(BPT) - Here is a simple list of tips from Preen to keep your garden going while you are soaking up the sun.
1. A farewell drink.
Before heading off, give flower and vegetable gardens a last good long soak. Hopefully, depending on how long you're gone and the behavior of local weather, further watering may not be a worry. Established annuals can usually last for 10 days without supplemental water. Most perennials can make it through two weeks, and trees and shrubs won't feel the pinch for about a month. Lawns are the camels of the garden. A healthy lawn can go four to six weeks without extra water.
2. Group therapy.
Container plants usually need more water - and more often - than in-ground plantings. For prized container plantings, you'll probably want to ask a friend for help. Make it easy for them by grouping containers in a protected area with indirect sun and access to rainfall. It's a snap to water all in one spot and harder to miss a pot, thus lessening stress on plants and on your helpful chum.
3. It's OK to pinch.
Before you leave, check containers for leggy plants that would benefit from a good hard pinch back to refresh their late-season growth and appearance. By pinching them now, your plants can rebound from that freshly-shorn 'bad haircut look' while you're not around.
4. Weeds aren't welcome.
Most people associate pre-emergent garden weed preventers such as Preen with early spring, but mid-summer is another smart time to apply it. A second application atop mulch or soil will stop weed seeds in the soil and mulch from sprouting while you're away, and it will last well into the fall. Remember that mulch and Preen prevent new weeds from happening; they don't kill existing weeds.
5. It's time to fast.
Don't fertilize plants before leaving. Slower growth is what you want while you are away, especially as you move toward fall.
6. Pick produce before you play.
Harvest as much produce as possible before you leave. If you can't take it with you or just have too much, donate some to a food pantry or share with friends or family. If you're going to be gone for more than two weeks, consider having someone visit the vegetable garden to harvest any produce. If you stop harvesting vegetables, some stop producing.
7. Your vacation awaits.
Summer is a great time for amazing vacations, and you'll enjoy your trip even more if you know your plants at home are taken care of. For more garden tips, visit www.preen.com.