If you’re just going to be away from home for less than a week, you don’t have to worry about your lawn (apart from giving it a good watering before you leave). But if your vacation will last for two weeks or more, you have to prepare your lawn accordingly if you want to return to it in a healthy state.
As you pack your suitcases and book your flight tickets, here are the best ways to prepare your lawn before going on a 2-week (or longer) vacation:
1. Mow your lawn
When taking a vacation that’s going to last for two weeks or more, you would want to mow your lawn right before you leave. Set your mower blade one setting lower than usual to help prevent your lawn from looking overgrown by the time you come back. After returning from vacation, don’t forget to raise the blade by two settings to avoid taking too much of the grass blades off.
Alternatively, hire a kid from your neighborhood to mow your lawn once a week while you’re gone.
2. Water the day before leaving
Unless you have Zoysia Grass, watering your lawn is vital before leaving for vacation. Give your lawn a good soak the day before you leave for vacation if you’ve already mowed your lawn. Otherwise, cut your grass first before watering it.
Watering the lawn deeply before you leave will help the soil absorb more water to store for the grassroots. In general, lawns need around one inch to one-and-a-half-inches of water per week to stay healthy, so ensure that you leave your lawn with enough water before you leave. If the weather is hot and arid, you might have to increase that amount.
As an easier alternative, invest in a sprinkler system that can be programmed to turn on during set schedules. If you don’t want to have a sprinkler system installed, hire someone to come over every week to water your lawn.
3. Clear objects from your lawn
Toys, bikes, furniture, and other objects from your lawn can cause brown spots when left in one area for too long. Before leaving for vacation, ensure no objects on your lawn can kill your grass.
4. Check for pests and lawn diseases
It’s also a good idea to check your lawn for pests, as they can deal a great amount of damage in just the few weeks that you’re away. Scour your lawn for weeds, mildew, brown patches, and other indications of lawn diseases, then apply treatment (special herbicides) to get rid of them.
Moreover, keep your lawn clean to avoid attracting bugs and rodents. Remove any garbage from your property, including clumps of leaves and cardboard boxes that pests can use as hiding places. Secure your fences to prevent burrowing pests and other larger animals from getting inside your lawn. If applicable, you might also want to use an insecticide on your lawn to keep creepy crawlies away while you’re on vacation.
5. Reschedule major lawn maintenance tasks
Reseeding, fertilizing, aerating, sodding, and de-thatching should be done when you’re around to monitor the effects on your lawn. Hence, it’s recommended that you reschedule major lawn tasks for after you return from vacation.
But if you want to fertilize your lawn while you’re away from home, you can do so by simply leaving some grass clippings behind to act as a natural fertilizer. After you return, you can clean up the excess grass clippings before you re-mow your lawn.
6. Trim your plants
Like grass, trimming your plants now will prevent them from looking overgrown while you’re gone, which is not only a hassle for when you get back but is also an attractive sight for burglars looking for houses with nobody home. If you have plants, shrubs, flowers, and other greenery on your lawn, take the time to groom them before leaving.
7. Hire lawn care professionals
No one wants to worry about their lawn while on vacation. If you’re leaving for an extended amount of time, hire lawn care professionals who will keep your lawn in tip-top shape while you’re gone. In this way, you won’t have to deal with a neglected lawn’s effects after you get back from vacation.
Preparing your lawn before you take an extended vacation will not only have you coming back to a healthy lawn, but it’s also one of the best ways to keep burglars away from your home. Hence, make lawn care one of your priorities while you’re preparing to go on vacation. If you’re leaving for a long time, it’s a good idea to hire someone from the neighborhood or a close friend to take care of your lawn while you’re gone.