It’s officially vacation season. The kids are out of school, you need a breather from work, and all the containers, flowerbeds, and houseplants you’ve worked so hard to plant and keep beautiful this spring are staring you in the face. How can you ensure your plants will survive a one or two week vacation? Here are some ideas that can help.
Before you quiz the pet-sitter on his or her gardening skills, head for the local home-improvement store to stock up on drip-irrigation materials, mulch, and a timer or two to connect to the outdoor faucet. Vegetable gardens and flower beds are the easiest for drip irrigation. Weave lengths of drip tape or “leaky pipe” through the plants and cover the beds – irrigation and all – with a thick layer of mulch. Pine straw, shredded bark, or even shredded newspaper and cardboard make excellent mulch for retaining moisture and keeping weeds at bay. Attach your irrigation system to a timer at the faucet. Set it to come on in the early morning hours to reduce evaporation. (more…)