How to vacation when you’re a gardener…
Summer days are hot and sunny…the kind of days where you wish you could hit the beach with your friends and family, or maybe escape the heat and enjoy some cool mountain air. Hot and sunny summer days are also the best days for your garden veggies. How can you leave them when they are out there doing their best work for you? How can you go away when you know there will eight hundred million cherry tomatoes that need to be eaten, and at least two dozen GIANT zucchinis waiting for you when you get back that you can’t possibly eat? Vacationing when you’re a gardener is serious business. Here are some tips to help you–and your plants–have a fun, relaxing, and productive summer.
How do you water your garden while you’re away? Do you have a drip irrigation system hooked up to a timer at the spigot? That would certainly be ideal, but if you’re trying to plan a last-minute weekend getaway and you don’t have something like this already, it may be too difficult to set up before you go. You could water heavily before you leave and immediately when you get back, you could ask a neighbor to come water once or twice while you’re away, or maybe you could try an ancient method for efficient slow-release watering that uses unglazed clay pots, called Ollas, buried in the ground. You can try a DIY creation with terra cotta flower pots like this.
This is tricky because you might already have a ton of cucumbers in your fridge that you can’t eat before you head out of town. And then you know there are at least 8 more on each plant that will be giant when you get back. Don’t worry about it. If you don’t have time to make pickles before you flee to the beach, donate your extra cucumbers (and anything else that won’t keep while you’re gone) to a local food pantry. You can find one near you with a quick search at www.AmpleHarvest.org/findpantry. The same goes for when you come back from vacation! Sometimes it’s just hard to catch up with all the food that’s coming in. If you keep backyard chickens you might have the same issue with all the eggs they laid while you’re gone. Fresh vegetables, herbs, nuts, fruits and even eggs can be donated to food pantries listed on AmpleHarvest.org.
What other tips do you have for those gardeners out there who are hesitant to leave their glorious gardens? What about the weeds?!?! Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.