While you're enjoying that well deserved summer vacation, don't forget your garden will be home working hard - and hopefully offer up a bouty of fresh veggies upon your return! Here are some simple tips to keep your garden going strong while you're on the go this summer season.
A Good Soak – Give flower and vegetable gardens a good final soak before flying the coop. This is especially important if rainfall has been inadequate, or sparse precipitation is predicted. The good news is that further watering may not be a worry no matter what the weather. Established annuals can last for ten days without supplemental water. Most perennials can weather two weeks of dry conditions. Trees and shrubs won't feel the pinch for about a month. Lawns are the camels of the garden. A healthy lawn can go six weeks without extra water.
Don't Feed and Leave – Don't fertilize plants before leaving. Slower growth is what you want while you are away.
Protect Containers – Container plants need water more often than border plants. If you ask a friend for a watering favor, group containers in a protected area with indirect sun, but access to rainfall. This makes it easier to water and harder to miss a pot. This lessens stress on plants and your watering chum.
Harvest Produce – Harvest produce before you leave. If you can't take it with you, or just have too much, donate to a food pantry or share with friends or family. If you'll be gone for more than two weeks, ask a friend to harvest produce. If you stop harvesting vegetables some stop producing.
Apply a Pre-emergent Garden Weed Preventer – Most people associate pre-emergent garden weed preventers with early spring, but mid-summer is another smart time to apply it. A second application atop mulch or soil stops weed seeds from sprouting while you're away and well into the fall. Remember that mulch and and a garden weed preventer prevent new weeds from happening, they don't kill the existing ones!