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6 Getaway Gardening Tips

Heading out for a long weekend or vacation? Follow these tips to keep your garden alive and well while you’re gone.

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Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Ah…time for summer vacation. But how will your precious perennials and heavenly herbs survive without you? Megan Grunner, owner/operator of The Natural Path Gardens in Bognor, Ont., provides tips:

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Tidy Up

Tidy Up

Remove the tops of dead or dying foliage. Cut off perennials that will seed while you’re away to prolong their blooming period. Remove weeds – or, if time-strapped, just their tops. And pick ripe veggies.

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Water Wisely

Water Wisely

Overwatering is wasteful and can erode the soil. Instead, use a soaker hose, which releases droplets through tiny holes. Early morning on the day before you leave, let the hose run for a couple hours in the garden.

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Master Mulching

Master Mulching

To keep soil moist, cover the garden with 8-10 centimetres of cedar chips, leaves or straw. Wet cardboard or newspaper held down with sticks works well around trees. Consider size, species, soil type and weather conditions when estimating how long plants can survive without being watered.

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Protect Potted Plants

Protect Potted Plants

Move them to shaded areas. And for up to two weeks of watering, try an inexpensive Plant Nanny from leevalley.com.

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Seek Help

Seek Help

“Lure neighbours to your garden to harvest veggies and pull weeds,” says Grunner. Or hire someone. Jean Mills of Guelph, Ont., pays a teen to move the grass when she is away.

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Set Priorities

Set Priorities

Overwhelmed? “Decide on what you absolutely love and focus on that,” says Grunner. “If you lose a few perennials or things don’t look that great….whatever. You’re going on vacation!”