Easing Separation Anxiety

Easing Separation Anxiety

Taking an extended summer vacation? It’s important to plan ahead to help your plants survive the separation.

The kids have been out of school awhile and you're planning that much needed summer vacation — maybe for a week or longer. But what will you do about your plants and lawn while you're away?

Just like you would for your pets, it’s important to plan ahead to help your plants survive the separation.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. If it hasn’t rained in the past 10-14 days, water your lawn deeply before you leave. “Deeply” is watering two consecutive days or using a “skip” day. For example, a Monday and Tuesday or a Monday and Wednesday.
  2. Vegetable gardens and container plants will need watering every third day or so — enlist the help of a friendly neighbor.
  3. Mow the lawn one day before you leave, but don't lower the mower blades as it will stress the lawn.
  4. “Deadhead” spent perennials and annual flowers.
  5. Add mulch to areas where there is none to help plants retain water and reduce soil temperature.
  6. Harvest all ripe or nearly ripe vegetables (Give some to the kind neighbor tending to your garden!). It will soon be time to start the fall vegetables in mid-August.
  7. Soak houseplants thoroughly and store them in a bathtub or large cattle trough with a few inches of water; the plants will absorb it as needed through the container drain hole.

Now that you've prepared your plants, rest easy knowing they'll be alive and well when you return. Get out and enjoy that vacation!

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Donna Fossum

About our expert

Donna Fossum

Donna Fossum is a SAWS conservation planner and graduate of Texas A&M University. She is also a master gardener so she “digs” plants. Donna goes to work every day to be able to afford her love of fishing and all things coastal. When she isn't hard at work behind her computer, she is dreaming of the beach or catching that "wall hanger" trout or redfish. She is a proud "dog mom" of one black Labrador (Matilda’s Sir Buckaroo, aka Bucky).