Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Getting Gardens Vacation-ready

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, getting gardens vacation ready

Hello fellow readers,

The week of July 4th ignites the summer vacation season. With the plentiful rains so far this summer, plants will likely be more vulnerable to heat stress once the heat and dryness kick in.  So, before you head off to de-stress, here are a few tips to help your plants and lawn from becoming stressed.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Watering protocol, zero-scaping, xeriscaping, drought tolerant, smart-scaping

Use a slow stream or the soaker setting rather than watering from above.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, getting gardens vacation ready

Gather your potted gardens and move them to a shady spot.

The temptation is to fertilize gardens in the spirit of providing added nutrition to sustain plants while you’re away. In fact, it’s best not to juice them up as it will stimulate new growth creating the need for more water. Rather, gather your potted gardens and move them to a shady spot. Grouping them together will help hold moisture and humidity. Thoroughly water the soil of each pot until the water soaks through the holes on the bottom, avoiding wetting the leaves which can cause foliar disease. Same is true in your garden beds. Use a slow stream or the soaker setting from your garden hose rather than an overhead sprinkler. However, if you must use sprinkler irrigation, water in the early morning so leaves have all day to dry which will reduce the likelihood of disease. Be sure plants are not sitting in water as root rot is not reversible while drought stress usually is. You can set pots on stones or bricks, above the level of water, in a tray or saucer to maintain humidity.

If you’re going away for more than a week, line up a friend to water your pots and garden if Mother Nature doesn’t provide. And don’t forget about your indoor plants which are better moved at least four feet away from a sunny window.

If it’s dry before you leave, give the lawn a long soak and avoid the temptation to mow extra short before you leave as it will cause further stress. Not to worry if your grass turns brown. Going dormant for a few weeks in summer is natural and offers a vacation from cutting. Plus, it makes your lawn less welcoming to grubs.

Most of all prepare for a free-for-all as deer can be quick studies that you’re away. Be sure to choose a systemic deer spray, which means it will soak into the foliage rather than wash off in the rain. I use an organic spray called Deer Out which has a pleasant-smelling clove oil base and spray even deer resistant plants. Meanwhile, enjoy your respite as your “fun” garden chores will be waiting for your return. Garden dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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