When you go away to your holiday home and leave your garden behind, there are certain steps you can take to make sure that your garden at home survives without you.
If you prepare them correctly, your plants can look after themselves while you’re away. This avoids you having to either pay someone to come and tend to your garden, begging the kids or even having to bribe your neighbours with favours to come and do it.
If the weather is set to be particularly warm while you’re away, here are a few things you can do to make sure that your garden lives through it.
Don’t cut your grass too short before you go. I know it’s tempting but it’s much better for your lawn to let it grow a little longer in your absence. If there is a particularly dry day and you’ve cut your grass short, the ground can dry out. The more blades there are, the more chance it has of surviving in this case. Long blades store moisture and enables the lawn to recover more quickly from a drought. So just wait until you’re home to get the mower out.
Move any pots and containers away from direct sunlight and into shadier positions while you’re away but not under a veranda or tree with dense foliage. This will stop them from drying out too. You could also purchase an irrigation system that plugs directly into the tap. Pair this with a timer that will water the plants automatically while you’re away.
Tackle the weeds
Don’t let weeds ruin your garden in your absence. Get out there with a weeder or a hoe and tackle the weeds before you go. If you don’t do this, and the weeds grow and produce flower heads and seeds, you’ll have a long-term issue. My saying is: one year seeding, seven years weeding! So clear as many as you can.
Likewise, deadhead any flowers that are going over. This means cutting off the flower heads that are finished. This encourages the plant to produce more flowers going forwards, so by the time you return from holiday, your garden is looking lovely and there are plenty more flowers to enjoy.
Inside the home
House plants are wonderful, but when you’re away, they don’t get watered! What I normally do is grab a towel, and put it in the bath. Fill the bath with just enough water so the towel is wet. I do a ‘splash test’, I hit the towel, and if it makes a splashing noise, it’s wet enough. Make sure you don’t submerge the towel.
Gather all the house plants and put them in the bath, on top of the towel. This will help in a number of ways. One: the plants aren’t just sitting in water, but on it, this enables the plant to draw just enough water as it needs from the towel, without it getting waterlogged. Two: baths and bathrooms are generally bright rooms that is great for reflecting the light for plants and three: plants generally get on better together. As the water evaporates, this creates a micro climate in the bathroom, so when you get back from your holiday feeling refreshed and revitalised – your house plants should feel the same!