Taking Care or Lawn and Garden While You’re on Vacation

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Taking Care or Lawn and Garden While You’re on Vacation

Posted by All Metro Service Companies LLC
4 years ago | June 14, 2018

It’s time for the much-needed vacation that you deserve. But, how do you take care of your lawn and garden while you’re on vacation? Your lawn, garden, and plants need weekly, if not daily, maintenance. While asking a neighbor or relative to help, sometimes it’s not always do-able. Here are some expert tips that we’ve compiled on how to keep your lawn, garden, and plants looking great while you are away.


Keeping Your Lawn Healthy and Green

Often the most overlooked, your lawn requires enough weekly maintenance to be added to the list of things that need to be checked on while you are away. While weekly mowing may seem like your only concern, we recommend focusing the most on keeping your lawn healthy by keeping it properly watered while away.

Watering

On average, your lawn needs about 1-1/2 “ of water each week. Depending on your sprinkler system, or the type of sprinkler you use, this roughly translates into 20-30 minutes of watering 3 times a week. Overall, it’s a good idea to water your lawn deeply and less frequently. This encourages the grass roots to grow deeper and essentially, obtain more water from the soil requiring less frequent waterings.

The easiest way to keep your lawn watered during your vacation is to invest in an irrigation system if you don’t have one already. These systems are set on a timer and, with newer models, will only water the lawn when it is needed. (Think about the money you’ll save here!) Some irrigation systems can even be controlled with your smartphone for extra assurance while you are away.  

If you don’t have an irrigation system, the day before you leave for vacation, water your lawn thoroughly. (Pro tip: water your lawn in the morning if possible. Having a wet lawn overnight can lead to fungus and disease problems if done too often. ) If you’ll be gone for an extended period of time, invest in a soaker hose and/or a water timer to help keep your lawn from drying out. To be safe, make sure you always have someone checking on your home and watering system while you are gone in case a problem arises.

Mowing

The biggest mistake we see people make before they leave for vacation is mowing their lawn too short! We get it…most people believe that if they mow their lawn very short before they leave, then it won’t overgrow by the time they get home. While this may be true, you may have problems with it growing well again for longer than you’d expect.

In general, you should only be mowing ⅓ off the top of your grass. So if your grass is 3 inches long, the most you should mow from it is 1 inch. (Read our article here to learn more!) Consequently, by cutting your grass too short, you run the risk of hurting your grass which will cause it to brown and need weeks to recover.

So, if you’re going out of town for a week, do a regular mow before you go and one when you come back and you should be fine. If you are going to be gone longer, consider hiring a service to come to mow your lawn or find a trusted neighbor that can help you out!

Fertilizer

We recommend avoiding using any fertilizer before you leave for your vacation. This can cause an unnecessary growth spurt during your vacation which could lead to more waterings and the need to mow your lawn before you return from your vacation.

Pro Tip: If possible, remove all lawn furniture, toys, and anything else that may starve your lawn of essential natural elements like sun, water, and air,  before leaving.


Extended Plant Care While You’re Away

Plants are probably the hardest part of your outdoor space to keep maintained while you are away. Because each potted plant and garden plant requires individualized care, they often need someone to help take care of them while you are away.

Potted Plants

Potted plants are particularly hard to monitor during summer vacations. Because they soak up water faster and dry out quicker, some potted plants need to be watered daily! Here are several different methods you can use when leaving your outdoor potted plants on vacation:

  • Thoroughly water all plants the day before you leave for vacation.
  • Group potted plants together so your caretaker doesn’t miss any plants while you are gone.
  • Deadhead and trim all plants to help retain moisture better.
  • Place hanging and potted plants in a shaded area so they require less watering.
  • Check the weather for your area before you leave. If strong winds or storms are expected to try to protect your plants accordingly.
  • Add 1-2 inches of organic material (like mulch) around potted plants to keep them from drying out fast.
  • Insert watering devices like these plant watering spikes or a simple drip irrigation system can be especially helpful for extended periods. (There are a lot of DIY methods for this as well!)

Garden

Ideally, everything in your garden should be well established before you head out for vacation. Then, right before leaving, pick all the vegetables and herbs that you can and water your garden, giving it a deep water. Again, to help retain moisture better, mulch around the garden beds and consider investing in a soaker hose set on a timer to help keep plants watered.

Preparing your yard and plants before you leave will ultimately save you more time and money and will prevent you from having to spend the week after the vacation repairing areas of your yard that were overlooked while you were gone. 

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