Tips on Taking Care of your Garden before going on a Vacation
Vacation time is such a grand time, it’s that time of the year that we all look forward to especially for those of us who have hectic schedules combating the hustle and bustle of life on a daily basis seeking to make a living.
The thought of a vacation is so exciting because this is when we get to unwind, letting our hair down so to speak being able to sleep a bit longer along with the thought of not fighting or getting stuck in traffic going to from work makes vacation time that much more exciting.
But in the midst of this excitement, we can’t forget that garden which was just installed or which we worked on all those years being the weekend worrier that we are. The time and the money that we invested means so much to us and the last thing we want is after a long-deserved vacation returning and finding our once beautiful garden which is our heart and joy turned into our greatest nightmare. The sad news, however, in the midst of all that excitement and planning, not much thought is usually given about the up keeping of the garden area while we are off.
The good news is we can still take that long-deserved vacation with the assurance that we will meet our dream garden still growing as beautiful and radiant as the day we left it, below we will be looking at not only how to water our garden before going on vacation but other gardening tips which will pay off in so many ways before we pack those bags as we anticipated that dream vacation.
Cutting the lawn
For those of you who are like me investing in a lawn can really bring flavor to your garden and landscape area, a well-manicured lawn is so inviting and warms the heart. I take great delight in maintaining my lawn which looks so great once it’s cut, this cutting gives such a different feel and look, a lawn that is well maintained can also increase your properties value.
Before you take that much-needed trip, ensure that your lawn is taken care of, I would cut my lawn the day before I leave for vacation, clean up grass clipping if there is a build-up but if the build-up is not that great then the grass clippings can always be recycled back into to the lawn but if there is a build-up of clipping once it is diseased and insect free can go to the compost pile.
Weeds can also be a huge task because weeds do not only make our gardens unattractive but are also a breeding place for disease and garden insect pests along with competing with our garden plants for moisture, nutrient, and sunlight.
Weeds should not be neglected and left for after the vacation, it is amazing the alarming rate at which weeds grow. It is best to get the jump on the removal of weeds to make your job much easier once the vacation is over but most importantly that we don’t meet our garden plants stressed.
Weeds can either be removed manually by pulling, using natural methods, or with the use of chemicals. For more on weeds follow these links. How to use hot water to control weeds, Soil solarization, Homemade weed killer, Weed control, and Beneficial weeds.
Giving your garden a good raking before vacation is also a great idea because not only will this keep your garden looking polished and neat but giving your garden a good raking will also minimize hiding places for garden insect pests which can be a menace to the garden plants.
Water plays a very important part in the life of garden plants if your plants are high maintenance plants which mean these plants need a considerable amount of water to survive depending on how long your vacation trip is it is good to give it a good soaking.
If the garden is low maintenance meaning plants can survive on very little water such as cactus and plants of that sort then go ahead and give it some water to wet the first few inches of the soil. Ensure that your water valve is turned off after use because what you don’t want is to have water leaking while you are away from home for a long time can cause $$$$$$$ in the water bill.
Water your lawn well, if you have a sprinkler system in place ensure that the lawn is well watered otherwise watering by hand may be a bit of a challenge depending on the size. Sprinklers should also be in good repair. If you decide to leave your sprinkler on a timer to run when you are not there this may be a good idea as long as you feel comfortable with it.
Mulching your garden area will not only beautify keeping it fresh looking but will also help to suppress weeds along with holding moisture and as the mulch decomposes will add nutrients to the soil.
Deadheading your flowers
Deadheading your flower beds is a great way to remove spent or faded flowers. The removal of these flowers will cause your flowering plants not to set seed but rather to focus their energy into producing nice fresh flower bloom which is so inviting once you return home.
In The Shade
Outside containers should be moved and placed in a shaded area and water thoroughly. This causes your plants to use less water and will keep them fresh and healthy-looking until your return. Warning if you need help to move the container or containers then, by all means, do so.
The lasting thing you want is to sustain an injury which is not good because this can really put a damper on that long-awaited vacation so please do be careful and seek help if needed.
Drip Irrigation System
A low volume or drip irrigation which is placed on a timer is a great piece of equipment to install. These systems once placed on a timer will deliver water in micro amounts directly to the plant’s root zone which is so cool.
Water bulbs or globes are other great ideas to deliver water to plants that are grown from containers, water your plants thoroughly, and then fill the water globe and place it in the container. The water will drip slowly from the bulb and will keep the soil moist for up to about a week. This process should be done a day before you leave for vacation, you would not want to take a chance watering the day of the vacation because with all that excitement you might forget, hey nobody is perfect right.
Fruits or vegetables which are ripe or almost ripe should be harvested and stored during this time also.
Indoor plants do need our help also, ensure that your indoor plants are well-taken care of. Indoor plants should be watered the day before you go on vacation give them a good soaking, once excess water has drained into the saucer empty because what you don’t want is to leave stagnant water that may encourage mosquitoes to lay eggs while you are away.
A great way to have help while on vacation is to install your indoor plants in self-watering pots, the way how this is done is self-watering pots have reservoirs at the bottom which is built-in. What to do is to place water in the reservoirs which are taken up by the plant.
Water Jug and a Cord
Another technique is to fill a gallon jug with water and place the jug near your plant, place one end of the cord in the jug and the other end in the soil. The end which is placed in the soil should be buried, as the cord absorbs the water it will travel to the soil and into the plant’s root zone.
Ensure that the area where plants are installed have sufficient light so they can continue to thrive. Trim overgrown stems and check for any garden insect pests that may be hiding and apply the proper methods of treating before heading off.
The final word
Taking care of your garden before going on a vacation trip will work wonders, you will be amazed what these efforts can do for you as you return from your vacation trip to a garden that is growing healthy and performing as if you never left so consider implementing these steps you will be so happy that you did and your plants will love you for the effort which you made by ensuring that you reap the rewards of your labor by growing their best.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.