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Gardeners Should Not Go on Vacation

August 7th, 2010

Going on vacation in the middle of gardening season is not the best idea, especially if you have a lot of potted plants. I have 10 potted tomatoes on my front porch and 6-8 on the back porch along with many potted herbs and flowers. Our weather in July/Aug here in Ohio is usually hot and dry, which means watering these potted plants at least once a day, and the big tomatoes, usually twice per day. It’s inconvenient to ask a neighbor to come over twice a day to water everything, especially since most of our neighbors are weekenders here in our lake community (meaning they live elsewhere and only spend the weekends at their summer homes).

Since we don’t have a drip irrigation system, Mr Chiots and I moved all those tomatoes back by the rain barrels where they would receive more shade and be protected from the elements. They all needed to be tied together since they didn’t have the porch posts as their main source of support. We put each pot into a large plastic storage container and then watered them well and made sure each container had 3-4 inches of water in it. The weather was pretty hot while we were gone and I was hoping the plants had enough water while we were away. Of course it rained really hard the day we came home, so we have to wait a few days for the pots to dry out to move them back out front. They look great though, I’m pretty sure they would have all been dead had we not taken the time to do this for them (I think they actually look better than when we left).

Do you have family or friends look in on your plants when you go away during the gardening season?

12 Comments to “Gardeners Should Not Go on Vacation”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Gardeners Should Not Go on #Vacation http://goo.gl/fb/geEJB #miscellaneus #tomato […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Gardeners Should Not Go on Vacation | Chiot’s Run — Topsy.com's comment

  2. Sue on August 7, 2010 at 5:19 am

    We have a neighbor that waters once a week. All my tubs/pots/barrels are top dressed with a THICK layer of shredded moss. It keeps them moist for about a week. This doesn’t work as well for smaller pots-those get moved into the shade with a saucer of water.

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  3. Amy @ Homestead Revival on August 7, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I’ve hired the same young man (about 15 years old) who I’ve trained over several years as to what I like. He gets better at it all the time. But, I have to pay him and he won’t be around many more summers I’m afraid. This year, I only left for 3 days for an important trip to take my daughter to see a college. Otherwise I’m staying put until the heat and main harvest is over. I told my husband it’s just too hard to leave the garden. So any trips will have to wait until fall. Does that make me a slave to my garden?
    Amy @ Homestead Revival´s last post ..Tractor Fever

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    • Susy on August 8, 2010 at 9:37 am

      If I ever get chickens I’m going to hire the boys from the farm where we get milk and eggs to watch them while I’m gone.

      I feel the same way, last year I went on vacation at the end of April and I was worried about all my seedlings. They seemed to do OK in the temperate climate of the basement though.

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  4. Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm on August 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Sounds like your ideas for the tomato plants were good ones! It would be disappointing to return from a vacation to find the veggies suffering! We don’t go away in the summer either.
    Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm´s last post ..Making Flower Jellies

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  5. Ashley on August 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    It’s my first real gardening season with more than just a couple plants and I leave for vacation in less than a week. As I write this my little brother is on his way over so I can give him a crash course in watering the garden. He is going to pop in to check on the cats and use my hubby’s exercise equipment anyway.
    Ashley´s last post ..And away we go!

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  6. Helen on August 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I’m lucky that my parents are local and water my pots for me but there were a few plants when we returned from our holiday that were suffering as I had forgotten to point those out to Mum for extra care – oops!
    Helen´s last post ..Giardini La Mortella -Heaven!

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  7. MAYBELLINE on August 8, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I never go anywhere. Ever.
    MAYBELLINE´s last post ..Flower Power

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  8. WiderSky on August 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    We’ve just been away and asked our neighbor to do some watering for us. He also had to lock up the chickens and the new chicks at night and top up their feed.
    He’s done a good job with the pots (tomatoes as well!) and his payment for the chore was as many eggs as he could collect.. he tells us he got so many he was thinking of selling them.

    Reply to WiderSky's comment

  9. Anne on August 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Your container tomatoes looks so much better then mine! I wonder what I did different.

    Reply to Anne's comment

    • Susy on August 8, 2010 at 6:08 pm

      HM, not sure. Perhaps it’s my home mixed potting soil.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Andres on August 9, 2010 at 9:42 am

    This year I went to Lowes and purchased two drip irrigation kits at $22 each, and that was enough to cover all my pots that I have in the patio, and I have a soaker hose that runs through my raised bed, and other plantings. I connected all of this to a hose timer, and was able to leave for our vacations, knowing that they will be watered. And to be honest, it has been nice knowing that it still is being watered on schedule, even when I am home, I can spend my time on other things in the garden than watering.
    Andres´s last post ..Tonights Dinner

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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