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