Coming into the Christmas break you may be planning a trip to the beach, overseas or simply keeping busy by entertaining at home. All of these may lead to your garden being neglected or even overlooked. Who has time to get in the garden when there is much food, drink, family and friends to be consumed and enjoyed?
So we have put together 7 top tips to help you keep your gardens (and vegetable patches) alive this summer holiday season!
Stop Putting it off and do the Weeding
Weeds in the Garden
We all hate weeding! It’s laborious and hard on the body, constantly bending and kneeling and fighting with those pesky weeds that just don’t want to come out! But the reality is, those weeds love water as much as your prized veggies and will compete with them for all available moisture in the soil… which might be harder to find while you’re at the pool in Bali. Not only that, but they will also compete for available nutrients. So if you’re planning on neglecting your garden over the holidays, give them some love now and get rid of their competition.
Plants Get Hungry Too
While we are busy filling up on turkey, don’t forget your plants need food too! In the week prior to leaving fertilise with a seaweed solution such as Seasol to promote healthy root growth and provide nourishment, prepping them for some slightly tougher times ahead.
Protect Your Investment, Mulch Your Garden
Mulch Your Garden
Not only does mulch make your garden look more attractive, it also protects the soil from drying out in the baking summer sun allowing you to get more out of your watering regime. On top of that, Mulch & Bark also stops weed seeds from germinating in the exposed soil… eliminating the above step! Think of it as sunscreen for your soil; you wouldn’t head to the coast without it so neither should your garden! It’s not too late, you can still get your soil protected before you head on holidays! It’s easy to shovel and carry, and in many cases you only needs bags not cubic metres to top up your beds.
Irrigate For Your Sake
Set up a watering system on a timer! Irrigation supplies are widely available and surprisingly affordable. You don’t need to aim to win the Queensland Irrigation of the Year title, one irrigation hose running off one tap could be all you require. The most effective systems are dripper lines and they are best underneath your mulch. So, do this first then mulch your garden! You’re best to visit your local specialist plumbing or irrigation store for a full range of irrigation supplies and the expertise to help get it installed!
If that seems all too hard, grab a manual timer, a garden hose and a oscillating sprinkler. Set it to come on for 20-30 min every few days and you’re away!
Water it in Deep
Deep Watering is Most Effective
If you’re only heading away for a week or so, perhaps a deep watering the day before you leave is all it needs. Remember, when you’re home you can see when your plants are struggling and are need of a drink, but you can never be sure what kind of weather they will be subjected to while you’re away. It is best to plan for the worst!
Sharing is Caring
Line up a few of your friends or neighbours to help out while you’re away. If you are planning to be away from home for over a week, have someone come in and mow your lawn to prevent scalping on your return. Lineup another mate to drop by and water on the Monday and a different one on the Friday… Christmas is a time of giving after all! As a little bonus, allow your helpers to harvest some fresh produce from the veggie patch in lieu of payment. Let them know what produce should be ripe for the picking while you are away.
This is also great for some added security. It is always great to have a few sets of eyes on your property. They may also bring your bins in and collect your mail all the while making your house look occupied and safe.
Keep the Pests at Bay
If you are keeping a vegetable patch or fruit tree, you might consider covering your crop to protect it from the four legged critters like the neighbourhood cats, scrub turkeys and possums. Just some simple netting and star pickets should do the trick, just make sure the are secured well.
So now with the Christmas break in sight and plenty of shopping, eating, drinking and being merry to be had, you can forget about your garden and relax with family and friends this summer break.
Happy Christmas from the CLS Team!