With the summer holiday season in full swing, thoughts will turn to the ultimate getaway to relax and recharge. If you’re going away on holiday for a prolonged period, there are a few bits of garden maintenance to be sorted out before you go. We have compiled a checklist of things to do in your garden before you pack your suitcase.
Show some TLC
Before heading off on your summer holidays, always make sure you give your garden a good health check to ensure it is in the best condition before you leave. When it comes to your flower beds and container plants, make sure you give everything a good feed with a high potash fertiliser and deadhead spent blooms and foliage.
There may be less strain on your lawn whilst you are away, but it is a good idea to cut, edge, and weed the lawn beforehand. Also, hold off moving or planting anything new until you have time to help them get established when you return from your holiday.
The British weather can be unpredictable but if a hot spell is forecast, make sure you move your hanging baskets, window boxes and containers into a sheltered spot for shade protection. This will mean that they won’t dry out as quickly, and clustering them together will keep the temperature constant and create a microclimate for your plants to thrive in.
We advise preferably against a wall, fence or under a tree which will still allow any rainfall to reach them.
If you have a water butt, make sure it is full before you go away and give your plants a good soaking. Water evaporates quickly from plant pots and they can dry out very quickly, especially when positioned in full sun. A huge percentage of moisture will be get evaporated away by the glorious sunshine that we all love so much.
You can’t rely on rainfall to give the plants in your containers the water they need so why not invest in our range of self-watering planters, that come complete with their own watering system so you don’t have to worry while you are on your holidays. Our planters have a removable tray that sits at the bottom. The tray has small holes so the water can drain into the pot’s reservoir at the bottom. Water moves up from the reservoir through the channels to the main body of the planter when the soil is dry.
Mulch will lock in the moisture and keep out the weeds. Adding a protective layer can help retain up to 25% more water. As well as water loss, it will help keep weeds at bay.
Laying down some bark chippings on your borders will help with moisture retention in the soil. Gravel can be useful for all seasons, not just when you are on holiday and acts as a moisture-conserving mulch and retains water under the surface. Slate chippings can also offer a dual purpose for holidays as it absorbs heat during a summer spell, as well as keep moisture from evaporating from the soil.
If you have a vegetable patch, harvest anything close to ripe so the plant doesn’t run to seed. Regular harvesting also leads to higher yields of crops to enjoy when you return. This will result in not having to deal with rotted fruits and vegetables on your return, which attracts birds, rodents and other pests that could threaten your other plants. Store or freeze what you can and eat what you can't before you go away.
Slow-release fertilisers are another low-maintenance option for looking after your vegetable plants and will slowly feed your plants until you return.
But most of all, enjoy your holiday!