You’ve made all the reservations. You’ve put a hold on the mail. You’ve asked the neighbours to bring in the wheelie bin and keep an eye on the place. Your bags are all but packed. But before you head off on your well-deserved Summer holiday – isn’t there something that you’ve forgotten?
Left behind at home, subject to the fairly unpredictable North Queensland climate, is your lawn and your plants. There are numerous products on the market, or ones you can fashion easily yourself, to ensure that your potted plants and garden beds are cared for but what about the large expanse of lawn.
When it comes to your lawn, you will need to undertake a few pre-holiday lawn care tasks to make sure that you don’t come home to a dried up, wilting mess where your lush green grass used to be.
Mowing – give your lawn a mow before you leave but don’t get carried away. Resist the urge to cut the lawn too low to make up for the time you’re away. During Summer the grass should be left a little longer than normal to shade the soil from the sun. Never remove more than one third of the grass plant. If you are planning to be away for more than two weeks arrange for a local lawn mowing company to come in and take care of it. If you don’t like the idea of people knowing that you’re away on holidays – ask your neighbour for a favour or when you return, mow a few times over the first week home to slowly get the lawn down to the optimal height.
Watering – Ideally during Summer you are watering based on rainfall and when the lawn needs it – difficult to pre-empt when you’ll be away. Again you could ask the neighbour for a favour, set up a sprinkler on a timer or enlist the services of a local lawn care professional. Regardless of what you choose to do, ensure that when the lawn is watered it is either first thing in the morning before the temperature gets too high or later in the evening.
Traffic – Avoid storing anything too heavy such as a car on the lawn for an extended period of time – this will just lead to soil compaction and a big job to rectify when you return. Also, remove anything such as lawn furniture, children’s toys or sporting equipment – for two important reasons – they will starve the lawn below of sunlight, oxygen and water, and they can become dangerous projectiles if a Summer storm hits while you’re on holiday.
Fertilising – Don’t do this right before you go away. You may think that it will ensure the lawn has food to last but it will just cause a growth spurt and led to more issues – it will need more mowing much faster.
Wherever you are heading off it – safe travels and enjoy yourself. For more lawn care tips and advance, don’t forget to check on our other blogs.