Watering your plants while on vacation – tips from a pro

watering your plants

A vacation trip doesn’t have to mean your plants will go thirsty. A little planning can help ensure your vegetation stays moist and healthy. Plants need water. You may like to take your vacation in the peak of summer, but being left alone for a week or two is hard on your garden just like it would be for a pet. With hot temperatures, spotty showers, and unforeseen problems you can expect a problem when you come home. If you focus on drought resistant plants and keep your garden mulched your plants will fare better. If not don’t worry we have you covered follow these vacation watering tips and your garden won’t even know you were gone.



If you are only going to be gone a week or less, you may be able to get away with a good soaking and a layer of mulch. Mulched plants loose 25% less water than unmulched plants. Of course, it all depends on the weather. Some plants may wilt or become stressed, but you probably won’t lose any. If you already have a few inches of mulch on the garden bed, you probably don’t need to add more.


sprinklerEveryone has used one or has one laying around. You can add a timer to your sprinkler so it can be used at anytime of day. You may need a couple of sprinklers and connector hoses if your garden is spread out. Soaker hoses can be a great option,they are easier to move around than a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation is designed to target each individual plant, but sprinklers and soaker hoses will water wide areas.



Drip irrigation may sound like a impossible task but they are a great way to keep your plants watered and also conserve water at the same time. They allow water to slowly drip from the hose to each plant at the root. These can also be set up on timers so no worries when you forget to water.

 Rain Barrel

Rain barrels capture water from a roof and hold it for later use such as on lawns, gardens or indoor plants. Collecting roof runoff in rain barrels reduces the amount of water that flows from your property. It’s a great way to conserve water and it’s free water for use in your landscape. You can hook your water irrigation or soaker hose up to your rain barrel and enjoy natures “free” water. Just be sure to install a trap for mosquito control.

Self Watering Jugs and Water Bulbs 

Some gardeners have had luck making their own self-watering jugs. Just take some old, plastic beverage jugs and bottles and poke the tiniest pinholes in the lower side of the jug. Place the jug in the soil next to your plant, a couple of inches below the soil surface. Water the garden well, then fill the jug with water, just before you leave, and it will slowly drip additional water to the roots. The same for the fancy water bulbs you can buy at the store. Of course the bigger your garden is the more of these you will need to ensure each plant is getting water.

Make your garden drought resistant

Choose plants that can withstand a short period of drought. Drought tolerant plants can pretty much take care of themselves once they are established. They can go weeks with out water. Of course having a few plants is a lot easier to take care of than a whole garden.

Of course there is always having a friend, neighbor, or family member come to the house and water. There are some drawbacks to this idea and you must weigh them carefully before entrusting this chore to someone else.