When we all head off on holidays it’s important to remember that our plants and lawn will be left alone to fend for themselves. A way to ensure you return home to a healthy lawn is to undertake a few pre-holiday lawn care tasks.
Do a mow before you leave but don’t go crazy – don’t cut the grass too short for a few reasons. During the warmer months it’s recommended to keep the lawn a little longer than normal to shade the soil from the harsh sun, and you should never ever remove more than one third of the grass blade – regardless of the weather or the time until the next mowing. If your holidays mean more than two weeks until the lawn will be mowed consider arranging for a local lawn mowing company or a neighbour to come in and take care of it for you. Not keen on that? No problem, when you return from holidays mow a few times over the first week back to slowly get your lawn to the recommended height.
Ensuring the right watering regime while away on holidays can be tricky. Your lawn should only receive 2.5cms of water per week so if you take out natural rainfall this can be hard to determine while away. Again, you could ask a favour of your neighbour or hire a local company to handle it, or you can invest in a sprinkler system that only turns on once the lawn requires watering – they use a rain gauge to determine how much water has already been received naturally. Ensure any automated system will water your lawn in the early morning to avoid issues with evaporation and the other end of the scale – staying too moist and encouraging disease and pests.
Pack away any heavy items that are sitting on the lawn – during a storm this items can become airborne, be enticing to would-be thieves and cause soil compaction starving the lawn of water, oxygen and sunlight. For all these reasons it’s best to have a yard tidy up before you head off on holidays.
When preparing your lawn to manage while you are away it’s important to cross something off your to-do list – fertilising. Fertilising right before you leave on holidays is a bad idea. While you might think you’re giving the lawn a good feed, it will just lead to a growth spurt and it will need mowing sooner. Best to leave the fertilising until you get home.