Tim and I are headed out of town and out of the country for nearly 2 weeks. While we are gone, I would love if our plants didn't all die.
So, I am trying to do as much as I can to prepare my outdoor garden for the upcoming abandonment. This means, for my climate trying to preserve water. Last year, we had a very dry summer and this meant watering my poor tomatoes almost every day.
My Tiny Tomato Plant
I think this is the optimal time to take vacation. It's not super hot yet and I have all my plants in the ground. There aren't too many weeds to handle, and not too much to do yet. Later in the season I will be busy weeding and harvesting, vacation will seem more of a stress than a relaxation. June is the time to leave.
This spring has been wet and muddy. The forecast so far calls for rain every other day, so I am currently not panicking about my plants. But I am trying to set them up for success, and I want to share with you my thoughts and methods.
Preparing Plants to Live on Their Own
- Mulch! I have added a good healthy layer of mulch to my tomatoes, beans, peas, peppers, tomatillos, pumpkins and zucchini. This mulch will help prevent weeds and water evaporation off the soil. Hopefully, I will come back to huge plants but not huge weeds. The mulch should help hold the water, which means any rain we do get won't evaporate away quickly. This is important as I won't be there to water every day.
- Deep watering. While this isn't important for this trip, I have planted plastic juice containers into my tomato beds. I did this last year and when hot August came this made my tomato stand out compared to others. By filling the container with water, the plant's roots can grow close and drink straight from the source. This also prevents water evaporation off the soil and gives the plants water where they need it. Hopefully, by giving them water like this in the first few weeks of their lives, the tomatoes will have deep roots systems.
- Stop daily watering. While this may seem like torture, for my plants. For the last week, I stopped watering them everyday. This will hopefully get them used to surviving only on what the sky provides, at least for the next few weeks. As we water plants from the top, their roots don't need to grow deep. However as I have relied only on the sky-water for the last week, hopefully the plants have realized they need to grow deep and spread out their roots for water. Maybe it will work or maybe I am crazy.
All in all, I am super excited to go on vacation. But I am also excited to return to my garden after 2 weeks! I expect my plants to astound me with their growth. It's like watching grass grow, literally, you can't see it day to day but after 2 weeks, it will be quite noticeable.
Hopefully, my plants will survive, go hardy and live on without me. I plan to get right back into weeding, pruning, tying back and watering on my return. For now, it's vacation time! See you in 2 weeks garden!
Have you every left your garden for vacation? Did it survive your abandonment? Thanks for checking in with my garden progress.
Have you seen my community garden layout? Check it out here and see what's in store for me. ----- My Community Garden Layout for Summer Success -----