Today marks the summer solstice and the longest day of the gardening year, with the 4th of July holiday and our long southern summer ahead.
This can be a tough time for our landscapes as other activities – trips to the beach or mountains, weekend getaways, and more – lure us away from our ordinary routines.
Before you leave for an extended time, make plans for a neighbor or friend to check on your garden. Ask them to harvest vegetables and herbs and keep any that they pick.
Basil in particular is a fast grower and benefits from being cut regularly. Give them an easy pesto recipe so they can make some for themselves (or even better, make some for them when you return).
Are there spots that need more water than others if it turns sunny and hot? Walk them through your landscape and give them a heads-up on problem areas or plants that you’d appreciate particular attention paid to.
If you have pots that will need consistent watering, group them together within easy reach of your hose. Remember very small pots dry out quickly, especially in windy conditions. Consider moving those in sun into more shade while you’re gone.
Walk your landscape and do any weeding, deadheading and cutting back, keeping in mind how much they will grow while you’re away. Make sure your garden beds are mulched and add some to the top of container gardens as well.
Finally, be grateful your friend made the time to check on your plantings but don’t expect perfection. If, when you return, there are overgrown plants, some that received too much or too little water, or vegetables that didn’t get harvested, don’t sweat it. After all, you just returned from vacation while they were hard at work for you!
By Kris Blevons