If you’re planning a summer vacation, chances are you’re focused on hotel reservations, restaurants, and activity ideas. But it’s equally important to make plans for your home while you’re away. In particular, if you don’t care for your landscaping you could come home to dead plants and an out-of-control yard. Follow these tips to get your lawn ready for your absence.

  • Mow the lawn right before you leave. It’s often a good idea to cut the grass a little lower than usual, but don’t lower your lawnmower blades too much and scalp your yard.
  • If you do not have automated irrigation, after mowing, water the lawn deeply to prevent the grass from scorching and turning brown. This will work for a long weekend, but if you’ll be away any longer you need to arrange to have someone water the grass. Of course, if you have a sprinkler or irrigation system, then all you need to do is set the timer.
  • Deal with weeds before you leave for vacation. Any weeds you leave in the yard will be bigger and more out of control when you get back. Spot spray them with herbicide, or pull them out by hand.
  • Whatever you do, do not fertilize your garden just before an extended vacation! The last thing you want is to return to uncontrolled growth.
  • Avoid aerating the lawn or performing any other actions that normally require careful vigilance afterward. If any landscaping practice requires you to monitor plants for stress afterward, now is not the time to do it.
  • Don’t forget about indoor plants. Ask a friend to come over and water them, hire a house sitter, or include these in the list of chores for a professional landscaping company to manage.
  • Put away any valuable equipment, or even lawn furniture, to protect them from damage or theft. Lock these items in a gardening shed or your garage. Close patio umbrellas in case there is an unexpected summer windstorm while you are away.
  • Make sure at least one neighbor has your cell phone number and will call you in the event of an emergency that affects your home.

Of course, one issue we commonly see is that preparing for a vacation keeps homeowners so busy that they don’t have time to worry about their yard. In that case, hiring a professional landscaping maintenance company to prepare your yard can save you a lot of time and trouble. After all, who wants to mow the grass the morning before you hop on a plane to Hawaii or worry about what will become of your landscape while you are gone?

Whichever option you choose, the above tips are good for a long weekend or weeklong trip at most. If you’re planning to spend an extended period of time away from home, hiring a professional landscaping company to maintain your yard is usually the best idea. No one wants to return from a month in Greece to a huge list of household chores!

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