As you plan for your vacation you should take into consideration that your garden and plants are going to miss you. There are certain things you can do that will cut down on your absolute need to be there, but it does mean preparing for vacation needs a few days before you leave. A recently fed plant will have a tendency to grow. This can contribute to an increase in water needs or make it more succulent for the voracious appetite of garden invaders. Put off the normal feeding, or if it must be fed, cut the feeding to half strength and plan on providing the second half when you return.
Mulching is probably the most important thing you can do before leaving on vacation. Be sure you have watered the area before you apply mulch, then water enough after it is applied to have the mulch damp on its own without having to draw moisture from the soil.Mulch can be used in flowerbeds, vegetable gardens and around trees and shrubs. Leave approximately six inches around the trunks of trees and shrubs so they can breathe. It is even safe to add a little to containers but take care that the stems are not choked by the mulch.
Containers can be moved to a light shade area for the time being. Hanging baskets should be taken down so that they are more easily watched unless you have a drip system that is on a timer. While you are gone, the local bugs will not be on a holiday and would be happy if you forgot about them.Use Sluggo Plus to take care of snails, ants, some cutworms and earwigs during your absence. Indoors plants can also be taken care of with a little thought. Large container plants should be watered well before you leave and if the plant can be moved, place it away from the windows so it will not dry out. You can put small plants in the bathtub after they have been well watered. The coolness of the bathroom will help retain moisture. Do not leave plants standing in water. Also, visit your local Sloat Garden Center location for a variety of watering devices to help keep your plants moist while you are away. We recommend the Plant Nanny, Scheurich water dispensers, and DriWater products.