Watering potted plants

How to prepare the garden before going on holiday

Going on holiday? We reveal our top tips on how to keep your garden ticking over while you're away.

Going on holiday? A few simple tasks before you go will keep it all ticking over so you can enjoy your time away.

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A couple of days before you leave, weed borders, deadhead flowering plants, mow and edge the lawn and top up the pond. Just before you go, water containers, fruiting crops and anything newly planted. Pots are most likely to suffer in hot weather and an irrigation system is ideal, but if you don’t have one, follow our tips below.

Smaller pots can be sunk into the ground in a border or raised bed – as the compost dries out, it will take up moisture from the soil. If you can, ask friends and neighbours to pick and water plants and crops, in exchange for harvesting produce or flowers, or the promise that you’ll do the same for them when it’s their turn to go on holiday.

Take a look at some of the simple things yo can do to prepare your garden for holidays, below.

Pick and then freeze or eat any crops you can before you travel.

Deadhead flowering plants

Deadhead flowering plants before you go, but also remove flowers that are fully open. This will stop plants running to seed, and means that existing buds will be blooming when you return.

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Mow the lawn

Cut the lawn just before you leave to encourage good growth and keep weeds down. Don’t cut it too short as it will be susceptible to drought. If the weather is forecast to be hot, set the blades high.

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Eat or store crops

Pick and then freeze or eat any crops you can before you travel. Harvest courgettes, even if they’re tiny, to avoid finding marrows on your return. Also harvest peas and beans to keep crops coming. Here’s our advice on how to preserve your harvests.

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Water potted plants

Water pots well. Put saucers beneath them to collect water and increase humidity. Move them to a shady spot where they will dry out less quickly. If you can’t move them, cover with shade netting or fleece. Take a look at our guide to summer watering for more tips. 

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