Preparing the Garden for Summer Vacation
As we prepare the family for a monthlong sojourn this summer, we also prepare the garden. I must admit, I’m nervous about this. It will be the beginning of true summer heat in Southern California and being time zones away, there’s nothing I’ll be able to do to help. I do have a house-sitter staying and tending to the garden a bit, but much like having a babysitter, my expectations are to simply keep things alive.
In advance of our leaving, I started to prepare the garden. The lead time I’ve taken for this is about two weeks. I’ll explain why.
How to Prepare Your Garden For A Vacation
Here are the steps that I am taking for this summer vacay prep. I’m starting two weeks in advance of the trip so that some pest prevention can begin now, as opposed to when it’s too late. This also will make things easier the day before we leave when I’ll do some final pruning and watering.
Two Weeks Before Leaving
- Shake out some larger pest deterrents like fox urine petals or “Rabbit Scram” which is a spice mixture that repels rabbits.
- Refill or place peppermint diffusers
- Refill or place beer traps for slugs
- Begin to prune larger plants like tomatoes if needed
One Week Before Leaving
- Scan the entire garden for pest damage and act fast if you find anything.
- Deadhead extensively
- Prune any dying or diseased or just weird-looking plants and leaves.
- If a plant is struggling, pull it.
- Harvest heavy and try to use what you can
Two(ish) Days Before Leaving
- Do another prune session – make sure there is a ton of airflow
- Harvest everything that you can and leave some treats for neighbors if you can’t consume it
- Refill / reapply pest prevention measures
- Water HEAVY and then adjust your irrigation to start at the appropriate time
- Be sure irrigation timers are working
- Help anything climbing to really attach to its trellis
- Check the weather for while you’re gone – if a hot spell is coming, have shade options in place
- Say a prayer!
I often joke about singing or praying to my plants – but it’s not really a joke. Plants are made of water like we are, and it’s been proven to create healthier and happier plants when you say nice things to them. I’ll have to find the study and share about that asap. As for me – I’m off to pack and prune for vacay!