There’s plenty that can be done to keep your garden happy while you’re on your Xmas vacation. Here are a few tips:.
Move all your containers and hanging baskets to a shady spot and water well. Cover the damp soil with a permeable mulch or fine bark chippings. Place the containers close together, as this creates a micro-climate for them and reduces evaporation from the soil and water loss through the leaves. Use plastic bottles with the bottom cut off, a small hole in the lid filled with water to drip feed the plants.
If your garden has a lawn, give it a good mow and trim the edges. Pile the clippings near all your borders so you have a mulch for later.
In the vegetable plot pick anything that’s ripe and remove young beans and baby courgettes as, if these mature on the vine, the plant will stop producing. The crops you are most likely to lose are the green leafy ones, such as lettuce, cress and oriental salads. If you have a ‘house-sitter’ to look after your home and garden, let them help themselves to any harvest.
Not only will this be much appreciated, it also encourages continuous fruiting.
A day or so before you leave, weed all your beds.
As late as possible before you leave, water your borders and veggies well. When everything is thoroughly watered, spread the lawn clippings, compost or any other mulch over your borders. Large stones between rows of vegetables will ensure the soil beneath remains damp for as long as possible.
Whatever you do, make sure your weeding, mowing, and deadheading is up date before you go. You’ll enjoy your vacation all the more knowing the garden will still be picture perfect when you return!