Going away for a week

fortyseven_gwOctober 13, 2013

Hi Folks,
I am probably being a little too "OCD," but here goes ...

I read Linda's advice on going away,
it is ok once in a while to just turn out
the light and shut the door ...
I don't think I have that much courage yet ...

When we go away for 7 days, in late Oct.,
the AVs will be subject to normal
daylight and night time darkness, with no artificial light.
The gardener will come in to water once toward
the middle or end of the week.

We will possibly also have the house and grounds
sprayed for pest control before we leave.
If not, then I might
spray the areas where the plants will be as
this will be the first time the entire collection
will be in one room (to make it easy for the
gardener.) Not sure if I should get one of the
sprays mentioned in these forums or just
use a household spray around the plants.
(We do NOT have a lot of bugs, this is a precaution.
I noticed a couple of black tiny flies around one
big AV that had been outside, so that one has
been isolated.)

The last time we went away, for six days, in Sept.,
he watered the AVs twice. When we got home,
the saucers had water in them. No harm was done.

At the time, the collection was much smaller. But since
being on this forum, I have been avidly collecting many
new varieties.

In late Oct., the day and night temps will be fine.
They won't need as much water as in Sept.

I have not yet tried wicking and don't want to
experiment unless I am home to monitor.

The collection of new plants
that have been in a warm, humid bathroom under fluorescent lights will be moved
into the regular dry-cool room
temp air and normal daylight. Maybe I should
do that one week before going away so they adjust.

I also do have a few extra dome trays I could put
them under ...

The leaves in the domed trays will probably be ok
as he can put water in the trays, not in the pots.

We will have other overnight and long-weekend trips
before and after being away for one week
when we probably won't have anyone come in.

The gardener is great for the yard, it is just
difficult to convey "a little water" to someone who
works outdoors. Or expect him to be too fussy.
We are fortunate to have him,
that is one reason I felt it was ok to grow the
collection again rapidly.

But now, I am turning into nervous nellie.

In the much warmer temp of July we
were away for five days and did not have anyone
come in. I lost a couple of plants.

I sound like the mother of a newborn leaving the
baby with a babysitter for the first time ...
They are plants, after all... (giving myself a pep talk.)

It is probably best to train the gardener, as
we might want to be away for longer than one week.

We are in a zone of moderate temp and light, where
the AVs are very easy to take care of.

Joanne 47

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I face a similar problem whenever we leave home. In the past, any caregiver usually was too concerned the plants would dry out and overwatered. Hopefully, you can convince your gardener that the plants don't have to be soggy wet. This is tricky for a non AV grower.

The last few years I have not relied on anyone to water my violets. Granted, we are seldom gone over a week, but this is what I do now. Some of my plants are on wicks or a bottom watering system. . . so no problem. The remaining I bag. I save large plastic bags, some I recall came from pillow purchases and the like. . . just any clear plastic bag that will hold a violet or two. I water & then enclose the plants or plants. Mine are left on the plant stands where they grow. I will move them elsewhere if they would be subjected to direct sunlight. Domed plants are already set up. When I arrive home, the bagged plants are fine & are usually still damp. Sometimes I leave them bagged for another week as they like the spa treatment.

I wouldn't stress out too much. Violets are fairly tough and can withstand some abuse. Good luck!


    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 8:32AM
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Thank you! Should the plastic bags have small
vents in them? Or no vents?
Should I prop the plastic with sticks
so it is not touching any

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:48PM
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I often cut a small vent or two in the bags, especially for those which would feel the heat from a bottom light fixture. If I figure the usual growing space would be too warm, as in the summer, I'll just place the bagged plants on the kitchen table. The light is reduced but thats ok as the plants are in no danger of overheating & they will recover quickly. Sticks are helpful for more head room. I sometimes remove flowers & buds, sometimes not; it doesn't seem to make a difference.

Depending upon your mix, I think it is best to water the day before bagging or sealing the bags. You don't want the pots soppy wet before going into bags as the plants won't lose much moisture and you don't want rot. Lightly damp seems to work best, but I must admit that in a hurried pinch, I have watered them right in the bag & sealed up immediately with no ill effects. See, they are tough!


    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 4:45PM
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Thanks, Terri,
Great advice! Especially about watering the day
before. Then I won't be too hurried.
Will let you know how they turn out after the trip!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 2:09AM
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