Are you planning a holiday, but worried your gardening efforts might be wasted if the garden isn’t cared for? While it is possible to go away for a day or two without the garden coming under too much stress, longer stretches away, especially during a hot summer, can be catastrophic.

The best option is to hire a house-sitter (especially if you have lots of indoor plants!). If that’s not possible, ask a friend, neighbour or relative to drop by frequently while you are away. If it is a local kid helping out, payment is usually appreciated and ensures that the job is actually done.

Also, consider employing a professional to mow the lawn each week while you’re away – nothing shouts "empty house" more than an overgrown lawn. Flower Power's Garden Care service is a great first port of call for regular mowing, but also for bigger jobs including general maintenance and garden makeovers. Click here for more info.

If someone is coming in to water, make sure that your hoses are in good working order and can easily reach all the areas that must be watered. Consider installing a tap timer so the person watering can’t accidently leave hoses or watering systems on. Ask your waterer to also pick any vegetables that are ready, and to let you know if anything goes amiss.


Flower Power's Garden Care team can keep your lawns and edges looking spot-on while you're away.


Home alone

If there’s no-one to help out, there’s plenty you can do to keep your garden alive until you get back. Even if someone is coming in, these tips will make it easier for them, too, and your garden will welcome you back home.


Preparing the garden to make it through the break

  • If the soil is moist and some rain is forecast for while you’re away, fertilise before you leave. Use a slow-release granular formula to ensure sustained release of essential nutrients. Also apply a seaweed tonic such as Amgrow Seaweed Concentrate to help ensure your garden remains healthy.
  • Water well before you go – give potted plants especially a good soaking.
  • After deep watering, top up mulches to keep the soil cool and moist for as long as possible. Flower Power recommends organic mulch such as sugar cane.
  • Make use of soil wetting agents such as Saturaid and Wettasoil. Mix the crystals into soil or potting mix at planting time to help ensure your plants make better use of the water they do get. Watering over hydrophobic soils or potting mixes with the soil wetting agent dissolved in a watering can or with a hose-on formula will help water soak in rather than running off, and ensure the plant starts off well-hydrated.
  • Pick all veggies before you leave and weed your garden thoroughly.
  • Put away anything that could be blown away in heavy winds, such as lightweight furniture. Secure larger items such as trampolines and lock sheds so ladders and tools are not accessible.
  • Hold off making any new plantings until you're back.
  • Give gutters a tidy.
  • Mow the lawn and trim hedges.
  • If you have a pool, make sure it's topped up, the filters are clean and pool cleaners are working well. Ensure the pool fence is secure and the gate is shut.


Water your garden with Wettasoil, give the lawn a good mow and harvest any veggies that are ready before you leave.


Set up shade and shelter

  • Put up shade screens such as shade cloth or a shade sail over vulnerable plants – this could include recent plantings or hydrangeas. Make sure the shade material is secure so it won't blow away.
  • Group potted plants together to make them easier to water and to help keep cooler. Select a spot that’s near the hose and out of the hot sun, but open to rain. Set up a temporary watering system such as a sprinkler for a general soaking, or a series of drippers to each pot on a programmed timer.
  • Indoors, group all plants in one spot to make watering easy – for example, in the bath, shower, or on the laundry sink.


To keep your garden hydrated, you can DIY a drip irrigation system or have our Garden Care professionals whip one up for you. For indoor plants, leaving them together in the bathtub makes them easier for your house-minder to water.


Watering and irrigation systems

  • Use watering aids such as the Moisture-Matic to keep plants watered while you’re away. These systems are filled with water and inserted into the soil. This is especially important for new plantings and potted plants.
  • It is also possible to set up DIY systems using leaky bottles upended into pots. Run a trial before you go to see how many bottles you need.
  • For gardens, rig up an irrigation system. You can DIY using Flower Power's extensive range of irrigation products, or get Flower Power’s fantastic Garden Care experts to whip one up for you - click here for more info.

Install a tap timer to run the watering system (or systems if your garden is large). Select a programmable timer that turns on and off at certain times. This way you can have certainty that your garden is being watered regularly for a specific amount of time. Some systems have moisture sensors that override the system if it is raining so water isn’t wasted.


Now that you've got all the know-how you need, we hope you enjoy a fabulous holiday, and come home to a surviving garden!