Whether you’re jetting off for a sunny beach holiday or are excited to discover luxury ‘glamping’ in the UK, it’s important to make sure you’re fully prepared for your trip. This means making sure you’ve got everything you need packed in your suitcase, having all your documents to hand, and, of course, ensuring that your home and garden are ready to be left unattended for a week or two. The good news is that preparing your home and garden is actually much quicker, and much easier, than you may think.
Things to consider before you head off on holiday include your lawn, your outside plants and crops, your indoor houseplants, and any sort of home cleaning that simply can’t wait until you get back – it’s a good idea to know how to get rid of bleach stains, for example, as the longer beach is left on your carpet, the more damage it can cause. So here’s your simple handy guide to preparing your home and garden before a trip away.
If you’re heading away over the warm summer months, then watering is, of course, a major concern. Fortunately, we can usually count on a few showers during a typical British summer, but it’s still worth giving your plants and lawn a thorough watering before you leave. If any of your plants are in containers, sit them in a saucer while you’re away – these will collect water and allow the plants to take what they need if they get a little dry. If you containers don’t have drainage holes, it’s easy to drill some yourself. For hanging baskets, consider adding water-retaining gels, granules, or crystals over the summer. Alternatively, you may want to ask a kind friend, relative or neighbour to give your plants a quick water while you’re away if the UK is met with an unexpected heat-wave.
Allotment patches are also a primary concern. If you have any crops that are ready or near-ready, it’s always best to harvest them before you leave. If you don’t have time to enjoy them, consider gifting them to a neighbour or chopping and freezing them for use when you get back. Fruits and vegetables like strawberries, bell peppers, chilli peppers, and onions all freeze well when chopped. While you can opt to leave crops on the plant, there’s no guarantee they will still be in good condition on your return.
For indoor plants, consider transferring them to a container with a built-in reservoir. This enables you to fill this reservoir before you leave, so that the plant can essentially water itself in your absence. You may also wish to purchase an automatic watering system. Or you could make one yourself! It’s much easier and cheaper than it sounds. You can help to keep your soil damp by placing one end of a piece of material (an old t-shirt scrap, for example) into the soil, and the other end in a bucket of water.
Remember that plants release carbon dioxide during night-time respiration, and with your windows and doors being locked up tightly while you’re away, this could increase the risk of condensation in your home. If it is safe to do so, consider leaving one of your windows in a locked ‘vent’ position, and give your walls a quick treatment before heading off to reduce the rate of mould growth – an unfortunate side product of poor ventilation. You can do this with vinegar or bleach that’s been diluted according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions.
How to Get Rid of Bleach Stains
If you do choose to treat your walls with a bleach solution, it’s important that you know how to get rid of bleach stains. The longer bleach is left on the carpet, or any other material or surface, the more discolouration it can cause, so this sort of stain can’t wait until you get back.
Fortunately it’s quick to remove bleach stains so it can even be done at the very last minute. Simply blot the stain with water, blot again with a soapy solution of water and laundry detergent (like Persil), and blot a final time again with fresh water. Towel dry the floor if you’re in a hurry, and give a quick vacuum before leaving.
By using these tips to keep plants well watered and learning how to get rid of bleach stains you can be sure that your home and garden will stay happy and healthy while you’re away.