GARDEN TIME with DOUG – Caring for Container Gardens and Hanging Baskets While Away on Vacation


Here we are in late June. School is out. We are now entering the “dog days of summer” where our weather can be scorching and dry. And, we have a planned vacation scheduled. What do I do with all the outdoor plants that I have made an investment in buying and caring for them up to this point? I don’t want them to suffer or die!

Some of us have the luxury of having friends or family willing to house sit and plant sit. That’s nice. But for some, this luxury is not available. What are some other alternatives to consider with keeping your plants watered and healthy while being away?

  1. Right before leaving be sure to thoroughly saturate the soil in each container garden and hanging basket. I MEAN REALLY SOAK THE SOIL. This could buy you three or four days before the plants need to be watered again.
  2. Take down the hanging baskets and set on the ground in some shade. Baskets that are left hanging in the air will dry out fast.
  3. We carry PLANT QUENCHER. A Plant Quencher is a glass ball with a stem that you insert into the soil. Fill the glass globe with water. Cover the mouth of the bottle with a fingertip. Turn it over and remove your finger as you set the glass globe into the soil. A Plant Quencher will release water deep within the soil mass as the soil dries.
  4. If possible, move the containers and hanging baskets into a little shade for a few days. Some cooler shade will extend the moisture time in the soil.
  5. Use the product called SOIL MOIST. Soil Moist is a polymer that is designed to keep soil moist longer and help to reduce plant waterings. In existing pots of plants, take a pencil or screwdriver and make holes into the soil deep enough to get into the root system of the plant. Then sprinkle the Soil Moist polymers into the hole and then cover back up. These polymers expand when exposed to water. Then will shrink again as they release water when the soil starts to dry.
  6. Consider using TREE GATORS around the base of newly planted trees and shrubs. Tree Gators are a plastic, slow-release watering bag that you place around trees and shrubs. You may have seen Tree Gators in your travels. These are the green bags that you see wrapped around planted trees. Once placed around the plant, you then fill the bag with water. The Tree Gator has tiny, pin-sized holes that allow the water to slowly seep out.

Let’s all just hope that we continue to get timely rainfall this summer and we won’t need to fret or worry about our plants while away on vacation.


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