There are so many things to think about when going on holiday, from sorting out travel insurance to trying to remember where you’ve put your passport.
It’s easy to forget about garden maintenance when you’re searching for those missing flip flops, or forcing your bulging suitcase shut, but a few simple steps will ensure you minimise the amount of work to do when you get back.
Rune Sovndahl, co-founder and CEO of domestic services company Fantastic Services, shares his tips for looking after your garden when you’re away.
1. Preparation is key
“The key thing about maintaining your garden when you are going away is preparation and making sure you have done everything you can to limit the work you will have to do upon your return,” says Rune.
“Get rid of all the weeds, cover any bare soil with mulch and trim the hedges to protect these areas of your garden.”
2. Remove plants from direct sunlight
If you can move your plants, make sure you place them in a shaded area that is open to the elements. This will stop them from drying out too quickly.
If your plants can’t be moved and it’s the height of summer, cover them with shade netting or fleece to give them the best chance against the heat of the sun.
3. Keep your indoor plants hydrated
“You will need a plastic bottle, a couple of plastic trays and a rubber tube. Put a small hole in the water bottle, at the bottom and fill with water, replacing the lid after. Place the bottle and your plant into separate plastic trays, and connect them with the rubber tube,” Rune advises.
“As long as the rubber tube stays unclogged you will get a constant flow of water, and it will drain slowly or quickly depending on how much the plant can absorb.”
4. Watering outside plants
If you have a sprinkler system, put it on a timer. “This will make it easy to water your garden when you are away and it is a more cost-effective solution than installing a drip irrigation system” says Rune.
For an alternative and even cheaper solution, drill a hole into the cap of a plastic bottle and cut the bottom off. Place the cap end into the soil next to the plants you want to water.
“Water will gather in the bottle and then slowly trickle down into the ground soaking the roots of the plant, effectively watering them.”
5. Give drought-resistant plants some TLC before you leave
“Plants like pelargoniums don’t respond well to constantly having their roots wet, but are pretty resistant to drought,” says Rune.
“To keep them alive, make sure you water them and that the water goes all the way down to the roots, just before you go away.”
Meanwhile, lawns generally don’t need watering (except when they are new). Just make sure you mow the law and trim the edges before you go.
6. Check for pests
“A couple of weeks before you go, check for pests in the garden and take action before you leave. Don’t leave it till after you are back, even if the problem seems small,” Rune advises.
“You will be surprised how quickly a small problem can turn into a big one.”
What are your tips for caring for your garden? Let us know in the Comments section below.