PUBLISHED: 12:27 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 14:45 12 May 2010
GARDENERS are often reluctant to go away on holiday in the growing season leaving the plants which have received their constant attention to the vagaries of the weather. In fact, some even contemplate confining their holidays to the winter months for thi
GARDENERS are often reluctant to go away on holiday in the growing season leaving the plants which have received their constant attention to the vagaries of the weather.
In fact, some even contemplate confining their holidays to the winter months for this reason, but that would be taking things to extremes.
The answer is to make an arrangement with a friend or neighbour, preferably someone with an interest and understanding of plants, to look after each other's gardens while away.
This is particularly important for gardeners with greenhouses. While plants can survive out of doors if the weather is kind, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers under glass have to be looked after on a daily basis.
If the weather is hot they have to be watered at least twice-a-day and unless automatic windows have been installed doors and windows have to be opened in the morning and closed in the evening.
It is important to make it as easy as possible for somebody else to care for your plants.
This means leaving a watering can next to the rainwater barrel and providing one which will easily reach around the plants in the greenhouse without too much stretching.
Similarly take hanging baskets off their hooks and put them on the ground alongside any house plants which need watering since this will save time and effort.
If a garden hose is needed for use in the vegetable plot make sure it is connected and stretched out in the right position instead of expecting your friend or neighbour to do this themselves.
Also give clear instructions about any acid loving plants in containers which must have rain water otherwise on your return you may find their leaves have turned yellow due to lime in tap water.
Invite the person looking after your garden to pick any vegetables or soft fruit which may be ready to eat as a way of thanking them since they are, in any case, likely to be past their best on your return.
Finally bring them back a present since they will have given a lot of their free time on your behalf and deserve a reward for their efforts. Since they are gardeners themselves a plant is always acceptable.