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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Garden Tending When You Are Away

I received the follow text from my 16-year-old son, who was tending my garden while I was away from home for a few days earlier this summer:

"One of the plants on the jungle gym thing keeps turning yellow even though we're watering it for like 30 minutes.  Should we just water it even more??"

He was referring to the snow peas that were growing up a trellis in my garden. I failed to tell him that their natural life span was basically finished for the season.  My causing him that undue stress put me in mind of the fact that there is a certain protocol for having someone else tend your garden when you take a vacation this time of year.  Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when you're planning time away from your "crop" load.

  • Give it a good feeding before you leave, as well as any insect and fungal treatments required so your garden sitter doesn't have to attend to these.
  • Make hoses and sprinklers, watering cans, etc. easy to access for the work needed.
  • Have your sitter take any produce that comes ripe while he or she is tending your garden.  Produce left to get over-large signals the plant that its life cycle is complete, and it will produce less in the future.
  • Offer a specific watering schedule (how long to water and how often) that is familiar to your plants, but expect to have to accept some differences if your routine doesn't fit your waterer's availability exactly.

Finally, consider offering your own services as a garden tender.  It is a rewarding favor to offer a traveling friend. 

Happy wandering!

Bonus linkhttp://gardening.about.com/od/gardenmaintenance/tp/Watering-Plants-While-On-Vacation.htm

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