On April 18, I leave for a road trip that will take me to Camp Pendleton to greet my son, who is returning from duty in Afghanistan. I will be on the road 2 weeks! I cannot remember the last time I took two consecutive weeks, and I am looking forward to this adventure.
I can do this extended trip because not too much is going on yet in the garden. True, I have a few experiments out there, but it’s still quiet. It would be impossible to take a week or more in June and July. A week without weeding then could severely impact young seedlings. In August, canning and freezing season starts. In September I will be drowning in veggies that need pickling, layering the beds as plants expire, and then zipping up the winter garden.
It is now or never for a warm-weather vacation! However, I have to set-up the garden to be self-maintaining. Here is my strategy:
- Watering for main garden is on timer
- Flower beds are on drip and a timer
- Hay bale greenhouse will be on drip and a timer.
- I recently transplanted all seedlings from the AeroGro into large cups. They will go into the second hay bale greenhouse, to be watered by drip system
- A day or two before I leave, I will plant more seeds in the AeroGro. This hydroponic system will take care of itself, as long as I fill up the water reservoir before I leave
- My worms are fairly effortless. I will check moisture and food levels before I go, then just leave the whole thing in the tub.
- My new compost pile is watered by main garden sprinkler and will take care of itself.
- Bad news on this front. I called Jung seed to find out when they are sending my seed potatoes and onion sets. They said “mid-to-late April”, exactly the time I will be gone. So, I cancelled the order. I will possibly reorder while I am driving home.
Is there a possibility for problems? Absolutely! Believe it or not I have had some vandalism in past years. I could also experience failure of timers and watering systems. Maybe it will rain, maybe not (mostly likely NOT). However, even if everything is lost, it’s not devastating…early May is still a great time to plant cool season crops.
I plan to post photos of my road trip on Facebook (Jane Willis). I will let you know how then garden did when I get back!
Kerry way back when!
Graduating from Marine Boot Camp, 2008
In Columbia 2010
Christmas in Afghanistan (front row, second from right)