How to look after your plants while you are away

If you are going away this summer, spare a thought for your plants, who will be having a staycation at home (again!). In hot weather, water can evaporate quickly from the soil and plants can dry out. While it might be tempting to pack up your prized plants into your suitcase, there are alternative ways of looking after them. Treat your plants with love and care before you go away and you’ll come back to much healthier and happier plants as a result.

Give your plants the best possible holiday by following these simple hydration tips from Squire’s Garden Centres:

Water Well – Water all your plants well before you go away, using a garden hose for ease.
Hozelock Auto Reel Retractable Hose System (£139.99) Hozelock Auto Reel Retractable Hose System – Hose 40m | Watering Wisely | Squire’s Garden Centres (squiresgardencentres.co.uk)
Mulch – Place a layer of mulch (bark or straw based compost) around your plants over the watered soil to keep in moisture. Mulch also helps keep weeds at bay, so that’s one less job to do when you get back from holiday.

Westland Landscape Bark 60 Litres (£7.99 or 3 for £18) Landscape Bark 60 Litre | Offers | Squire’s Garden Centres (squiresgardencentres.co.uk) Strulch Mulch 100 Litres (£9.99) Strulch Garden Mulch 100 Litres | Compost, Soil & Mulches | Squire’s Garden Centres (squiresgardencentres.co.uk)
Place pots in the shade – Move plants in pots into the shade, and place all your pots together to make watering easier. Also move houseplants away from sunny windowsills and into shadier spots.
Add Pot Saucers – Make sure all your potted plants have saucers under their pots, then after watering, any excess water will stay in the saucer and be reabsorbed back into the soil.

Premium Multi-Pack Flower Pot Saucers (from £1.49) 7.6-10cm Premium Multi-Pack Flower Pot Saucers | Pots & Container Gardening | Squire’s Garden Centres (squiresgardencentres.co.uk)
Ask Friends & Family – If you can, ask a friend, family member or neighbour to come and water your plants while you are away.

Add a Water Butt – Capture and store rainwater so that it can be used when needed. Rainwater contains nitrates and organic matter so it feeds and nourishes your plants. Water butts are a great tool for saving water, and will provide you with a valuable source in the height of summer. If you are on a water meter it may save you money too! Space Saving Water Butt 100 Litres (£39.99) Space Saver Water Butt Kit 100 Litre | Watering Wisely | Squire’s Garden Centres (squiresgardencentres.co.uk)
Use a Tap Mounted Watering Controller – This is a clever sensor controller that you attached to your outside tap. It can be programmed to water at sunrise, sunset or both. Ideal for use with sprinklers and drip watering systems, so they are not left running longer than needed, plus it is compatible with water butts – a great way to save water. Use with the Hozelock Soaker Hose, which is made from porous material so is ideal for placing within beds and borders.

Hozelock Sensor Plus Controller (£54.99) Hozelock Sensor Plus Controller | Watering Wisely | Squire’s Garden Centres (squiresgardencentres.co.uk) Hozelock Soaker Hose (from £20.99) Hozelock Soaker Hose 15m | Watering Wisely | Squire’s Garden Centres (squiresgardencentres.co.uk)

Try a Pot Watering Kit – If you have a lot of plants in pots then a Pot Watering Kit is what you need! Drip watering facilitates the slow release of water, placing it directly at the plant’s roots, enabling you to water up to 25 pots or hanging baskets automatically at sunrise or sunset.

Hozelock 25 Pot Watering Kit (£79.99) Hozelock 25 Pot Watering Kit | Watering Wisely | Squire’s Garden Centres (squiresgardencentres.co.uk)
Add Moisture Retaining Crystals – Mix moisture retaining crystals in with compost at the time of planting. The crystals absorb moisture and lock it away until the compost around it becomes dry, then the gel releases the water. Perfect for baskets, pots and containers.

Aquagel 400g (£9.99) 400g Aquagel | Pots & Container Gardening | Squire’s Garden Centres (squiresgardencentres.co.uk)
Use a Watering Indicator – Watering indicators tell you when your houseplant needs watering. Place the stick it in the soil and when the top turns red, water your plant, if the top turns blue no water is needed.

Westland Watering Indicator (£3.99) Watering Indicator Small | Indoor Gardening | Squire’s Garden Centres (squiresgardencentres.co.uk)
Have A Bath – Alternatively you could put all your potted plants into the bath or sink. Soak some towels in water and line the bath or sink with them, then your plants will stay hydrated for up to a week.

Always remember to water wisely. There’s a wide range of watering cans, hoses, sprinklers and watering gadgets at Squire’s Garden Centres. www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk

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