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Going on a trip!

Posted by nancyjane_gardener USDA 8ish No CA (My Page) on
Sat, May 17, 14 at 21:02

Apparently you don't go on "vacation" when you're retired (how do you vacation from retirement?), so we're going on a 2 week trip to Hawaii soon! I'm a new retiree!
My daughter works a 40 hr week, and is minimally interested in gardening, but has agreed to take some time to water.
I'm expecting about 80* weather here, unless the fog kicks in, so I'm thinking, maybe once a week watering for all that's established (tomatoes, corn, squash, herbs, green beans, tomatillos, kale, melon, cukes). In the raised up beds (3'x8'x1'deep) are peppers and eggplant. I was thinking 2x per week for those beds?
I really don't pay attention to when I water! I usually walk around the garden with a cup of coffee in the morning and decide if I'll water each day!
I'm so afraid to be away from my garden for this long! So VERY afraid! If things die, I'm going to have to raid the neighbor's garden! Nancy

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Going on a trip!

  • Posted by Jim-1 5b Illinois (My Page) on
    Sat, May 17, 14 at 22:33

Nancy - have a safe trip and take lots of pictures.

You shouldn't expect your daughter to know what you have learned through the years. Thus, you cannot tell her to 'water' the garden. She might water for 30 minutes or 30 seconds and wonder if that was too much or too little.

She's busy, but will to do this for you. Give her a bit of guidance, like - if something appears to be wilted and the soil around that plant is extremely dry, then xxx. Or - for the raised beds, get your little finger dirty and poke it into the soil. If it feels dry, then add about enough water to kill the thirst but to not to drown it.

And, you are correct, you cannot take a vacation from retirement. You seek new adventures!

RE: Going on a trip!

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Sat, May 17, 14 at 23:35

I'd cut the peppers and eggplant to 1x a week too. They need even less water than tomatoes.

That's one advantage to pre-setting up drip systems or soaker hoses in garden beds. Set a couple of battery operated timers on them and you are good to go if you have to. Some things get over-watered and some under watered but at least they survive.

Although two weeks is a long time for any garden to be unattended. Lots of things besides watering issues.

You can take a vacation during retirement but it sure can't be during gardening season. :)


RE: Going on a trip!

Nancy, I believe you live near me here in Sonoma County. I planted my veggies in raised beds about a month ago, most from seed, so they're still young. I've got them mulched good to hold in water. Under the mulch, I've got a drip line set up on a timer. My timer is set to water every 3 days for 1/2 hour.

Only this last week when it got over 90 did I manually set it to run an extra day in between. But now that the temps are back down, my every 3 days works out well.

Hope that helps. But most importantly, I hope you have a GREAT time on vacation!

RE: Going on a trip!

I wish we could do drip, but we're on a well that has a lot of drip clogging stuff in it! Even my neighbor, who has "people" to do his beautiful yard constantly has trouble with his drip systems clogging!
I really meant to set up the soaker hoses, so she would just have to turn on the faucet and set the timer, but I didn't get to it, and have very little time in the next couple of days! I'll try!
Everything is pretty well established, and I'll give everything a good soaking, then leave her written instructions, and hope for the best!
Maybe I'll leave her a six pack, only to drink while watering! AHA! THAT might do it! Nancy

RE: Going on a trip!

I'm sure your garden will end up fine, especially if the plants are established.

Plus, it's only May. If you come back and it's all dried or downed, you've still got time to plant new starts! LOL (Okay, that was probably a bad joke)

Have a great time!

RE: Going on a trip!

The best way to learn is by doing. Maybe your daughter will get her interest piqued enough that in a year or two she might want to start her own garden! In the meantime, do enjoy your trip!

RE: Going on a trip!

Relaaaaax! I leave my garden for a month in April/May, for several weeks in June, and for all of August. I still manage to grow all the veggies we eat all year (and some of the fruit). I just don't worry much about weeds, I mulch so watering isn't an issue (though in your location, it obviously is a necessity.) And I have a neighbor kid pick and freeze my tomatoes during August. Two weeks away, with your daughter keeping watch, should be no problem.

Anyway, the point is, taking a trip to Hawaii is much more important than staying with the veggies who will be doing their own thing anyway. Have a great time!

RE: Going on a trip!

I always get so wound up before a vac...trip, that I NEED a trip to calm down! I think just leftover from when we were young parents who couldn't afford to buy things while traveling!
Now I have to tell myself "It's OK if you forget something! You can afford to buy a new one!"
Anyway, I did a walk through with my daughter last night and wrote everything down in detail. Nothing's really producing right now, so I don't have to worry about that.
Off we go! Nancy

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