How to keep your plants alive when you’re on holiday

Dead plants in garden

How to keep your plants alive when you’re on holiday

The all important question of how our plants will survive while we’re off on our summer holidays is enough to give us heart palpitations. The last thing we want to see is all of our gardening TLC going to waste while we’re enjoying a break. 

That being said, there’s plenty that can be done to keep your plants content while you’re away, and we have advice for container-grown indoor & house plants, outdoor pots & containers, and greenhouse and polytunnel growing. 

In the case of container-grown indoor & house plants, one easy method of watering is giving them a soak. Collect any plants light enough to be lifted, and put them together in a lined bath or sink. You should line it with a few thick, wet towels. 

Just before you leave, give them a really good watering and make sure to close the blinds or curtains to protect them from direct sunlight. If you have plants indoors that are too large or heavy to move, the upside to this is that they’re less likely to dry out! Just follow the steps above again; generous watering, blinds down and remember to turn the heating off. If you can fit a shallow saucer under the pot base, fill it with water before you leave. 

If you prefer to grow outdoors in pots and containers, you will need to do something similar. Move your pots to a more sheltered area of the garden that’s cool, out of direct sunlight, and away from dry, warm winds. By grouping them together, the process of transpiration (the process by which water moves through a plant) slows down. Mulching with fine bark chippings or horticultural grit around the base of the plants which also help keep the compost moist. 

Unfortunately though these kinds of cool, damp conditions are perfect for snails and slugs. Therefore it’s worthwhile sprinkling a few organically-approved slug pellets around the base of your plants before you leave for your trip. 

In greenhouses or polytunnels where temperatures are far higher, there’s a much greater risk of plants dying from lack of water or extremes of temperature if left unattended for more than a couple of days. In this case, an efficient alternative to ‘watering hacks’ is to install an irrigation system.

Harvst’s automatic irrigation system helps you spend less time watering, whilst using less water than any other standard irrigation timer. Designed based on what we learnt when developing our Sprout Mini Greenhouses, the WaterMate uses the same control system, sensors and water valves. With a more powerful pump designed for irrigating a larger area with longer watering cycles, the WaterMate by Harvst is a great addition to your greenhouse, polytunnel or garden. 

Harvst’s automatic watering system will help you reduce water waste, as it only puts water where it needs to be, and applies it at a slow enough rate that none is lost to evaporation or runoff. In areas where water is scarce or use is restricted, drip systems make the best use of a garden’s water allowance. 

It waters for you, using a combination of data to give your plants the right amount of irrigation. Available in two ready-to-fit kits, the mini for small greenhouses, and the pro for larger greenhouses and polytunnels, there’s something for every space. Both WaterMate products can be used across your garden, allotment, flower beds and pots too if you prefer!

Why should you choose our automatic irrigation system, we hear you ask? 

  • Pipes, hose, drippers and sprayers included so you can get going straight away
  • Solar powered, so you can install it anywhere (we do offer mains too if you prefer!)
  • Remote control & monitoring via our smart, web-based app
  • Set email alerts for high temperatures, and get notified when your water tank is running low

This way, whether you’re sipping a glass of Sangria in sunny Sidmouth or eating pasta in Penzance, you can rest assured your garden is thriving in your absence.

Learn more about WaterMate