Leaving for a week-long vacation is usually cause for celebration. However, if you’re like most people, the prospect of leaving your garden to fend for itself is not exactly thrilling. But with a little preparation, you can rest easy knowing that your plants will be just fine while you’re away.
Here are nine tips to help you keep your garden going strong while on vacation.
1. Put Your Plants in the Sun
Leaving your garden in direct sunlight will help them remain healthy while you are away. Plants left in the shade are more susceptible to stress, which can cause wilting and die-off. The best time for this is when night temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Use Weed Control Fabric or Mulch
Weed control fabric is a great option if you have an issue with weeds. If using mulch, make sure it’s composted properly so that it doesn’t dry out too rapidly once applied to the soil surface. Keep mulches two inches deep, but remember to remove them before you come home so that they don’t attract insects or cause unwanted fungus growth on top of the soil surface. Just before leaving for your trip, mulch around the base of your plants but don’t pile the mulch directly on top of them.
3. Water Your Plants Before You Leave
Watering your plants before going on vacation will help to ensure they have enough moisture in their root zone for a week. If you are gone for longer than a week, consider investing in a timed drip-irrigation system, as this will allow you to control how often and how much water is applied even from across the country.
4. Ask Friends and Family to Check on Your Garden
Friends and family care about your garden as much as you do, so why not ask them to stop by and check on it during your trip? If they are already familiar with the property, they should have no problem stepping in until you get back. Even if you’re only away for a few days, stopping by will keep your plants hydrated and healthy. You can also provide friends or relatives with specific tasks to help keep your garden looking good while you are gone. That way, everyone feels like their time was well spent.
5. Bring Plants Inside Before Leaving Town
If going on vacation means leaving town for weeks or months at a time, consider bringing certain plants inside before you head out. This will ensure they stay healthy until you return home. By spending just an hour or so care-taking your houseplants each day while away, they’ll be healthy and vibrant when you return. And for your trees, you can contact professional tree care service providers to ensure that they are strong and healthy while you are away.
6. Store Your Garden Equipment
The last thing you want to do is take off for your dream vacation only to realize you left your garden shears or pruning saw behind in the garage. After taking care of all of these other aspects of keeping your garden going while on vacation, be sure to store any and all gardening equipment and tools before leaving town. This will ensure that they’re always available when you need them again.
7. Have a Backup Plan
Life has a way of throwing curveballs at even the most prepared plans, so make sure you have a backup plan should something unforeseen happen (like the neighbor kid deciding to pick all your ripe strawberries as soon as you leave). Have a friend, neighbor, or relative stop by your home and garden daily to make sure everything is still going smoothly.
8. Don’t Forget About Your Flowers
Even if you’re only away for the weekend, plan ahead and cut some of your flowers before leaving town. This will ensure that new blooms continue to grow while you are away. And remember: having fresh flowers inside may help reduce your stress levels as well!
9. Keep Your Plants Well Maintained
The last tip on how you can keep your garden going while on vacation is to keep the plants in your garden well maintained even while you are away. If you have a weed problem, do something about it before you leave. Similarly, overgrown grass may be inviting for kids trying to venture into your backyard, but keeping it under control will save some of your perennials from being trampled upon when they start poking up through the lawn later in the season.
Taking a vacation should be a time to relax and forget about the stresses of life, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your garden behind. With these nine tips, you can keep your plants healthy and thriving whether you’re gone for days or weeks. And if something unexpected happens, don’t worry; just have a backup plan in place. Enjoy your vacation knowing that everything back at home is just fine!