June is starting to heat up, which means summer vacation is almost here! But who will take care of the garden? If you’ve planted vegetables that take a longer time to mature someone will need to tend to them while students and teaexternal image weedbarrier.jpgchers are on vacation. Your plants will need regular maintenance throughout the summer, but here are a few tips to ensure that our plants stay healthy if you go away for a long weekend.

Weed barriers – lay out row cover across your beds. Cut holes through the cover to allow your vegetables to grow through. Leave the cover on all summer, and it should be a relatively effective barrier to weeds. You can also mulch with straw to help keep weeds down and moisture in.

Watering – row cover will also help keep plants moist. Water can seep through it, but it is more difficult for it to evaporate back out. Plant veggies in dense patches to minimize bare soil exposed to the sun’s rays. This will also help to minimize evaporation and will allow for longer periods external image mulched%20garden.jpgbetween waterings. You can purchase soaker hoses and timers at your local garden supply store. These will enable you to water your plants on a regular schedule even if you can’t make it there in person.

Pests – The best way to keep away pests is to keep them healthy. See our guide to the most common garden pests.

Plant varieties – cucumbers, squash and corn can all be planted and left with little to no maintenance over the summer. Tomatoes need to be staked or caged, but will also do fine on their own if there is enough rainfall.