By Amelia Tucker
There is a way to ensure that your plants remain moist and stress free while you go away for up to a week.
One of the most important things to remember when growing tomatoes is to never let the plant dry out.
This can be difficult when the days and nights are at the highest temps of the year. Exasperate this with needing to go away on vacation and you may be headed for serious trouble.
Here are some easy to follow ways to protect your tomato harvest:
1. If your tomatoes are grown in containers, these are a little harder to keep moist as there is only so much soil that can be watered.
You can add a gel bead when planting. These harmless (unless eaten) gels balls will absorb huge amounts of water and slowly release the moisture as the soil starts to dry out.
It seems expensive when purchasing a container of this material but it is applied at a very light rate to the soil. They can also be worked in with a hand trowel or hoe after planting.
2. You can create a wicking system that works very well and is inexpensive to do.
Great for containers, this system will also work for plants in the ground but may not work for as long. Take a large can or jug with a lid. Using some cotton string, put one end of the string into the water while the other end is coiled around the plant in a spiral shape.
Use something for mulch-even if it is temporary to keep the string covered. I have used newspaper with great success. Water the plant very well and as it dries over the next few days, the string will wick the water into the soil from the container of water.
3. Water, weed and mulch right before you leave.
This gives you the peace of mind that your plants are taken care of for at least the first part of your vacation and if you follow some of my tips, you can rest assured that they are still growing well throughout the week.