We’re all going on a summer holiday! Well, if we’re lucky that is. After the year or so we’ve had, most of us are more in need of a holiday than ever before. Many of us have recently had plenty of time at home to carefully tend the garden, so the thought of leaving it to its own devices for a week or two might seem daunting. Don’t despair, though – taking your hard-earned holiday needn’t spell doom for your beautiful garden. With a bit of post-holiday garden care, your plot will be back on top form for you to enjoy for the remainder of summer.
There are lots of ways you can prepare your garden for a period of absence (more on that here), and the value of a neighbour who’s happy to help with the watering can’t be overstated. But how can you get your garden back on top form on return from your holiday? In this article, I’ll share with you my top post-holiday garden care tips.
Post-holiday lawn care
If it’s rained whilst you’re away (and let’s face it, that’s not unlikely here in the UK), you may return to a lawn that resembles a jungle. The blades will have grown strong and long, and it may look a little on the untidy side. It can be tempting to shear your lawn really short, but by cutting through established, thick stalks you may end up with a stubbly, brown lawn. If your grass has had a bit of a growth spurt, the best approach is to give it a gentle trim. Raise the blades on your lawnmower as high as they’ll go and just trim the ends off the grass, which will encourage it to grow soft and leafy again.
Whilst you’re at it, get rid of any weeds that might have sprung up even if the grass hasn’t grown much. Pull them out manually, or shear them with the mower, and give the lawn edges some attention too. You’ll find that the whole garden instantly looks much happier.
Post-holiday greenhouse care
I’m always stunned by how much progress plants and vegetables can make during just a week away! It’s important to give your greenhouse a once-over as soon as possible when you get back from vacation. There will likely be lots of ripe crops to pick, and everything will benefit from a good water and feed.
Post-holiday plant care
As your fruit and vegetables may make great progress at this time of year, so will weeds. Lots of weeds may have sprung up whilst you’ve been away, and some may even be threatening to shed their seeds – increasing your problems. Deal with any weeds promptly, either pulling them up entirely or removing the flowering heads.
Get on top of any deadheading that needs doing now, making sure that your flowers have plenty of reserves left to provide more lovely blooms. Give your container plants a once over too – if you don’t have a neighbour to help out with watering, some may have suffered whilst you’re away. If this is the case, don’t fret – just dispose of any dead plants and use the extra space to start looking at your late summer and autumn planting scheme. Life goes on!
Post-holiday fruit and vegetable care
Once again, you may be surprised by the huge growth spurt your crops may undertake the second your back is turned. Head to the veg patch and make sure to pick any crops that are ready, trimming and tidying where necessary. Give everything a good drink, particularly if the weather has been dry.
If any crops have gone to seed or are past their best, just pull them out and have a bit of a clear up. This will give you extra space for planting more seeds to enjoy later into the season. Good veg to plant out during mid to late summer includes salad leaves, herbs, carrots and kale.
I hope this post-holiday garden care guide will help you to feel confident about returning from your hols and getting back in the garden. Happy holidays! Katie x