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Get your garden vacation-ready

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

When you're ready for a vacation, don't forget about your plants!

When you leave for a week or more on summer vacation, you find someone to care for the pets, check the mail or even house sit. But what about your garden? You can't take it with you, so planning ahead can help your garden survive a summer vacation.


When you leave for a week or more on summer vacation, you find someone to care for the pets, check the mail or even house sit. But what about your garden? You can't take it with you, so planning ahead can help your garden survive a summer vacation.

Just like you plan what you'll do on vacation, you should plan for what will happen when you leave your garden behind. Getting your garden vacation-ready can start as early as your trip planning. What you can do in advance will depend a lot on how long you plan to be away.

The main concern is watering, and this is important whether you're gone for three days or three weeks. A deep watering before short trips can get you through about a week, depending on weather. If you'll be gone for a while, set a sprinkler or drip system on timers for in-ground gardens. For container gardens, water absorbing gel capsules or self-watering containers can keep your soil moist and happy.

It's best not to plant anything new a month before your planned vacation, since new plants need so much water and attention. The same goes for harvest time; be sure to be home when it's time to pick veggies and fruits. Weed your beds and mow your lawn right before you go, to give about a week of time before they get unruly. You'll also want to set out new animal repellents right before you go.

If a trip is unexpected or you can't reschedule, a plant sitter can watch and water your garden while you're on vacation.
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