10 garden-prepping tips before your summer holiday

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Ten To Zen Brett Walker Landscaping Eclectic style garden
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Whether you’re staying put this December or jetting off as soon as your leave starts, spare a thought for your yard and garden and the possible state they might be in upon your return. Doesn’t really get you more excited about your year-end holiday, does it?

No problem. Just treat your beloved exterior- and interior greens to some TLC before your summer holiday starts…


1. Mow your lawn

About a day or two before you’re off, give your grass a nice cut yet avoid the temptation to go too short. As it’s summer, the hot weather can dry out the grass and cause your entire lawn to go brown. 

If dry weather is predicted, set your mower blades to ‘high’ to keep your grass from yellowing. 


2. Start weeding

Unless you want to come back home to a garden overrun with weeds, set aside some time to clear out those unwanted greens before you go. It might also be worth it to remove fully open flowers to make room for those younger blooms. 

Perhaps one of our professional Gardeners can be trusted for your weeding- and other gardening needs? 


3. What about watering?

If possible, ask a friend or neighbour to keep your garden hydrated while you’re away. Or invest in an automated watering system complete with hoses and timers. 

Otherwise, your best bet is to give all your plants a thorough watering before you go and pray for the best! 


4. Prepare your pots

No friendly neighbour or irrigation system to take care of your potted pretties? How about sinking those containers partway into the ground in an area of your garden that gets comfortable shade? Treat them to a thorough watering, soak the surrounding soil as well, and opt for mulching (with plastic or bark) to help conserve some of the water. 


5. Neaten your beds

Classic Buxus hedging around herb beds Red Daffodil Classic style garden
Red Daffodil

Classic Buxus hedging around herb beds

Red Daffodil

Looking forward to being welcomed by colourful blooms after your holiday? Deadhead your flowering plants (which needs to be done on a regular basis) for healthier growth, continual blooms, and much neater garden beds. 


6. Harvest your fruits/veggies

Organic vegetable and herb garden in recycled pallets planter Acton Gardens Industrial style garden
Acton Gardens

Organic vegetable and herb garden in recycled pallets planter

Acton Gardens

If you’re not planning on staying away too long, we recommend picking some of your kitchen garden goodies, especially runner beans and courgettes. Leaving them in the garden can result in a tough grow, so rather keep them nice and cool in your fridge until you return. 


7. Check your greenhouse

It is crucial that you leave your greenhouse ventilators open (if they’re not automatic) to avoid roasting your plants. In terms of watering, soak the border soil to ensure your crops have adequate moisture while you’re away (if you can’t rely on anyone for regular watering). And remember that potted plants stand a better fighting chance if they’re moved off the staging and sunk into the moist soil. 


8. Prevent pests

THE VILLA, CAPE TOWN I MARVIN FARR ARCHITECTS MARVIN FARR ARCHITECTS Patios
MARVIN FARR ARCHITECTS

THE VILLA, CAPE TOWN I MARVIN FARR ARCHITECTS

MARVIN FARR ARCHITECTS

Your garden’s critters will not be going on holiday, and you need to make your garden as unattractive to them as possible while still keeping it neat and tidy. Thus, rake up those dead flowers and leaves. And if you’re not one for slug pellets, then go with DIY beer traps made from yoghurt pots for an organic solution. 


9. What about your house plants?

As long as you move your house plants to shadier spots and water them decently before you leave, they should be okay. For smaller pots, we recommend placing them on damp towelling in your bath or sink to up their odds of survival. But should you leave any plants in your bathroom, be sure not to deep-clean your toilet and accidentally kill your potted pretties with bleach fumes. 


10. Stay safe and secure

Don’t tempt those with long fingers while you’re on holiday. Lock up all your gardening equipment in your shed or garage and also consider covering up relevant windows. Better yet, invest in motion-activated security lights to ward off potential thieves even further. 

Now, we’re going to show you how to Put the style back in your concrete patio with these 8 ideas


What are your plans to keep your garden alive and well this holiday season?

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