If you’re going away this summer, the last thing you want is to come back to find your garden overgrown or worse – dying. All your hard work throughout the start of the year gone to waste. So we’ve gathered the top tips on how to prepare your garden before going on holiday. These will give your garden the greatest chance of staying on its best form for your return.
1 – Mowing
A day or two before you leave, make sure to mow the lawn. Avoid the temptation to cut it too short as in hot weather this can cause it to dry out and go brown.
2 – Watering
Keeping your plants hydrated is the biggest challenge of leaving them while you’re away. If you can, ask a friend to go round and water them for you. Otherwise, you could set up an automated watering system with hoses and timers.
If neither of these are possible, then give your plants a thorough watering just before you leave. Move potted plants into the shade and leave them in a saucer of water to soak up moisture throughout your time away. With smaller pots, you can even place them directly into flower beds (watering the ground around them) which helps them stay hydrated. Covering the surface with mulch is also great for locking in moisture.
3 – Harvesting
It always seems a shame to go away on holiday just as your crops are coming to fruition. So pick what you can before leaving, freezing your fruit and veg for later. It’s often best to pick them early as some, like beans and courgettes, go tough if left too long. Alternatively you can welcome a friend to come and harvest while you’re not there (perhaps in exchange for watering!).
4 – Weeding
One of the toughest jobs to keep on top of in the summer months is weeding – they just grow and grow. No one wants to come back from holiday to find their garden overrun with weeds, so it’s worth clearing them out before you go. Also deadhead flowers and remove fully open ones to allow room for a fresh bloom on your return.
5 – Ventilating
Sod’s law says it’s bound to be sunny at home whenever you go away, so make sure you garden is ready for the heat. In particular, if you have a greenhouse then keep it ventilated, either with auto vents or leaving the window ajar.
6 – Security
Don’t let your empty garden become a prize for thieves. Lock up any gardening equipment in a shed or outbuilding, and cover up the windows to deter opportunists. You may also consider installing a motion activated security light to ward off robbers while you’re gone.
George works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.
George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!
He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.