Going on Vacation? Don’t Forget the Plants

By: Jennifer Davidson, UGA Cooperative Extension

If you plan to be gone longer than two weeks, it’s a good idea to enlist the aid of another party – both for the health of your plants and for security reasons. 

Before you hit the road:

*Mow the lawn at the regular mowing height for your turf grass variety. If the grass grows a lot while you’re gone, mow it at a higher setting when you return to prevent scalping.

*If the weather has been dry, water the lawn well prior to leaving, soaking the grass down to the roots, about 4″. Planting beds, trees, and shrubs would also benefit from a good watering.

*Edge planting beds, sidewalks, and driveways.  Add mulch to planting beds to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.

*Prune hedges and shrubs that may start to look overgrown while you are away.  Weed flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.

*Deadhead old blooms from flowers for a neat appearance.  Pick vegetables and fruit that are ripe or starting to ripen.

*Outdoor container plants are vulnerable since they dry out more quickly even under normal circumstances. Think about moving them to a shadier area for your vacation.

*Check for signs of pests or disease and treat accordingly.

*Hanging baskets have the additional drying effects of wind to deal with. If yours are in a breezy area, shelter them if possible while you are away. 

*Don’t forget your houseplants. Give them a good watering (but don’t drown them).  Move them away from direct sunlight sources, especially if you’ve adjusted the thermostat greatly from the normal home temperature.

*Remember to use security safeguards for your home.  Take care of newspapers, mail, lights, etc.  Even if you’ve taken all of these precautions, it’s still a good idea to have someone check on the home while you are away. 

If you are looking for more information about any gardening topic, visit UGA Extension’s website at http://www.columbusga.org/cooperative_extension/coop_ext.htm Click on the publications tab and search via keyword or call Jennifer Davidson, UGA Extension  706 653 4200

—So go get gardening

Jennifer

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