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Timely Tendings: Vacation plans? Prepare your plants

When you plan to go on vacation, it's important to get your landscape and potted plants in order before departure. Ask a friend or neighbor to check on your plants while you are gone.

Place your outdoor potted plants in a shady location. Potted plants may be placed in the ground up to the rim of the container. A thick layer of mulch will conserve moisture and reduce the amount of water needed while you're on vacation.

Place indoor plants in an area that receives indirect light. Direct sunlight will dry out the soil faster. Do not leave plants in a darkened room because leaves will drop.

The last thing to do before leaving on your trip is to thoroughly soak the plants. Houseplants should be okay for two weeks. If your vacation is longer, move houseplants outdoors and sink pots in a shaded, cool garden bed.

Line up someone to mow your grass if you will be gone longer than one week to keep your landscape looking neat.

For additional lawn and garden information, visit the UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension website at and