Keep your garden in shape over the holidays
DIY and how-to
It’s the time of year when you get to spend time with loved ones and, if you’re lucky, take a break and travel.
Have you considered how to keep your garden in shape while you’re away?
We share a few top tips:
- Postpone sowing seeds or planting new seedlings. It might be tempting to start a new gardening project before your time away. But new plants need attention and care and won’t thrive if left unattended.
- Deadhead flowering shrubs before you leave. You’ll be rewarded with a flush of new flowers upon your return, and this process can also extend flowering shrubs’ blooming season. Be sure to weed all your flower beds, too, as this will leave your garden looking good until you’re back.
- Don’t let pesky pests throw a party in your absence. Check for signs of pest infestation before you throw your bags in the boot. Use eco-friendly pest control measures to keep your garden critter-free. Alternatively, ask a Stodels consultant to recommend a product.
- Ask a garden-savvy friend or neighbour to care for new plants and water the garden. This way, all your hard work won’t go to waste.
- Install an automatic timed irrigation system to water your plants at scheduled intervals. Mulch can also help keep moisture in the soil, reducing the need for frequent watering. If you already have a system, double-check its settings to ensure your garden receives the right amount of water during your holiday.
- Mow your lawn and water it deeply before you leave. This will ensure your lawn stays lush and vibrant, and it can also help prevent your grass from becoming too overgrown while you’re away.
- Postpone feeding your lawn. Fertilise only when you return, as these products can stimulate growth that may become unruly while you’re not home.
- Think about cooling your plants down. Just as you seek shade on a scorching summer day, your plants appreciate some relief from the sun. Install shade cloth or use garden structures to provide respite and prevent plants from getting sunburned.
- Pack away all your garden tools and outdoor furniture. Storing them inside will keep them in good condition and away from burglars’ eyes. Also, fix any faulty outdoor security lights – dark areas without lighting are far more attractive to criminals.
Tips for Gauteng gardeners
Here’s what to do if you live in an area with regular summer rainfall:
- Although great for lawns and plants, abundant rainfall can encourage rapid weed growth and fungal diseases. Keep your garden beds weed-free and plant disease-resistant varieties. The moisture from summer rains can create ideal conditions for fungal diseases to thrive.
- While your garden may get lots of rain, the summer sun can quickly dry out the soil. Add mulch to your garden beds to help keep moisture and reduce the need for constant watering.
- Prune and cut back any plants that might grow too fast while you’re away.
Tips for Western Cape gardeners
The limited summer rainfall in the Western Cape means your gardening to-do list looks slightly different:
- Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage strong root growth. Consider using a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system to ensure your garden gets the hydration it needs during the hot Western Cape summer.
- Group potted plants together in shady areas – this way, they won’t dry out as quickly. Grouping them helps to create a microenvironment with higher humidity, reducing water loss and stress on your plants.
- Add water retention granules to the soil in indoor and outdoor potted plants. These granules are like tiny sponges that absorb and release water slowly, keeping the soil consistently moist.
- Opt for drought-resistant plant varieties like succulents, lavender, and rosemary. These resilient plants thrive in arid conditions and require little maintenance.
- Install a rainwater collection system to make the most of the occasional rain showers.
Visit your nearest Stodels Garden Centre or shop online to get all the mulch, pots, water retention granules, and tools you need this summer. Hope it’s a good one!
- Postpone sowing seeds or planting new seedlings until you get back from holiday.
- Weed all your flowerbeds and mulch the soil well.
- Deadhead flowering shrubs before you leave. You’ll be rewarded with a flush of new flowers on your return.
- Group potted plants together in shady areas – this way they won’t dry out as quickly.
- Add water retention granules to the soil in indoor and outdoor potted plants.
- Pack away all garden tools and outdoor furniture in a secure location.
- Mow your lawn and water it deeply. Postpone feeding your lawn until you get back from holiday.
- Fix any faulty outdoor security lights. Dark areas with no lighting are far more attractive to potential burglars.
- Check and set your automatic irrigation system. Alternatively, ask a neighbour to water your garden for you and invite them to help themselves to fruit, veggies and herbs from your garden in return.