wind can tear apart fencing and other infrastructure in your yard. Fortunately, there are a few design tips that can be implemented that will ensure your landscaping is beautiful and not prone to damage from wind and storm.

1. Windbreak Hedging

You can shield your yard from a lot of the wind by putting in hedges to act as windbreaks. The taller the hedge, the larger the protected area on the other side. Hedge shrubs and trees work best when planted on the side of the yard where the wind most often comes from. In some regions, you may need to hedge multiple sides of the yard to protect against the wind.

Evergreen shrubs and trees like privets, spruces, and arborvitae, make excellent windbreaks and they add year-round greenery. For areas where a winter evergreen windbreak hedge would limit sun exposure on the house, opt for a deciduous windbreak. Plants like poplar have dense enough branches to still provide protection from winter winds even after the leaves fall.

2. Wind Fencing

Windbreaks within the yard can also help break up any wind that makes it through or around the windbreaks. Fencing can be used to address these issues. Standard solid fencing doesn't always perform well against wind because it is more likely to blow when hit with a strong gust. Fencing should have some openings around the pickets to relieve wind pressure on the surface.

Around patios and seating areas, lattice-style trellis panels make attractive windbreaks that have openings just large enough so enough of the breeze makes it through to avoid a blowdown. If you grow vines on the lattice, make sure it is well anchored at the top and bottom so it doesn't blow down as the plants increase the unbroken surface area of the lattice.

3. Soil Anchors

Soil loss is a common issue in yards when high wind conditions are frequent. Any topsoil that isn't anchored down may blow away, leading to an unattractive yard and hard growing conditions when it comes to future recovery. Mulching over bare soil with a mulch heavy enough not to blow away, such as wood chips, works well for protecting the soil.

You can also use plants to anchor the soil. Cover bare areas with attractive and low maintenance groundcover plants, like vinca or creeping thyme, for a living mulch to anchor the soil.

Contact a landscape design service for more help when planning out a yard that is resilient to the wind.