Before leaving on vacation, think about your plants!

Final preparations for the holidays? Don't forget your garden and your houseplants! Of course you can ask a nice neighbor to come and water them, but you'd better prepare your plants and garden so they can do it on their own while you are away! And to avoid bad surprises upon your return, here is a plan of action in 5 points!

1. Arrange, clean up, protect

  • Tidy the garden: do not let anything drag. Tools rusting in the rain and sprinkler pipes and fittings become fragile in the sun.
  • Clean all flower beddings and plants. Remove faded flowers and dried leaves and remove a maximum of weeds.
  • Protect furniture and objects so they do not fade or become dirty. There is a wide range of covers for this purpose.

 

2. Preventive care

  • No new plantings during the 2 weeks before your departure. The seedlings are too fragile and need regular care.
  • Watch your plants carefully. Suspicious traces underneath the leaves, scales, whiteflies: all signs not to be overlooked. Manually remove what you can, then do a preventive treatment against major risks.
  • In the garden, check the strength of the tutors supporting your vegetables. If necessary, replace them with more suitable supports.

 

3. Keep the soil moist

  • Till the soil of your flowerbeds and break the surface crust of the kitchen garden, to ease up the penetration of rainwater and reduce evaporation
  • Apply a thick mulch with straw, grass clippings, pine bark. This limits the water evaporation and the soil warming in hot weather.
  • Lawn: to avoid that your laws suffers from a possible drought, mow it, but not too short (6 to 7 cm).

4. Watering

  • If you go away for a few days, your plants will make it with you if they are well prepared.
    • Gather your houseplants, water them generously and put them in the garden, in the shade, WITHOUT saucer..
    • In the garden, group containers and pots preferably away in a cool place. Water them generously the day before departure. Do not give fertilizer before leaving, it would "burn" your plants in case of drought.
  • If you leave for longer and can not rely on anyone, you'll need some technical help.
    • In the garden, there are programmable watering kits that provide each plant the required amount of water. You can even add a moisture sensor that will trigger the irrigation only by dry weather.
    • For planters, there are cone irrigators.

 

5. Sun protection

  • Inside, place your plants away from windows and group them in a bright room but away from direct sunlight..
  • On the terrace, if possible, gather pots and planters away from the blazing sun.
  • In the garden, if you cannot move the plants, install shade cloths. They protect from the sun but also from birds, especially if you have fruit bushes.
  • In the kitchen garden, install windbreaks, shade cloths or even crates on the plantations which are not strong enough.