Do you want to enjoy your holiday away from your precious pots and not worry about how your garden is doing while you're away?
A little preparation ahead of departure day will give your small space garden the very best chance of surviving without you! Plants in pots tend to dry out quickly.
Watering is possibly the most critical and problematic aspect of leaving your plants for an extended period.
Indoor and outdoor plants can benefit from being moved close together to keep the humidity high.
Move your plants away from direct sunlight since moisture will evaporate faster in full sun.
Check whether rain is forecast and if so, this should keep your garden reasonably hydrated for a few days or a week at a time.
If you are watering by hand, give your vegetables a good soaking.
Use Waterpot Ollas to keep your garden watered and ask a neighbour or accomodating friend to keep them topped up. This is far easier than asking them to stand and spray haphazardly at your garden.
Move them to shady rooms. The large plants should survive. Small pots are best placed on damp towels in the kitchen sink or the bath and water well. As soon as you get back, put the pots back in their usual positions and water deeply. Prolonged treatment can result in root rot, particularly those plants that need to dry out between waterings.
The Waterpot terracotta Spike is a no-worries method of keeping plants hydrated but not wet. Bury the Spike in the indoor plant container, and a long-necked bottle can be filled with water and inverted into the spike opening, providing a visible water gauge and reservoir.
Harvest a few days before you leave. Go through your garden and pick fruits and vegetables that are ripe or will ripen within a few days. For example, tomatoes can sit on your kitchen counter to mature, and strawberries ripen in the refrigerator. A small zucchini will become quite thick if you are gone for a week or more. Peas and green beans will stop producing once they develop a large seed. Runner beans will grow large and tough if left too long
Shade lettuce and other leafy greens that don't like direct sun.
Pinch flowers off herb plants to encourage new growth.
Mulch around plants to help to contain moisture in the soil. Use readily available materials such as Sugar cane mulch, pea straw, shredded leaves, pine needles. They will allow any rainfall to pass through and block weeds from settling on your soil.
FIND A FRIEND
Ask a friend if they will keep an eye on things while you are away. Leave watering cans, spray bottles, and garden hoses accessible. Make sure you provide instructions on what to do with your plants, particularly indoor plants that tend to have particular watering needs.
Don't be upset with your friend if any plants die. They will not understand your garden the way you do.
Ollas and spikes make the task of watering your plants an easy peasy chore for your plant nanny, they simply fill the vessels or bottles and the olla takes care of the rest.
Some simple words of truth about maximising your space in a small space garden situation. Sharing the love of small space growing with the clients of APIA Australia recently talking about how to build a thriving garden on your balcony. The most common gardening myth is that you need space to build a garden - let's bust that myth!