With Hurricane season upon us, have a plan in place to protect your greenhouse from harsh conditions.
Don’t take the risk of assuming your greenhouse won’t be affected by severe weather. Storm paths can change in a heartbeat, leaving you with little time to act and protect your structure. If not properly secured, high winds can turn your greenhouse into a sail and pull it into the air.
One to two days pre-hurricane:
1. Irrigate plants and remove water from reservoirs.
2. Remove plants from benches.
3. Secure smaller farm equipment that could be uplifted by strong winds and be thrown into your structure.
4. If you have a high-tunnel or other non-coded poly covered structure, we recommend that you cut and remove greenhouse plastic and shade cloth. Cutting your plastic in to two separate pieces and storing somewhere dry and safe will make it easier to put back up.
5. Move large farm equipment such as tractors into the field and away from your structures.
6. Turn off natural and propane gas, water and electricity
7. All openings to your structure must be closed including doors, vents and endwalls.
8. Double down on latching your large doors by also blocking them with heavy objects.
FOR COMMERCIAL POLY COVERED STRUCTURES
If you have a commercial/coded poly covered structure, make sure your poly film is inflated fully, your doors are closed and if you have sidewall curtains, place them in the closed position to prevent devastating winds from entering the greenhouse.
While commercial greenhouses are designed to sustain a particular wind load for your area, severe/tropical force winds may result in damaging debris being blown into your poly covering. If this is the case, substantial damage can occur. We feel it is best to protect your investment and this may require you to remove your poly before these damaging winds occur.
In a commercial/coded poly covered structure, it is the accepted practice, in the event of tropical force winds, to remove the poly from your structure and open the curtains to allow winds to pass through your greenhouse. Watch your local news to track the storm’s path and potential winds. Use this information to determine the appropriate precautions to take which may include removing the poly from your structure.
FOR NRCS HIGH TUNNELS AND OTHER NON-CODED STRUCTURES
If you have a non-coded or single layer poly film covered structure such as NRCS high tunnels and cold frames, we recommend you remove your plastic. For sidewall curtains and curtain doors, place in the open position to minimize the potential for damage.
FOR POLYCARBONATE, GLASS, ACRYLIC, OR OTHER HARD COVERED STRUCTURES
If you have a hard-covered structure, make sure all doors, curtains, ridge vents, etc. are in the closed position to keep wind from entering your greenhouse.
The most important things to remember is to be safe and to keep as much wind out of your structure as possible and take the weather seriously – your greenhouse is one of your largest investments… take the proper measures to protect it.
American Red Cross — Hurricanes:
Hurricane and Storm Tracking:
National Hurricane Center:
National Weather Service:
If you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us.
While your property and investments are important to us, here at Atlas, your safety and well-being are the most important.