Tips On How To Vacation Proof Your Garden
Thinking about going on a vacation but worried about what will happen to the garden? I will share some tips on how to vacation proof your garden.
When you love to garden, going on a week-long vacation in the peak of the gardening season can often feel stressful. Often garden enthusiasts opt out of taking longer vacations in fear that their gardens will be destroyed when they are away. If you are not lucky enough to have a trusted gardening friend willing to come by and care for the garden, then these tips on how to vacation proof your garden is for you.
When it comes to making your garden vacation proof the best way to start is with a good foundation. Feed your garden well with compost so that the plants are strong and healthy allowing them to withstand a bit of neglect. While this is a standard for the start of your garden be sure to feed it well in the days leading up to your vacation.
I can not say this enough. Mulch is your gardens best friend. Be sure to add a very thick layer of mulch. This will help keep the water from evaporating. Mulch also helps control pests, keep weeds from crowding out your garden beds and even protect your garden from large dips in the temperature.
You do have to be careful about which type of mulch you use as not all are good for gardens. Try to stick to things that are organic and not treated. One great mulch that comes to mind for gardens wood shavings. Sometimes you can even call your local power company and ask if they drop mulch off from trimming trees. This is a great way to snag free mulch for your top layer and helps keep the tree trimmings out of the landfill. Be warned you may get a LARGE load so be prepared to invite neighbors to help use it up.
Straw is another one that that is also great for gardens. You can normally pick up a bale of straw for just a few bucks at your local farm and garden center.
Ways To Water While On Vacation:
If you are going to be gone when a dry spell is expected you can reuse bottles for self-watering devices for your garden. Poke a few small holes (not too many) in the sides and bottom of a plastic bottle. Bury the bottle near your most water demanding plants like tomatoes with just the very top sticking out. Fill with water and screw the cap on to keep water from evaporating. As the soil dries out the water will be pulled out of the bottle into the surrounding soil.
Another option is to attach a soaker hose or a garden hose with a few holes in it to your rain barrel if you have one. Run the hose around the base of the plants that need the most or down the center of your raised bed. Then simply turn the valve on the barrel on very slightly. You don’t want it to come out fast just a very slow trickle.
These water options will not buy you weeks of no watering but will get you a few extra days for your vacation without having to worry about watering the garden.
Protect Produce From Pests:
If you have plants with fruits that may ripen while you are away like fresh homegrown strawberries you can help protect them from invading birds by installing bird netting over your garden while you will be away from home. If you have a larger garden, you may just have to put it over the most vulnerable plants.
Be sure to pick any ripe produce before you leave to reduce the amount of food to attract wildlife out to enjoy the fruits of your garden as a snack.
Do you have any tips on how to vacation proof your garden? I would love to hear them in the comments below.
If you liked these tips on how to vacation proof your garden and are looking for other garden tips, here are a few you may like.
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