HOLIDAY WATERING SOLVED
Six plants that will cope when you’re away
PASSPORTS, tickets and bags packed. You’re nearly ready to go. But before you get to the stage of heading off for your summer break, there’s one more thing to do – plan your holiday watering. Unless you want to come back to faded perennials and lifeless pots of annuals, you need to consider how your plants will be watered while you lie in the sun.
It was once the case that nothing could replace the daily watering that you give your plants. However, with advancements in technology you can pretty much put your watering can down for good if you invest in an automatic watering system.
You’ll find products that you can control from anywhere in the world. With so many components within watering systems you can install seep hoses, sprinklers, drippers, misters and rain sensors. These systems can be used under glass, for baskets, lawns and borders.
If you’re not ready to commit to an all-singing, all-dancing watering system, then the ideal solution is to ask a friend or neighbour to call in every day to water and to throw open the vents and greenhouse doors. If you have commandeered a non-gardening friend, ask them to come and watch you water. Explain the issues caused by overwatering as well as underwatering!
If your friends aren’t prepared to take on the challenge of watering, you need to make some changes to your garden before you go away.
Moving your container plants to a shady spot in the garden will reduce the amount of water they require. Place your windowboxes and pots close together as this will reduce water evaporation. Putting pots in saucers is also a good way of capturing any rainwater while you’re away.
Groups of plants in the shade are likely to encourage slugs, so consider putting a slug control in place. Also, before you go away give these plants a good soak. If the weather forecast is very dry, ask a friend to call in once to water – this is far less of an ask than a daily visit.
For those who are in the habit of taking a holiday, mix water-retaining gel into compost in pots at planting time. Your choice of pot can also play a part in your watering plans. Terracotta pots
Water works: there are many ways to ensure your plants are watered while you’re on holiday