Welcome to summer
Not that it feels like it in my neck of the woods, it is cold, gloomy and miserable. It doesn’t feel like the summer holidays are just around the corner. Hopefully things will improve by then, but the extended forecast isn’t looking very promising. I would easily settle for warm-ish and dry with a gentle breeze right now.
But it is what it is, and Christmas is coming and following along hotly on its heels is the summer holidays when we all head off somewhere nice to live in a tent, caravan or bach for a little bit.
As a gardener this always irks me. It is not the right time to leave the garden, the tomatoes are only just getting going and the beans need to be picked pretty much every day or they will stop and don’t get me started on the zucchini! But it is the traditional time for the family to have a holiday and it can’t be avoided.
So aside from making the four hour trip home several times during the holiday to check on things – which is a rather extreme thing to do, there are other things that can be done to ensure the garden survives in your absence.
· Firstly, you can ask a trusted friend or neighbour to take care of the garden. At the very least, get them to water, but explain a good deep watering every other day is best. You can offer them produce in exchange but once again clearly explain what to pick, how to do it and what not to pick to avoid well intentioned mishaps.
· If you can’t find someone, then look into irrigation or even a timer for your tap.
· You can add Yates Waterwise Water Storage Crystals to the garden and to containers and water well. They can hold hundreds of times their own weight in water and will slowly release it back to the plants, meaning you have a bigger gap between watering.
· Do a really hard pick before you go. Green tomatoes with a blush will ripen and make a nice sandwich to eat beside the sea!
· Mow the lawns around the house, this not only makes the place look less abandoned, but it prevents grass seed from blowing into the garden.
· Do a deep weed and if you haven’t already put mulch down or top your mulch up, this will help lock in moisture and keep the weeds down.
· Right before you head off do a thorough pest and disease check and treat anything you find. You may even want to take a preventative approach for just in case.
· Take care of any laterals on your tomatoes and tie in wayward tendrils on your cucumbers.
· Check your structures to make sure they are strong enough. If in doubt add reinforcements.
· A last minute feed wouldn’t go a miss, to keep plants healthy while being neglected.
We all need a break from time to time, but if we could shift the summer holidays to February, this would work well for my garden! Maybe we need to start a petition?
Happy gardening and as always – if you want to get in touch leave a comment below.
Sarah the Gardener : o)