Taking Care Of Your Lawn While You Are On Vacation
Climate change is making Texas even warmer with 2017 being the second hottest summer on record in the last twenty years. A critical drought is also expected to arrive in Texas in the next few months, which will be very tough on plants and grass, especially if they are not native to the area. If you don’t want to go home to a brown, dead garden, there are a few days to prepare your garden for your vacation. These tasks won’t take long, and they are well worth it – especially if you put a lot of time and effort into your outdoor space.
Before Your Vacation
If you have a cold season grass, such as Kentucky Blue Grass, it will grow slower during the summer, so it won’t grow excessively while you are gone. However if the grass is dehydrated, it is likely to attract grubs, May beetles and green June beetles, which will damage your lawn with their nests. This is why you should try to thoroughly water your lawn before you leave, as this will reduce the chance of pests discovering your lawn.
Warm season grasses, such as Bermuda grass, tend to grow quickly in warm temperatures and slowly in cold temperatures,; in fact, if the weather is warm enough the grass can grow six foot tall! So if you have a warm season grass you should give your lawn a once over with the lawn mower before you leave. This should be more than enough if you are only going away for a week, but if you are going for two weeks you may want to lower the settings on your lawn mower for a finer cut – and if you are gone for longer, you should consider hiring someone to mow your lawn while you are gone.
Thankfully most Texas gardens have slow growing grass; an ordinance was even passed in San Antonio to ensure that builders only install turf grass that grows slowly and requires little water, such as Zoysia grass. If you don’t have turf grass, make sure that you water the lawn properly before you leave so that you don’t return to dry, dead grass.
During Your Vacation
If you are going away for two or more weeks you should set up a few things before you leave to ensure your garden thrives while you are gone. This is very important if you have a well-manicured garden, as two weeks of neglect could result in a lot of damage – and if precious plants die, they could be very expensive to replace! First you can ask a friend or a neighbor to come around and water your plants while you’re not there, and if there isn’t anyone who can help you could consider using a water irrigation system set to a timer. This is a simple way to ensure that your plants and grass stay hydrated, and the water can even help to keep common Texas pests away! Just make sure to set the timer to water the grass at night, as this means that the roots will be properly hydrated before the warm weather causes the water to evaporate.
If you spend a lot of time and money maintaining your garden, it is important to prepare your garden for your absence. This is because the extreme Texas weather can be very harsh to plants, especially if they are not native to Texas – but with a little forethought, you can ensure that your garden stays happy and hydrated while you enjoy your vacation.
CLM Contributing Writer