Vacation care tips for plants

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As you plan your next vacation, take into consideration that your garden and houseplants will miss you!  With that in mind, we’ve prepared a few vacation care tips for plants.

There are a few garden chores that will cut down on your absolute need to be near the garden, but it does mean preparing a few days before you leave.

A recently fed plant will have a tendency to grow. This can contribute to an increased need for water, or make it more inviting for the voracious appetite of garden invaders. Put off normal feeding, or if your plant/s must be fed, cut the feeding to half strength and plan on providing the second half when you return.

Mulching is probably the most important thing to do before leaving on vacation. Be sure you’ve watered before applying mulch, then water enough after application so that the mulch is damp on its own without having to draw moisture from surrounding soil.  Mulch can be used in flowerbeds, vegetable gardens and around trees and shrubs. Leave approximately six inches around the trunks of trees and shrubs so they can breathe. It is safe to add mulch to containers, but take care that stems are not choked by the mulch.

Containers can be moved to a light shade area while you’re gone. Hanging baskets should be taken down so that they are more easily watched (unless you have a drip system that is on a timer).

Unfortunately, bugs will not be on a holiday while you’re gone — they’ll be happy if you forget about them. Use Sluggo Plus to take care of snails, ants, some cutworms and earwigs during your absence.

Indoors plants can also be taken care of with a little forethought. Large container plants should be watered well before you leave and if the plant can be moved, place it away from the windows so it will not dry out. You can put small plants in the bathtub after they’ve been well watered. The coolness of the bathroom will help retain moisture. Do not leave plants standing in water.

Visit your local Sloat Garden Center location for a variety of watering devices to help keep plants moist while you are away. We recommend the Plant Nanny, Scheurich water dispensers, and DriWater products.

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