Summer’s arrival usually means two things; a thriving vegetable garden and vacations. But the thought of leaving your garden for a week or so, just as it seems to need you the most, can cause great angst for many of us. But fear not. With the right preparation, you can take that time away and feel confident in knowing your garden will be just fine without you. In this podcast, Joe Lamp’l offers important tips on how to keep our gardens growing strong, even when we’re not there.
BHG Podcast 013-Vacation Planning; Garden to-do’s before you go
Summer’s arrival usually means two things; a thriving vegetable garden and vacations. But the thought of leaving your garden for a week or so, just as it seems to need you the most, can cause great angst for many of us. But fear not! In fact, my favorite thing to do when returning from a trip is go look at my vegetable garden. It’s the first thing I do when I get home and it always amazes me at how much everything grows and how good all the plants look, even in my absence. With the right preparation, it’ll be that way for you too. You can take that time away and feel confident in knowing your garden will be just fine without you.
In the best-case scenario, you’ll have a gardening friend or neighbor that you can count on to keep an eye on things when you’re away and to know what to do if something should happen. And the longer you’re away, the more important this becomes. In fact, if you’re away for more than a week, find someone who can at least inspect your garden and report back to you, just in case!
But for all those times we don’t have that person, we need to think about our garden’s basic requirements and potential problems and plan accordingly. First and most important, we need to provide water. And thanks to inexpensive, programmable irrigation timers, that’s an easy solution. For around $20, you can buy a basic timer that’s super easy to install and program, and perfectly suited to handle the watering needs while you’re gone. Just be sure to plan far enough ahead so that you have time to test the system before you go so you know it’s cycling properly.
Something else you can and should do to keep moisture levels adequate and cut down on other maintenance issues is to make sure to have a generous layer of mulch over your garden beds. That way, even in extreme temperatures or lack of water, your plants and roots are better protected and more able to withstand the challenges.
And if you haven’t already, here’s something else you should do before you go; make sure all your plants are adequately supported. It’s amazing just how fast vegetable plants can grow during a week in the summer. Without the proper support or staking, the added height and weight of the new growth, or even a summer storm can cause your plants to fall or bend over, which can lead to other problems. It’s an easy fix, and will make a big difference in how your plants look when you return.
And one of the biggest concerns for many people is the fear of pests overtaking the garden while they’re away. Although pests are a part of any garden, this shouldn’t be more of a problem just because you’re not there for a week or so. In previous podcasts, we’ve talked about ways to ensure your garden is strong and up to the challenge naturally, and it will be if you’ve done the things we’ve discussed. But, it’s still a good idea on the day before you go to give your garden a thorough once-over to scout for pests, including their eggs and larvae. And be sure to look under the leaves, as that’s often where you’ll find many of the culprits.
If you start out right in creating and planting your garden, and then do the things mentioned here, you can relax and enjoy you’re time and away and know that your Burpee Home Garden Plants will be fine.
And one more thing, a vacation is a great time to listen to all our Burpee Home Garden Podcasts. This is just one of 26 podcasts created to get you off to a successful start, provide helpful, weekly tips throughout the entire growing season and strengthen your garden knowledge too! And to be sure you don’t miss a single, you can subscribe to this podcast series for free in iTunes. And for more ideas and inspiration any time, be sure to check out burpeehomegardens.com.
Now go get dirty!