Top 10 Tips To Help Your Garden Survive Your Holiday

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It’s the school holidays! Time for adventures, going on vacation and taking a break from everyday life.

Before going away on holiday, though, it’s important to take care of your garden. Experts at British Garden Centres have put together a checklist of tasks to complete before you leave, to make sure your outdoor space is thriving upon your return.

senior woman gardening in backyard with flowers.

Pic: iStockphoto


  • Before going away, ensure your garden is healthy by giving it the TLC it needs while you aren’t at home. Slow-release fertilisers are a low-maintenance option for looking after your vegetable plants and will slowly feed your plants until you return.
  • Deadhead spent blooms and foliage. This will encourage new growth that you can return to.
  • Cut, edge, and weed your lawn before leaving. Avoid moving plants, or planting anything new, until you return.


  • Get moving! If a hot spell is forecast, move hanging baskets, window boxes, and containers to a sheltered spot for shade and heat protection. Clustering them together will keep the temperature constant and create a microclimate for your plants to thrive. Choose a wall, fence, or under a tree to allow rainfall to reach them.
  • Keep hydrated. You need to ensure that your plants get a good watering while you’re away. Invest in British Garden Centres’ collection of self-watering planters which have their own watering system. These planters have a removable tray with small holes for drainage, and water moves up from the reservoir when the soil is dry. This means you can relax… and your plants can too.
  • A good soak. If you have a water butt, ensure it’s full before leaving and give your plants a good soaking. Water evaporates quickly from plant pots, especially in full sun, leading to soil and roots potentially drying out.
  • Cover up. Mulching helps retain up to 25% more water and prevents weed growth. Laying bark chippings on borders before you go away will help retain soil moisture. Gravel works as a moisture-conserving mulch for all seasons, and slate chippings absorb heat during summer while keeping moisture from evaporating from the soil.  All are available from your local British Garden Centres store.

Clear out…

  • Get harvesting. If you have a vegetable garden, pick ripe produce regularly and before you depart on holiday to prevent the plants from going to seed. This will result in higher crop yields when you return, and prevent rotting fruits and vegetables from attracting pests. Freeze, store or give away excess produce before leaving – a grateful neighbour may even offer to check on your garden during the week!
  • Pest check! Before going on vacation, check for pests and remove them by hand, or organically if necessary. This will prevent a bigger problem being stored up for your return.
  • Don’t forget your houseplants. Move plants away from direct sun on windowsills so they don’t suffer from scorch while you are away. Before going on vacation, prune houseplants to remove dead leaves and stems. This helps conserve energy and improves their appearance to enjoy when you return.

Find expert, inspiring gardening advice in every issue of My Weekly, from Susie White, and in the My Weekly Special from Hazel Sillver! Buy your copy from newsagents and supermarkets, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

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