Preparing Your Garden For Your Summer Holidays: @melslittlegarden’s Top Tips

@melslittlegarden's Top Tips

Heading on a summer holiday? Unsure how to care for your beloved plants in your absence? @melslittlegarden shares some top tips to keep your garden thriving.

With holiday season in full swing, it’s that time of year when many of us are preparing for summer getaways, which can leave some feeling a little nervous about leaving their precious plants, especially if warm weather is forecasted in the UK.

Here, Mel shares some of her top tips on how to prepare your garden and ease your worries while you are away:

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1. Water

This is probably the most obvious tip and is always the last thing I do in the garden before I go away. But it is also important to remember to try to increase the frequency and the amount you water in the days leading up to your departure, especially if the weather is warm and dry. This will ensure there is plenty of moisture in the ground for the roots to soak up.

The key for summer watering is to make sure you direct the water right at the base of the plant to saturate the roots and avoid the foliage to prevent any burning of the leaves or fungal diseases such as powdery mildew.

One of my personal favourite tools for the job is the Multi Spray Ultramax, which has seven different spray patterns to suit all your watering needs and is incredibly durable.

2. Have a Plan

Often when going away, a friend, family member or neighbour may help with your garden watering, but this isn’t always possible.

Installing an automatic watering system can give you the reassurance that your precious plants will be kept hydrated in your absence. The systems can also be used throughout the season to save time, effort, and water.

Hozelock has a wide range of Automatic Watering Solutions to suit gardens of all sizes, including water kits, drippers, sprinklers and all the necessary equipment.

As a container gardener, my personal favourite is the 25 Pot Watering Kit. It has 16 pre-set programmes allowing me to provide consistent watering in the exact quantities I know my plants will need. It delivers water directly to the roots to reduce water wastage and it couldn’t have been easier to install. As long as you have an outdoor tap, the kit provides everything you need for the set-up.

3. Feed

I try to feed weekly if I can in the summer anyway, but I am especially diligent about this before going away, as this will help give plants the balance of nutrients they need.

If you’re in doubt about which type of feeds you need, an all-purpose feed will work perfectly to give your plants a little boost.

You can even have a go at making your own nutrient-rich plant feed from your very own food waste and kitchen scraps with the Bokashi Pure Kitchen Composter.

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4. Weed

Make sure you are on top of any weeding before you go away.

Not only will this stop weeds in their tracks and make things easier for your return, but it will also help stop them competing for any moisture in your beds and borders.

5. Move Your Containers

If hot weather is forecast for your time away, you could think about moving any containers to a shadier spot, away from glaring sunlight. This will protect them and help conserve some of their moisture.

You could also take down any hanging baskets. Putting saucers underneath your pots or placing any containers in a bucket with a few inches of water at the bottom will allow them to draw up water through the roots.

6. Mulch

Mulching is always my number one tip for gardeners, but it is especially important in the warmer months.

Mulching is simply adding a layer of organic matter – it could be compost, soil improver, bark chippings or even leaves or grass clippings – to the surface of your soil. This helps to improve the structure of the soil but, crucially, helps to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

I like to add a layer of bark chippings in the summer, and I also think this neatens up my flower bed too.

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About the Author

Mel, from Instagram’s @melslittlegarden, is an avid small gardener in her new build. She posts tips and tricks to help those with small and new build gardens, along with how to take care of potted plants.
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