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I hate vacations! (well, sort of)

Posted by grant_in_arizona USDA Z9 Scottsdale, (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 26, 09 at 20:47

Hi everyone,

I just came back from an 8 day road trip to the midwest (weather was lovely, cool, and humid--I even got to wear a sweater, something I haven't done since my last trip to Flagstaff, LOL). Anyway, as usual, the entire time up to the trip was spent with me fretting over my garden. It happens any time I head out of town on a road trip for work, or for a vacation. What about you?

What do you worry about? What do you do about it?

I fret especially during warm weather. I'm a huge cactus and succulent nut, so there are few worries with those, thank goodness, but even though I tell myself NO LEAFY PLANTS unless plugged in to the drip irrigation system, I still end up with several of them in the ground and in pots. I bring the pots indoors so they're usually fine (though they can get cranky if I'm away on long trips), but I always end up with leafy plants in the ground that aren't on drips. It's like an addiction, LOL.

Do you have the same problem? Or at least the same worries? I hate it, LOL. I've tried cheap auto-waterers for containers (last one leaked), and friends (the last was a light waterer and then got scared of a snake and skipped the last two days, grumble). What about you??

This last trip last week worked out great, mostly because I've worked hard to get extra lines in my watering system so things like my many citrus trees were hooked up, plus some other plants too. Buuuuut, I did put in a small section of mini oleanders recently and I was worried about those. I ended up buying some of those ooze-tube slow-drip tree waterers (basically a big plastic bag that you attach a small drip-emmitter to; they're used for slow-watering of new trees but I thought I could attach spaghetti irrigation tubing and use it to water new plants). That worked out great, as did those blown glass water globes indoors on the houseplants, but it's always a stress. Do you get the same way?

The last thing I do before heading out is to water the garden, and the first thing I do is water/check on the garden too. I'd love to hear if anyone else deals with the same feelings.

I'm happy to report the garden looks great and everything thrived, but I have to be diligent with myself! :) Some wonderful leafy surprises were that my *established* emu bushes (Eremophila) and *established* penstemons and lantanas didn't miss me a bit.

Chime in if you'd like. I'm sure others would like to hear too.

Take care and happy gardening!
Grant, very happy to be back in our wonderful, kooky climate.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I hate vacations! (well, sort of)

I go up to Canada every year for a few weeks or more!!! and upon returning from my first trip north to find my very large 6ft prickley pear laying across the patio and my aspg ferns looking like hanging straw I have learned to just let go ...and head straight to the nearest nursery.
we lived in a apt then I could not believe it !!! I asked my husband (who was suppose to be watering things)why he did not water ?? ...he said "But it rained!!" Oh I'm sure it rained but these plants were UNDER a patio!!!
what part of ..plant lying on ground...looks like it got water!!!SHEEESH
the next year we had a house and not that I didn't trust my sweetheart but by this time I had some really nice plants sssoooo I loaded up my truck and took them over to a good green thumb friend. they all survived.I did that for a couple of years.
now that I have almost everything on drip or they are established enough to take some stress I can leave them all here and most survive But there are always a few casualties. I take stock and .....head straight to the local nursery.
Its the circle of life....and the only time my husband does not say anything when I arrive with a bunch of new plants!!!!HEEHEE

RE: I hate vacations! (well, sort of)

Thanks for the reply--it's good to hear I'm not the only one who frets. That's funny about your husband not watering the plants under cover. Funny but sad too. It's neat you can drop off some of your special potted plants at a green thumbed friends. I'm envious, LOL.

I have a wall-mounted planter with coco/moss lining and an asparagus fern it in. I totally forgot to bring it in, but it actually did great last week. When I potted it I cheated and lined the coco with a plastic shopping bag with a few holes in it and then added soil/plant, so that may have helped, but I'm impressed it didn't croak.

A couple people have emailed me privately about the ooze tube things. I'm adding a link to one so folks can see what they are. I just bought them at a big hardware store and attached spaghetti irrigation line to the drip emitter that comes with the ooze tube.

Anyone else get nervous about their plants when traveling?

Take care,

Here is a link that might be useful: Ooze tube

RE: I hate vacations! (well, sort of)

I have 7 hanging baskets with the coco lining and I did the plastic thing too.
they are under my patio and dried out to fast before now they are doing great Rapunzel is so long it drags on the ground ...very cool!!

RE: I hate vacations! (well, sort of)

I hear you Grant! Getting out of town for a few days can be really difficult. At the beginning of this summer I laid in a bunch of soaker hoses on a timer and that has helped tremendously and I bought 4 of the blown glass tubes for some indoor plants. Another thing I did was buy a kid's plastic swimming pool and I place lots of plants in that, under the patio and add a few inches of water. That was a good remedy too.

I like the Ooze Tube idea. I'll have to get a couple of those for the young mesquite trees I planted a year ago. Slowwww drip is best. Thanks for the info.

RE: I hate vacations! (well, sort of)

Yeah that phenomenon made me pretty much give up on container gardening. Before my last trip, I took the few remaining survivors and transplanted them into the veggie beds, where there is automatic irrigation.

But pots full of empty soil looked so sad. I finally decided to try and convert the planters to self-waterers. They are just completed, so I don't know if they will work of not. But I figure they plants would have died anyway, had I not tried.

Here is a link that might be useful: One of the converted pots, nearly complete.

RE: I hate vacations! (well, sort of)

I have never been nervous, but this last time I tried to talk my hubby into letting us hire a kid from the neighborhood. He thought my sisters' offers were good enough. Well, one of my sisters is not too bright, and she accidentally turned off the faucet that goes to the timing system for the drip and sprinklers. So my container plants that were manually watered were fine, but we lost our lawn and non established plants in beds. She will NOT be helping again!

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