In a few more months, it will be summer and that means it’s time to take a vacation! But before you go, there are some things you need to do in order to make sure your garden is taken care of while you’re away. You want to make sure that your prized garden doesn’t wilt away under the sun while you enjoy yourself. Here are some tips to help make sure your garden stays healthy while you’re gone.
1. Get a garden hose timer.
This will help you to automate your watering so that your plants get the right amount of water even when you’re not there. Most of the time, hose timers are very affordable and can be found at most home improvement stores. If you have a larger garden to maintain, there are many different types of irrigation sprinklers that you can also use to automate the watering process.
2. Create a watering schedule.
If you’re not using a hose timer, then you’ll need to create a watering schedule for your plants. Make sure to water them deeply and less frequently rather than shallowly and more often. This will help to encourage a deep root system that is more drought-tolerant. It’s also a good idea to water in the morning so that the leaves have time to dry off before nightfall.
3. Mulch your garden beds.
Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil and also keeps weeds at bay. There are many different types of mulch that you can use such as wood chips, straw, or plastic sheeting. Just make sure to keep the mulch about 2 inches thick in order to be effective. Before you leave, make sure to lay down some mulch in your garden beds so that they will be taken care of while you’re away.
4. Install a rain barrel.
If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, then consider installing a rain barrel. This will help to collect rainwater from your roof which you can then use to water your plants. Not only is this a more sustainable option, but it will also save you money on your water bill. Of course, a rain barrel won’t be enough to water your entire garden, but it can help to supplement the watering that you’re doing.
5. Prune your plants.
If you have any dead or dying branches on your plants, be sure to prune them before you leave. This will help to encourage new growth and also keep your plants healthy. If you have any climbing plants, then you may also want to prune them so that they don’t get too overgrown while you’re gone. Leaving these rotting branches on your plants will only invite pests and diseases.
6. Weed your garden.
Weeds can quickly take over a garden, so it’s important to weed it before you leave. This will help to keep your plants healthy and also prevent the spread of weeds. Once you’ve weeded your garden, be sure to mulch it so that the weeds don’t come back.
7. Harvest any ripe fruits or vegetables.
If you have any fruits or vegetables that are ripe, be sure to harvest them before you leave. This will help to ensure that they don’t go to waste and also prevent them from attracting pests. Once you’ve harvested all of the ripe fruits and vegetables, you can either eat them or preserve them for later. Most garden owners find it helpful to keep a list of what needs to be harvested so that they don’t forget anything.
8. Check your plants for pests.
Before you leave, it’s also a good idea to check your plants for pests. If you catch any pests early on, you can treat them with organic pesticides or soap. However, if the pests have already taken over your plants, then you may need to throw them out. Keeping an eye out for pests will help to keep your garden healthy and prevent any further damage. You want to do this before you leave your home to prevent any infestations.
9. Call in a professional.
If you’re not comfortable leaving your garden to the elements while you’re away, then you may want to call in a professional. There are many different types of professionals that can help you take care of your garden such as gardeners, landscapers, and irrigation specialists. Just be sure to talk to them about your expectations and what you would like them to do. Most professionals will be happy to help you out with just a fee for their services.
Leaving your garden unattended for an extended period of time can be a risky proposition. However, if you take the necessary precautions, you can minimize the damage. Whatever you do, just make sure that your plants are well taken care of before you leave.