Regardless of your enthusiasm for gardening, everyone needs some time to relax and unwind.
However, your beautiful garden is not going to take care of itself on its own.
If you plan on being gone for a couple of days then well-watered and fed plants will stay healthy as long as you water them one last time and move them into a cool and shady environment.
Vacations that are going to last a week or more will need some systems in place to ensure the health and longevity of your plants in your absence.
Here are some last-minute tips for you to ensure that your plants will remain moist for a longer period:
- Remove dead and decayed leaves and then soak the plants with water. Cluster the plants on a layer of plastic, and cover them with wet newspapers. The entire plant can be covered to maintain humidity and help recycle the water into the soil after evaporation.
- Mulch thoroughly with organic mulch material such as grass clippings, dry leaves and fine bark trimmings. This will help keep the soil moist for a longer period, as the amount of evaporated water will be lesser.
- Pruning is essential for flowers and fruits that are about to blossom. Pruning will mitigate the water requirement of the plants. You can even prune the buds.
The best thing you can do is to get a friend to come and check on your garden every couple of days.
If they know their way around a garden then you can give them the general instructions to follow. If not, then make sure you give specific instructions, entailing when, and how much water is required along with any other instructions (mulch, etc.) that you might have for them.
Although a drip watering system is slightly expensive, it can be used for a lifetime and can be adjusted to conform to the layout of the garden. Setting up a drip irrigation system is optimal if you plan on going away for a while.
Run a pipe with small holes in it through the plants and set a timer with the faucet. Set your timer to the early morning in order to avoid extra water loss due to evaporation.
Make sure to adjust the amount of water based on how much your plants need. Over-watering your plants is just as dangerous as lack of water.
DIY Watering wick method
However, if you still want an alternative, then a watering wick is ideal.
Set a large container of water next to your plants, and put one end of a wick in the container, and the other in a portion of the soil next to your plant. Multiple wicks can be used for multiple plants.
This simple, yet efficient method makes sure that the soil takes up just as much water as it needs until the water in the container is exhausted. Moisture can also be provided by keeping pebbles as the base for your plants as it maintains a cool atmosphere for plants in their vicinity.
Purchase self-watering devices before you head for the holidays. It resembles a globe with the exception of a spout. This spout pushes water into the soil which permeates into the roots of the plants. Remember to use a newspaper as a mediator for the self-watering devices for the in-ground plants.
Make sure to move your plants out of direct sunlight.
If they are planted in a flower-bed with direct sunlight access, then set up an artificial shade using a cover of thin white sheets, making sure air is circulated throughout the garden.
Another option is to move the plants into containers and place them indoors and make a mini-greenhouse using a clear plastic bag with slits for ventilation.
To ensure proper nutrition, make sure to keep mulch or a slow-release fertilizer for your plants as a three-inch layer above the soil so that the plants remain well fed.
If you have a problem of rogue animals who romp your garden, then keep a pinecone cover over the mulch to keep them from digging up the soil. This also helps to maintain the moisture of the soil.
As you can see, there are many effective, innovative measures for taking care of plants even when you are away.
These methods are not so difficult and can easily be executed. Use the ones that work for you, and come back after your vacation to see your plants in perfect health, waiting to be tended by you once again.