This time of year is typically a whirlwind and the perfect time to take a Summer holiday. Time away is important for everyone, it is a time to recharge, renew, and refresh. When we recharge everyone benefits!
Grow Pro has put together several key recommendations to help you figure out how to keep your container garden of herbs and veggies thriving while you are away — whether it’s work or play.
While container gardens are low maintenance, your herbs and veggies need some care and attention especially during the hot summer temperatures.
How to Plan
A good place to start is by asking yourself these two questions.
- How long will you be away? If going away for a weekend, most garden plants will survive with one good soaking just before you leave. If you’re gone any longer, you need to take action to keep plants healthy.
- Do you have any newly planted gardens? Newly planted gardens need daily watering and will require more protection from weather. Established gardens are more resilient and need less protection from the heat and sun.
Check out our Grow Pro tips below to learn more about how to keep your plant happy and healthy while you’re away.
Do a Quick Tidy Up
Take 5-10 minutes to tidy up your garden. By tidy up, we mean remove and discard parts of your garden that are not useful to it. Prune yellowing, browning, damaged, and dead leaves and stems from your garden. Additionally, remove all fallen leaves and debris from the base of the plant.
Check the Forecast
This time of year, the weather can’t make up its mind between extreme heat, summer rain, and drought. It’s important to look up the forecast for your area while you are away. Then, create a plan to protect your garden.
For warmer climates, be sure to protect your plants from too much heat. Find a shady spot for your garden to let your plants cool off and conserve moisture while you’re away. If possible, move your container into a sprinkler zone.
Have an H2O Plan
Summer gardens usually need to be watered every day if the temperature is over 90 degrees. So if your trip is longer than a weekend and the temperatures are 90 or above, prepare a garden watering plan. Use these watering solutions while away to fulfill your plant’s specific needs.
One idea our founder, Donna Letier shares is to put your gardens in a plastic baby pool with a few inches of water and let your grow bag gardens hydrate from the bottom up. Moving them into a shady spot also helps to keep them hydrated while you are away.
Arrange for someone to stop by and harvest vegetables and fresh herbs to keep them productive. Most friends won’t mind stopping by and leaving with a fresh bunch of basil. Regular harvesting leads to higher yields, the frequent picking of fresh herbs, peppers, and tomatoes encourages the plant to produce more fruit for its survival. You can even harvest unripe fruits like green tomatoes prior to your trip and make some green tomato salsa verde.
Herbs especially like to be harvested on a regular basis. It will keep them growing for the rest of the season.
- Enjoy summer showers. Take advantage of forecasted rain and put your garden in an uncovered spot so it can enjoy a fresh drink of rainwater while you are away.
- Multi-purpose. Maybe those sprinklers were meant for your pretty green lawn, but there’s nothing wrong with sharing the love. Relocate your bag to a shady spot where it can enjoy daily sprinkler showers while you’re away.
- Get friendly with your neighbors. Asking plant-savvy neighbors to care for your garden is a good solution for short trips. Don’t forget to share your harvest with your neighbor once you return.
- Use self-watering tools. There are multiple options, dependent on how long you’re gone. For trips up to 2 weeks, a terracotta bottle stake or a drip stake is a good option. For a longer trip, an automated drip system can be easily installed on a balcony or roof-top patio for scheduled waterings.
- Find a plant sitter! A plant sitter is a great choice for extended trips and can easily be combined with a house or dog sitter. It is even easier when you bring your gardens to you sitters house so they can enjoy the well-being that comes with being a gardener.
- Move your gardens to a covered area on your porch or patio. When temperatures are really hot it is best to keep them in the shade and away from the scorching sunshine.