Gardening tips, Lawn care basics, Lawn maintenance,

Expert Holiday Lawn Care Tips — come home to a lovely lawn

Don't return from a great holiday to a garden graveyard. Preperation is the key to a heavenly return to a haven of health and vitality.

6 MIN 15 Jul
Last update: 13 Jul 2022
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It’s getting to that time of year when we’re gearing up for a well-earned rest (hopefully in the sun if we’re lucky). Or maybe you’re staycationing, indulging in the rich cultural landscape we enjoy in the UK? Either way, you could be away from home for a couple of weeks. And that’s a lot of time in the life of your lawn.

Perhaps you strike it lucky, and it rains every day while you’re away? But we all know how unpredictable the British weather can be – you could come home to a dried-up graveyard of brown, withered grass. Alternatively, you might return to a wild pasture land, overgrown with weeds and grass that’s turned to seed. 

But worry not! It’s all about preparation. 

This article is all about the lawn care tips to follow that ensure you come home to a lawn as beautiful as the one you left behind. 

So, put your feet up and get ready for holiday mode.

Holiday lawn care tips: Mowing

Lawn mower on cut grass
Lawn mower on cut grass – Photo by Andres Siimon on Unsplash

It’s a good idea to cut your grass twice a week during the summer. And it’s also recommended that you don’t cut too short in hot weather. This is because longer grass helps shield the soil from the sun’s heat, preventing overheating (and drying) of your grass plants. 

However:

You’re away for two weeks; surely, it makes sense to cut the lawn nice and short to compensate for the two weeks you won’t be able to mow?  

And you’re right; it does kind of make sense. 

But remember the cardinal rule of mowing: never cut more than ⅓ of the grass’s length. Otherwise, it dries up and turns yellow. 

And yellow grass, in conjunction with the potential for low rainfall, is a recipe for an ugly lawn on your return. 

Bad times. 

These are the solutions:

Gradually reduce the cutting length of your grass

If you intend to cut your grass extra short before you leave for your holiday, give your lawn a run-up. In other words, gradually reduce the cutting length over a few weeks. 

Sticking to the ⅓ rule, mow your lawn gradually shorter – don’t shock your plants with a sudden scalping. So, by the time you come to your final mow before your well-earned holiday, your grass will be ready for its super-short holiday haircut. 

Ask a neighbour

If you promise to return the favour (and ensure you’re good for the promise), ask your neighbour to mow your lawn while you’re away. I guess it depends on the size of your lawn, but this could be a good solution, and could help nurture good relations. 

Hire a lawn mowing company

Perhaps it feels like an imposition to ask a neighbour, so you could hire a local lawn mowing company to attend to your lawn while you’re away. 

Of course, this seems a little extreme, but it’s all in the preservation of your beautiful lawn – so it’s worth it in the long run. 

Mow the day before you leave

Whether you’ve prepared your grass for a short back and sides, got your neighbour in to save the day, or hired a company to tend to your lawn, mow the day before you leave for your holiday. 

Or if you’re flying out in the evening, mow on the morning of your departure. That way, you’ll have the best chance of a healthy lawn that hasn’t run wild when you return. 

Check out our expert’s guide to mowing your lawn for a beautiful lawn all-year-round.

Holiday lawn care tips: watering

Kid running through water sprayed from a garden sprinkler
Set up your sprinkler on a timer – Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

We tend to have fairly rainy summers in the UK these days, so—chances are—your lawn will look well-watered and healthy on your return from your vacation. 

But:

We all know you can’t rely on the British summer either way. We could equally hit a drought or suffer freak flash floods. 

So, one way or another, it’s a good idea to set up a watering schedule. 

Again, it could be a case of asking a neighbour to hose down the lawn if it’s looking thirsty. Or you could go electronic, and invest in a timer-based sprinkler system. 

Timer sprinklers range in price and complexity, from around £10 to approximately £75. 

However:

The problem with cheap timers is that they operate whether there has been rain or not. 

In contrast, the super-savvy among us might plump for a timer with smartphone control. They’re not as expensive as they sound—you’re looking at around £75, which is the higher end, admittedly—but it could save you money in the long run if you have a water meter.

And if you keep an eye on your home weather while you’re away, you’ll know whether to water or let the rain do the work! 

Unsure how much water to give to your lawn? Read our experts guide to watering.

Holiday lawn care tips: fertilising

Front image of the Spring Boost Lawn Fertiliser lawn feed product pouch with lawn feed in front of the pouch

You might consider it a good idea to fertilise your lawn before you go on holiday? But it might not be a great idea. 

Fertilising your lawn produces a growth spurt for most lawns, depending on the amount of nitrogen it contains. So—bearing this in mind—it’s probably a better idea to fertilise at least a month before your holiday and wait until you return to feed your lawn. 

That way, your lawn should have the nutrients it needs to thrive until you arrive back home.  

Check out our expert’s guide to fertilising your lawn to find out how to choose the right feed for your lawn.

Holiday garden care tips: deadhead!

Deadheading the roses
Deadhead your plants – Photo by Radovan1 on Shutterstock

No, I’m not calling YOU a deadhead—that would be rude! But it’s worth considering the state of your flower beds before you go on holiday. 

Because a lot can happen in two weeks. 

Come home to a thriving garden by deadheading your bushes and plants before you leave. This will allow your plants to focus their energy on producing new buds, which should come into bloom just around the time you return. 

And, unlike your lawn, feed your plants before you leave. This will give them extra energy to continue their job of brightening up your flower beds and pots, ready for that dreaded return to normality. 

Do you have more questions?

We hope we’ve given some valuable tips for ensuring you return from your holiday with a beautiful, lush lawn. But if you have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We love to hear from you and will reply as promptly as we can! 

Have a great holiday, everyone! Thanks for reading.  

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