Plan your great escape by using these tips for keeping your outdoor plants watered while you're on vacation.
Many of us are finally taking vacations, but if we don't have a sprinkler system, what are the best ways to water our trees, shrubs, perennials, and lawns while we are away? Instead of coming home to sad, wilted, or dead plants, use these tips to keep your outdoor plants happy, thriving, and quenched!
Preparing Your Outdoor Plants For Vacation
While your outdoor plants may be a bit jealous that they don't get to pack their bags and tag along for the holidays, you can prepare them for your absence by giving them a little extra care. Whichever method of care you choose, the best thing to do is plan ahead so that you're not scrambling at the last minute. Assess your garden and your plants’ needs—and keep in mind how long you will be away.
How to Keep Outdoor Plants Watered While on Vacation
As you consider your vacation watering options for your outdoor plants, you'll need to consider your methods on a plant-by-plant basis. Each tree, shrub, and perennial in your landscape has different watering requirements—and they will all require a little attention before you go on vacation. We have had quite a bit of rain as of late in the Quad Cities (thank you Mother Nature) but these watering tips will keep your plants happy in case things begin to dry up while you’re away.
Ask for Help
If you have friendly neighbors or a nearby friend, ask them to take over gardening duties or offer to trade gardening services in-kind. Coordinate your vacation time so you can take turns caring for each other's precious plants. While some types of plants can stand a bit of neglect for up to a week, others are much more sensitive and will need regular watering to stay healthy. If you have container plantings that can easily be moved, then consider bringing them over to the neighbors house before you leave—think of it as a sleep away camp for your plants!
Self-Watering Pots and Planters
For your outdoor potted plants, you can try self-watering pots to tide your greenery over until you return from vacation. These self-watering systems are fantastic for regulating water over time—and really worth the investment for long-time gardeners. After the initial set-up, you just need to fill the reservoir before leaving for vacation, and the pots will take care of the rest.
Similar to self-watering pots and planters, these spikes are perfect for staking directly into your garden. If you have a small garden plot, place a few spikes throughout your plantings— this will do the trick for a short getaway. The spikes come in smaller versions that can last 1-2 weeks or larger ones that can last up to a month. Self-watering spikes come in different materials, too, terracotta being a fan favorite for the best distribution and regulation of water.
Watering and Mulching
Mulching your plants can help regulate the amount of water distributed. Soak the soil thoroughly, avoiding getting water on any foliage, and lay down a generous layer of mulch around the base of your plants—the long-term benefits of mulch are worth the initial work.
Tree Watering Bags and Soaker Rings
Trees will require some love before you leave—especially newly planted ones. There are quite a few options that offer convenient, long-term water for your trees, such as tree watering bags and soaker rings. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then we suggest you deeply water them before you go away. A good thorough watering, where the soil gets saturated to the deeper root levels, will keep most trees happy for a week or two, depending on tree age and weather. This same theory can be applied to your lawn—a good deep watering before you leave should keep things green for a week, at the very least. While you're enjoying your summer vacation, make sure that your outdoor plants are living their best lives at home! If you have more questions about how to keep Bettendorf outdoor plants watered while on vacation, come and visit us! We're always happy to help.