So you have used all our tips to plan and book a big trip that will see you traveling for 3 months through SE Asia. It’s so exciting and you are making sure that you have thought of everything. You have informed the local police and neighbours of your absence, chatted to the school about the kids being away and spoken to your utility companies. There is so much to organise when preparing your home for a longer trip and the garden should not be forgotten.
To keep your garden going in your absence, a little planning is needed. This will not only be of benefit when you return from your adventure but will help not to reveal your absence to any prying eyes.
Tips to keep your garden watered
Keeping moisture in the soil is extremely important especially if your absence coincides with summer.
Get help to water your garden
Ask a neighbour to water your garden regularly. You may be lucky enough to have a green thumb for a neighbour that is happy to keep your garden watered. If so, have everything set up and explain what you would like watered. Having an easy garden hose to use is important to make this a painless process. An irrigation system can make this a lot easier and soaker hoses are a great option. It is also worthwhile to organise a local gardener like from Jim’s Mowing for Australian readers or Meet a Gardener for our North American friends to come in once a month to weed and mow your lawn.
If you are unable to get help to maintain your garden or cannot afford to pay someone, there are still options available.
- The day before you leave weed your garden as weeds compete with plants for water.
- Mow your lawn but not too short. It may seem like a good idea but can have repercussions for your lawn long term by stressing out the lawn too much.
- Collect the clippings and put them in piles. This can act as mulch on your return from your trip.
- Deeply water your garden and make sure it is soaked. Then put mulch or compost down to benefit the soil by keeping it moist for longer.
- Make a DIY irrigation system. Bury a plastic bottle that you have pierced with small holes next to plants and fill with water. A funnel placed on top of the bottle will help collect any rainwater and refill the bottle.
- Place saucers under pots. The outdoor pots will collect rainwater in the saucer when it rains.
- Consider moving pots into a shaded area if your trip is over summer. This will save it being scorched in the sun.
Having the house shut up especially over summer is not an ideal environment for indoor plants as the humidity of the air can rise. To help plants like ferns, lilies and orchids fill a bath with old towels and fill the plugged bath to just cover the towels. Place the pots on the towels. This does not work for succulents, as they prefer to be dry.
We hope this has helped you to plan how you are going to keep your garden going while you are away. Prevention is always better than a cure and even though you will have some work to do in your garden when you return, at least it will still be alive and thriving if you follow these simple steps.