What happens to your garden or plants while you're on vacation?

(Zone 7a)
There are a total of 108 votes:

I have an irrigation system that is on a timer.
(14 votes, 12%)
Red dot

A friend or relative waters my plants.
(40 votes, 37%)
Red dot

I hope for rain while I'm gone.
(14 votes, 12%)
Red dot

I do not vacation during growing season.
(30 votes, 27%)
Red dot

Other (tell us!)
(10 votes, 9%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Concord, CA(Zone 9b)

I have a combination system--conventional and drip-- depending on what's being watered. However, it's not particularly efficient, so I always cross my fingers as I make my first inspection of the garden after returning home from a trip.

This message was edited Jul 2, 2012 10:37 AM

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Actually, I voted I don't vacation during growing season…But to be totally truthful, We don't vacation! Most we ever do is a day, or couple of day trips! Just pretty much home-bodies!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Our vacations are usually no longer than 10 days, so I deep water the garden before I leave, and again when I get back, if it hasn't rained.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

we never both go away at the same time...at least we haven't so far.
if that does ever happen, 10 days would be max and i'd have a friend come over and turn the sprinklers on for at least the main garden.
i hate going anywhere.......

Lisle, IL(Zone 5a)

Part is on a timed drip system and the rest I have to rely on family. After this year's 14 vacation, I've decided to put everything on a timer before our next big vacation in 2014, as I lost some things due to issues with someone not understanding how the system operates.

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

I try to stay local during our summer months and winter during the rain to a sunnier clime. If we are gone for the weekend or so, I'll put all the container and houseplants on the covered east-facing porach, and water well, but don't usually worry about the yard.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Voting "other" as I've worked toward water sustainability over the past few years of erratic rainfall.

Before vacation, I pot up plants that are rootbound. Even cutting back the root systems if needed.

I have vegetables growing in lasagna beds and have also built a few hugelkultur beds. Both styles retain moisture well.

I lay out landscape timbers in 2 x 8 foot beds on level ground or the brick patio, placing them where they will receive evening shade. I line the beds with black plastic and fill with a shallow amount of water. These are for my potted plants that demand more moisture. And while I am gone, the beds will catch and retain any possible rainfall. If the plants should show any wilting, the young man that cares for my four legged menagerie can easily add water without much effort. I add a mosquito dunk to each bed for prevention.

I have succulents under the porch roof as I had lost some in the past due to too much rain. I also have my Hoyas on the porch and before we leave for vacation I will water well them by immersion. This allows the pots to be submerged and the root system in thoroughly drenched. Then I hang them back up.

Nope, I don't stay gone too long... from a week to ten days. One year, we had additional obligations and were gone for two weeks. I haven't lost plants except for the year the succulents got repeatedly drenched. I still worry and it is a lot of effort but worth it. When I get back from vacation, I feel no one missed me... lol Kristi

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I rely on rain since no one here at my house can be relied on to water. I can tell them exactly what to water and how often and it still doesn't get done. lol

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

I have a landscaper friend who comes over and waters my potted plants. I have over 20 pots, so it takes a dedicated and knowledgeable person to help me out.

Phutthamonthon, Thailand(Zone 10b)

We get one of our workers from the factory to come over when we are away if it's the dry season the whole garden and pots need watering and top up the pond as the water evaporates (temps reach 100 C). If its the monsoon season (May to October) we just need the potted plants watered. I do lose the odd pot plant as they don't always put the water in the pot! Just on the plant itself.

The last time I went home to England I bought a cheap rain guage. But had not thoought about the amount of rain here, which can be more than 50mm in a day!

This message was edited Jul 4, 2012 6:47 PM

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Vacation? You mean we are supposed to get a vacation?

I use up a lot of my vacation time (from work) taking a day or two here and there for various things. If I take a week or so of consecutive time, I usually use the time to get caught up at home and do things around town. I guess I'm more of a staycationer. I'm sometimes gone for a week on business, but I find the garden, flowers, lawn, etc can usually take care of themselves that long. I do have an in-ground, automatic sprinkler system with multiple zones each of which can be controlled separately, but as we normally get adequate rain water here (52in/year), I only use the sprinkler system as a backup during times of drought.

Pretoria, South Africa

Why go on vacation if you can stay home? LOL! We are real home-bodies. Last Christmas we went away for a weekend - the first time in 6 years. Hated it...

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I schedule vacation time for gardening. I take a fews days here & there for gardening activities; such as planting & harvesting. These are the things that I enjoy doing more than anything else. I kid you not!

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Everything but my houseplants are on a timed drip/sprinkler system. My garden wouldn't survive without it. While I don't vacation during the summer, my husband and I travel often for work. My mother-in-law refuses to let us set up a timer system for her garden and spends an hour each morning and evening watering her yard and garden.

Wow, some of you have rain in the summer? We haven't had any rain for more than a month now. Total rainfall for the year so far is less than 4 inches.

Jasper Co., MO(Zone 6b)

The ground is rock hard and no rain even not water the plants at all... I have 4 rain barrels and never got hook up yet.... I hope T-storm coming next week for sure (maybe!)...

Happy 4th of July!

Take care and stay inside for extreme hot today until Saturday...

No vacation for me...

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

I was hired to water my sister's neighbor's garden while they are on vacation, and I have been out there every day in this 100 degree heat. They come home tomorrow. Whew! Everything is alive and well, though.

Mount Vernon, KY

Is not God suppose to take care of this mess.
I am now considering letting them go --- there is no end in sight is there? I feel like a murdererer though - I have finally watered enough to coach the watermelons out of the ground -- seems kind of cruel to stop now???
What do you guys think - will this drought end soon and I should keep going or just throw it in for a loss?

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Drought? We just had another couple of inches here! If they are beginning to grow, I think I'd keep at it and give them a chance…As long as the pocketbook would allow! :-))

Mount Vernon, KY

I believe you are rubbing in about those two inches.
Okay, I am pretty sure I will be a crying when I get my water bill next month. This month it was only 10 dollars more that usual.
That is not so bad, and there is always a chance that after these 10 days it will break. I sure hope so.,

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Other . . . I just hope it won't rain too much!


Thumbnail by Resin Thumbnail by Resin Thumbnail by Resin Thumbnail by Resin Thumbnail by Resin
Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

If it wasn't for the fact that home grown vegetables taste so much better than store bought, I would have quit gardening years ago!

As to the water bill... I schlep buckets of rainwater around some days. Other days, I use a hose. I'm keeping fingers crossed that I can afford the bills this summer.

I have found that once vegetable plants are well established, they can go a really long time without being watered. Lots of composted soil and mulch helps, too.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Quote from thaidai :
The last time I went home to England I bought a cheap rain guage. But had not thoought about the amount of rain here, which can be more than 50mm in a day!

Errrr . . . that can happen here too, got that much in just 2 hours! (as in the pics above....)


Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

One of the reasons I left England back in the mid 60's was because it always seemed to be raining!

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

resin, that first picture looks like my driveway yesterday...3+" in 45 minutes.
i feel badly for anyone getting too much or too little rain....the gardener's curse, both of them.

Mount Vernon, KY

Well it rained today, and saved me from dragging my sorry self down to the bottom garden to haul water to those watermelons, Thanks for your prayers and look like we might get another. We need it because was enough to settle the dust.

I thought that first picture was like the Miami River up in Ohio, around the town of Hamilton, Ohio. For some reason they have built stair steps (I guess it is dikes or little damns) in the middle of the river. I DIDIN'T KNOW IT WAS REALLY RAIN WATER GOING DOWN STREET STAIR STEPS. What a great picture!

Millbury, MA(Zone 5a)

I voted other because I just didn't understand one word in the question -- "vacation". What's that?

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

LOL, McCool, I know what you mean!
Incredible pics, Resin!
Great to have rain, Liquidamber2, I was at a garden center when it started pouring, and everyone had happy smiles.

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9a)

My husband usually stays home to care for plants (he's not a traveler). I give him detailed written instructions and drawings to help him. He does pretty well actually.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Well the few day or weekend trips is about it here. When funds allow gulf coast destinations,only that is not often.

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

"A friend or relative waters my plants."

I just got back from a 10-day trip. I had two different sets of folks watering, but I had no idea we'd be in a drought while I was gone. The plants are out there, not dead, but they're not doing anything. I watered the garden for 3 hours yesterday morning. Of course all the bermuda grass around the garden is growing and looks lovely.

My flowers and shrubs have taken a bad beating.

praying earnestly for rain on my little village lot.

Mount Vernon, KY

You have that type of grass up there too.
Have you ever dug that stuff up. It has deep roots that really rhizomes or what I would call rhizomes. It is the only thing that can with stand my geese and still grows in the geese lot. I thought the north was getting the rain???
Ohio and northern Ky has been gettin plenty.
Is the storms forming to far to the east from you? Ain't that horrible.
Hubbys says a cool front is coming through here tomorrow with severe storms. Maybe you will get some then. I will give you a prayer. :)
I hate droughts.

(Sallie) Cherry Vall, IL(Zone 5a)

Who has time to go on vacation! Actually, my husband & I went on a trip (2nd time in 22 years) just last January. Not much growing in Northern IL at that time :)

Thumbnail by SallieKr
Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Somebody is a snowbird (LOL),truthfully I wasn't all that much later than that.

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

We haven't gotten plenty of rain in the northern tip of Kentucky, but we did get a little today.

Mount Vernon, KY

Sorry ,KyWoods;
I was just listening to my hubby which is always telling me where the rain is . I ask just now about what you said of the rain in northern Ky. He said they had been (slap on forehead here - oh my). - I think-- you all may have had a couple of rains that we did not get at the very beginning of this drought is all . As far as him saying there had been rain; well heck - we had at one time rain here too! At one time!

I am sorry about your drought and feel you pain, and I should have know that you all were having a drought too - my mother talks with her sister about every day . And my aunt lives in nothern Kentucky, not too far from Florence. She has lupus;but in good health inspite of it. She went out to speak to a neighbor today and had a heat stroke - I guess lupus is a hypothalmus origin type of autoimmune disease and real sensitive to maintaining body temperature. Still that is pretty hot for her to be out in it for only a little while and wake up in the emergency room.

But cheer up; we are suppose to get rain more tomorrow. :) Very severe though : (

Oh almost all my wateremelons are up . I have about 20 in one spot and five more other spots with nothing. I wonder if tomorrow during the severe storm with winds whipping at my clothes - if I might be able to transplant?

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

I love growing flowers and vegetables. Every summer day the vegetable garden needs tending and the flowers need dead heading. If we weren't watering nearly every day during this hot/dry summer, the plants would wilt and die so quickly. We don't can and freeze anymore, but we love eating fresh tomatoes, squash, green beans, cucumbers, okra, and potatoes. And we love sharing them with our friends and neighbors. We plan our trips to the beach and mountains in the spring and fall, as well as our trips to visit children and grandchildren.

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Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Beautiful gardens, Rebecca.
LiquidAmber, I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt having a heat stroke. How scary that it happened so quick! I have a cousin in New Orleans with lupus.
Florence is only about 25 minutes south of me.

Fayetteville, AR(Zone 6b)

What's a vacation?

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Liq: We had heavy rain yesterday, all of a sudden, with extreme wind. Knocked down two trees in my son's yard. Lots of limbs and stuff, but we DID get rain. Be careful what you ask for! LOL

We should get more rain today and tomorrow. I am praying for it. What we got yesterday was just a start. We are down over 12" for this year.

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