Look After Your Gardens & Lawn While You Are Away
Are you going on holidays this summer? Here’s how you can keep your garden thriving even if you are not going to be there to keep up the watering.
Hanging Baskets and Container Gardens
Hanging baskets and container gardens can be the most difficult to keep alive if you aren’t there to look after them but there are some things you can do to help. Planters and hanging baskets can dry out quickly when it’s hot and they need watering every day. The ideal thing is to find a neighbour or friend who would come over to water. You could reciprocate with them, or give them whatever veggies and fruits that ripen while they are helping you out or even pay a young neighbour to come over once a day. Unfortunately this doesn’t always work out. The next best thing is to gather your hanging baskets and planters together, in a shady spot and away from the house so if it rains they can get the rainwater. You can put a gravel filled drip tray underneath the pots that can bottom water the plants. If the planters are big and can’t be moved, try to protect them from the sun and invest in some terracotta or plastic water spikes or glass globes that can self-water the planters.
Flowerbeds and Vegetable Gardens
These are a little easier to keep alive when you are on holiday because they can absorb any rainfall better and the roots can reach further into the ground for water. When you give your gardens water before you leave, focus on giving them a really good soak while directing the water to the base of the plant, not the foliage. A weed cloth and mulch in your gardens can really help keep the moisture in the soil as well.
Your lawn is probably the easiest to look after. Grass is much tougher than most flowers and plants. It can usually bounce back better after being dry for quite some time. Don’t cut your lawn extremely short before you go away and forego fertilizing until you return.
An automatic sprinkler system is a home improvement project worth considering, especially if you are travelling consistently and for longer periods or if you have trouble sticking to a regular watering schedule. Not only will it help maintain a healthy beautiful lawn and garden but it’s the most convenient and efficient way to ensure your landscape gets the water it needs without over-or under-watering. When it is properly installed and maintained an automatic sprinkler system will help conserve water too. Automated features decide when it’s been raining too much or too little, then adjust the amount of water your lawn gets.
Your houseplants are also a little easier to look after in your absence as well. If you are leaving for a week or so, they should be fine with a watering before you go. It can help to move them away from sunny windows as well so they don’t dry out. If you have certain plants that need more water you can place a tray of water or a wet towel underneath so they can get water through their roots. The water globes mentioned earlier can also be used indoors.
If you live in an apartment or condo and have plants on your balcony, you can either move the plants into the shade or bring them inside. Hanging a curtain or sheet can help protect larger plants from the sun and wind if you can't move them. Water them well before you go and follow the above suggestions.