How To Make Sure Your Garden Survives While You Are Away On Your Summer Holiday

Before You Go:

Dorney Court Mature GardenIn An Established Garden:

Mature plants will tend to be more resilient and can usually cope with a week or two without water if it does not rain while you are away. It is, however, still a good idea to do what you can to help plants hang on to what water there is and to make sure that you do not come back to an over-grown jungle or a garden that is past its best.

  • Lettuce, more courgettes and RomanescoMulch around vegetables and amongst flowers and shrubs in beds and borders with good organic mulches to fertilise and hold moisture in the soil.
  • Cut back unwieldy shrubs and stake tall, fragile plants in case of wind.
  • Put up shade netting in greenhouse and/or over plants that will dry out in too much sun.
  • Remove all open flowers from healthy bedding plants to get more blooms on your return.
  • Deadhead all the flowers in your beds and borders.
  • Harvest all possible produce from the vegetable patch that will go to waste, preserve or store and give excess to friends and neighbours.
  • Mow your lawn and strim edges.
  • Weed as thoroughly as possible.
  • If dry weather is expected, consider installing irrigation such a clay pot irrigation or similar.

Container GardenIn A Small-Scale/Container Garden:

Containers will dry out far more quickly than the soil in garden beds and borders, so it is even more important to take steps to reduce moisture loss while you are away.

  • Container GardenSoak each container well, ideally by placing each one in a larger container of water and allowing it to soak up water from the base.
  • Move all the containers into an area of shade if possible.
  • Clump containers together to increase humidity.
  • Cover delicate plants with shade netting if possible.
  • If possible, place hanging baskets in a depression in the soil of a bed or border.
  • Set up a temporary automatic watering system if you do not have one already. Run strips of absorbent fabric or capillary matting from a water butt into your containers.
  • Alternatively, place bottles upside down in the soil in your containers, filled with water. Water will be drawn out when needed.

Whatever kind of garden you have, if you are lucky enough to have someone reliable to come and check on your garden now and then while you are away, water and maybe even do a few jobs then of course this will be preferable to leaving everything to its own devices. But not all of us are lucky enough to have someone to help us out in this way. Follow the above advice and while you may have one or two casualties along the way, your garden should still look great when you return from your much needed summer holiday.