Phew, the temperature is hot and holiday season is upon us.
Here are our 10 tips to holiday proof your garden while you are away:
1. Deadhead like crazy
In the week before you go away remove any faded or dead flowers. This will force plants to concentrate their energy on new growth, resulting in lots of flowers when you return!
2. Group pots together
Before you head off on holiday, a few simple steps will ensure that your plants don’t go thirsty while you’re enjoying a well-earned break. Container plants on sunny patios are at high risk of perishing if left to become parched. Move pots and window boxes to a part of the garden that’s in the shade for much of the day so they won’t dry out so quickly in the cooler conditions. Grouping containers together makes life easier when a neighbour comes in to water, whereas standing pots in deep saucers and watering well before you leave will ensure that roots have a reservoir of water to draw from. Remember that terracotta pots dry out rapidly, so they’ll be a priority for a neighbour to water.
3. Weed and Feed
The day before you leave, go round the garden, pulling up any weeds you can see. Spray weeds on paths, patios and driveways with Resolva. Next give plants a good feed to strengthen them while you are away. Our Boost All Purpose Plant Feed is a great all-round option.
4. Cover your soil with mulch
By putting a protective layer of mulch or bark on top of the soil, borders and containers will be better able to retain any water or rainfall, using it later when they need it.
5. Mow the lawn
Give your lawn a light cut the day before you head away on the highest setting possible. Don’t be tempted to cut too low or you could risk scalping the grass, leaving it susceptible to scorching from the harsh sun.
6. Take hanging baskets down
Hanging baskets soon bake dry in the heat, so take them down and stand each basket on a bucket in a shady area, taking care not to damage trailing plants. If that’s not possible, provide a neighbour or family member with a hosepipe lance to make watering easy. Even if the weather is wet while you’re away, container plants still dry out quickly, with dense canopies preventing rain from reaching the compost. They’ll still need watering even if the heavens open.
7. Automated Irrigation
Perennials and shrubs in borders are more resilient than basket or container plants but they’ll need watering if the mercury soars while you’re away for a week or two. Automated Irrigation, where a timer turns the water on once or twice a day, makes holiday watering a breeze. Systems are most effective when linked up to porous hosepipe that’s buried just beneath the soil surface, so water is delivered into the root zone.
8. Prepare the greenhouse
High temperatures under glass wick moisture from compost, so careful holiday preparation is vital. Growing bags in greenhouses should be placed in deep plastic trays that can be topped up with water to keep compost hydrated. For longer spells unattended, a solar-powered drip irrigation system is a must to keep greenhouse plants moist. These smart devices keep compost evenly moist, but must be linked up to a full water butt.
9. Don’t forget the houseplants
To ensure that houseplants don’t perish, move larger plants into a cool, north-facing room that doesn’t receive much sunlight. Stand plants in saucers and water them well. Small houseplants should be watered and sat on capillary matting on the kitchen draining board – with one end of the matting hanging down into a sink full of water.
10. Connect water butts
If you’re enjoying a break at home, it’s an ideal time to connect water butts to downpipes on your house, garage, shed and greenhouse. When downpours happen, butts fill quickly – this is the most environmentally friendly way of saving (and then reusing) water. A standard water butt holds between 200 and 250 litres of water, while slimline butts with a capacity of 100 litres are ideal where space is tight, such as beside greenhouses. Link butts together using a simple overflow kit and you’ll have an incredible rainwater harvesting facility.
Have you got any top tips to holiday proof your garden? If you have, head over to our Facebook page to let us know!
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