Pots, hanging baskets and growbags are the components of your back garden most very likely to take a hit for the duration of a summertime absence: smaller soil volumes dry out quickly and want watering everyday in scorching temperature, in any other case you are going to occur house to a crispy mess. If you have a mate or neighbour ready to pop above and h2o, this is great: make the offer a lot more tempting by supplying to reciprocate when they go away, and invite them to pick any flowers and edible crops that would normally go to squander.

If this is not attainable, the future greatest choice is to set up a self-watering technique: this can be as easy as watering spikes attached to drinking water-loaded plastic drinks bottles or wine bottles planted in unique pots, but you can also attach a soaker hose on a timer to a drinking water butt or outdoor tap. If you have a lot of worthwhile vegetation in pots, a computerised self-watering method you can monitor remotely from an application can be a worthwhile expense.

If this feels as well a lot like tricky work, your greatest bet is to soak every little thing thoroughly ahead of you go, then huddle containers and hanging baskets jointly in a shady spot away from partitions so they can capture any rainfall. Put a gravel-crammed drip tray underneath pots to capture water and permit it to be absorbed. Increase a layer of bark or gravel mulch quite a few centimetres deep to the leading of pots to slow down evaporation and quit competition from weeds. Bought pots that can’t be moved? Protect them from the sunshine with old net curtains or horticultural fleece.


These are significantly less susceptible than containers for the duration of holiday seasons, mainly because they can take in any rainfall much more simply, and roots can arrive at much into the ground to attract up dampness. Relatively than providing every thing a brief spray, emphasis your watering on crops most likely to put up with in a drought, these as shrubs and trees planted in the past few months as properly as summer bedding. Give these a deep soak, directing water to the base of the plant.

Don’t get worried as well considerably about flowerbeds, where by roots can reach more deeply to locate moisture. Illustration: Ryan Gillett/The Guardian

If you have invested cash on a new tree and prepare to go absent often, it is well worth investing in a tree hydration bag to make guaranteed your new addition isn’t denied water in the course of its very important settling-in period of time. Deadhead bouquets and remove weeds to make guaranteed plants are not struggling with excess strain from competitiveness. Mulching immediately after watering will also aid to maintain in humidity.

Vegetable gardens and allotments

Harvest and preserve as substantially as you can right before you go, as nearly anything that ripens in your absence will go to waste. Suitable now, that contains salad leaves, courgettes, beans, peas, chillies, tomatoes and tender fruit such as strawberries and blueberries. Take out as quite a few weeds as you can, water, then mulch beds with grass clippings, handmade compost or straw.


Grass is amazingly tough: it usually bounces again quickly from drought, so do not worry about this portion of the backyard. If you have held likely with No Mow May possibly, there is no purpose to start off reducing now, but if your garden has been often mown, give grass a trim with the mower blades established large – assume a light trim fairly than a excitement slash – and save fertiliser and other garden therapies right up until you return.

If you have a robotic mower, do you just leave it to carry on whilst you vacation? Most versions can be still left to mow as typical, as they are fitted with an alarm and a protection code system that locks the machine after a several failed attempts, and some can be monitored remotely by means of an app.


Gardens still left with significant-benefit goods on screen can be a concentrate on for robbers, so be absolutely sure to lock tools, ladders, mowers, ornaments, furnishings and everything else of value away, securely and out of sight. If you have significant items of home furnishings, barbecues or sculptures that can not be moved, protected them in place with major-obligation ground or wall anchors. Shift wheelie bins absent from boundaries to cease people utilizing them to climb more than, and deal with get rid of and garage home windows so the contents are not on screen. Sheds’ weak details are usually the hinges – so even if you have an costly padlock, incorporate mentor bolts to make the hinges significantly more challenging to remove.


Most wildlife will be unbothered by your absence, but do not go away dangers in position: pack absent sporting activities netting to prevent birds and hedgehogs finding caught, and ensure fruit cage netting is correctly secured. If anyone is coming to h2o, talk to them to refill bird feeders and baths. If not, further huge feeders that can keep two or three litres of food stuff will retain the provide heading for for a longer period (like the 2.7 litre Flo Competition feeder from the RSPB). Leaving a number of dishes of h2o at ground amount all over the yard in shady spots really should enable to deliver water for wildlife.


Greenhouses are a single of the trickiest areas of the back garden to depart through a getaway, so question going to waterers to prioritise this area when popping into your back garden. If you really don’t have another person to check in, depart all windows and vents open up, and move plants off staging and on to the floor so they are shaded from the sun. If that is not feasible, include netting or shade paint to defend crops and maintain them from frying.


Check filters and pumps are managing effortlessly and filters are thoroughly clean prior to you go, but go away waterfalls and fountains running so the water stays aerated if you have fish. Take away any particles from the surface area of the water, then top rated up to the optimum stage.

Succulents and cactus blooming flowers in hothouse credit
Cacti and succulents can final devoid of h2o for several months. Illustration: Ryan Gillett/The Guardian


Most houseplants will not need to have any added notice if left for a week or so – just be certain to drinking water totally in advance of leaving, enabling pots to drain so they are not still left sitting down in stagnant drinking water. Cacti and succulents can final without h2o for quite a few months, but for extended excursions, grouping plants jointly absent from windows lets them to sluggish down photosynthesis and eke out their source of h2o.

Tropical plants and ferns can be put on a soaked towel (or capillary matting if you have it) in the bathtub, shower tray or sink – some growers even extend a sheet of clingfilm more than the sink or bath to kind a mini greenhouse. Individual specimens can be positioned in significant apparent plastic bags to generate the exact influence. If you go absent often, it’s value investing in some self-watering devices for houseplants: there are many choices that operate well, like drinking water spikes built from terracotta or plastic h2o globes and self-watering planters.

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Balconies and terraces

If you have pots on balconies or on window packing containers and are getting a longish journey, provide more compact pots within and group them on a plastic tarpaulin to shield your ground for shorter jaunts, or containers you cannot transfer, erecting some safety from drying winds and sunshine will assistance, even it’s just an old sheet. Transfer pots to the shadiest corner if you can.