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Holiday Garden Care
It may be summer, but just because you are going on holiday doesn’t mean your garden is going to stop growing and changing while you are away…
Here’s the Best Summer Garden Care Tips to ensure you don’t come back to a messy garden, ensuring your private paradise can cope with the ever changing British summer.
Establish a Watering System
While some gardens are relatively vegetation free, if you have a stunning collection of flowerbeds and lawns you will probably want to protect it from the harsh summer sun while you are away. Too much sun on your vegetation can dry up the leaves on your plants and the scorch the grass. Plants need water in order to photosynthesise and will wilt and die if there isn’t enough water.
You can do this with an automated watering system in an easy and affordable way. As they have become more popular, watering systems have become a lot cheaper than they used to be and keeping your garden healthy while you are away is now an affordable option.
Watering systems are the easy alternative to the old fashioned watering can, and consist of sprinklers and tubing that you strategically position to provide your garden with water in all the right places, such as next to shrubs and flowerbeds or areas of your lawn that get a lot of sunlight.
While you are there to control the watering system, you can operate it manually by simply turning on the tap, but when you go away you need to think about getting a water timer to run things while you are away. Once again, with developments in microchip technology, these are a very affordable option and can be easily set by you to provide your garden with water at timed intervals decided by you. You can also attach rain sensors to the system so your water system will stay inactive during periods of heavy rain (like a summer rainstorm) and so you can avoid over-watering.
Once purchased, your watering system is yours for good, so if you find watering your garden by hand the rest of the year round a bit of a drag, you can now make it easier for yourself and really get value for money out of your new system. Just be careful when it comes to the winter months, frozen water can create plugs, building up water pressure and damaging the system, but in summer they work brilliantly!
Prepare Your Pond
Swell UK is an aquatics supplier through and through and we know most of you love ponds too, so we couldn’t think about holiday garden care without mentioning your fish.
While you are away, a number of things can happen to your pond that can be detrimental to the fish kept within it. Fortunately, you can take steps to minimise the risk to your pond while you are away soaking up the sun and culture.
Firstly, you should think about performing a full maintenance session on your filtration system at least one week before you leave. Important points include giving your filter media a clean (using dirty pond water only) so they are in prime condition to deal with the pond waste created in your absence. If they are a bit past their best, you might want to consider replacing them, but do this a few weeks in advance and prime them using dirty pond water to give the algae-eating bacteria that cultivates inside them a head start before its’ time to start packing suitcases.
You should probably look at changing your UV bulb in your in-line or built-up steriliser. UV output on bulbs begins to diminish after 3-6 months, even if the bulb appears to be lit up. This means it has basically become a normal light bulb and its clarifying ability is greatly reduced, meaning that you might come back to a pond that looks like pea soup…
Other tips include things like applying either man-made or natural shade to your pond to keep the sun’s rays from spending too much time on your pond and encouraging algae growth. You can also use pond maintenance kits like pond-vacs or nets to clear up the pond before you go away so there is less to deal with on your return.
It isn’t just garden care which is important, you need to think about how your fish are going to be fed while you are away too. The law in the UK finds it unacceptable to leave your pond fish unattended and unfed for long, and rightly so. Undoubtedly, the best way to do this is to leave somebody you trust with access to your garden to feed your fish at their normal regular intervals, but this isn’t always possible. Fortunately there are auto fish feeders available on the market that can be easily prepared to provide fish with food at timed intervals set by you, but be careful to choose one that will provide your fish with enough food for the duration of your holiday and ensure that the food is dry when you place it in the hopper – wet food can mash-up and clog the feeder, depriving your fish of food.
We feel sure that there’s plenty more you can do depending on the specifics of your garden, but the important thing to remember is to plan ahead. The more you do before you jet off, the less problems you are likely to encounter at the end of your holiday, meaning you still have a beautiful garden to come home to.