How to prepare your lawn for while you are away

wicker chair on the background of fresh grass

Don’t mow the lawn!

While it might seem like a good idea to trim the lawn before you leave town, so you don’t come back to an overgrown mess, it’s best to let it grow tall and strong and take care of the extra growth upon your return. That’s because grass that is longer can last without water for a week or so, but lawn that has been trimmed to the tightest length will die within a few days of you leaving town. As a general rule, your lawn should always be cut to about 7cm in height to ensure it remains healthy.

Look for anomalies

A few days before your trip, take a quick tour of your lawn to check for any burn spots, disease, weeds or unusual insects. These infestations can all quickly spiral out of control while you’re lying by the beach or exploring archaeological sites, so they’re best nipped in the bud before you leave. Give any suspicious looking areas a spray of your preferred bug and disease repellents a few days before you leave and, if possible, have a friend check in on your yard about half way through your holiday to perform a touch up.

Set the sprinkler

If you’re going away in Summer, it’s important to ensure your sprinkler is set to go off even when you’re not there to turn it on yourself. Early morning watering is best, as it allows the lawn to soak up the maximum amount of water, without losing it to evaporation… and it won’t get you in trouble with your meddling neighbours who are looking for any excuse to dob you into the council! Of course, if rain is forecast for while you’re away, you can just let Mother Nature do the watering for you.

Don’t perform any major maintenance before your holiday

It may seem like a great idea to aerate, de-thatch or re-sod before your holiday, but they’re best left for a weekend after your return, as you’ll want to monitor the health of your lawn in the days following these tasks. After all, you don’t want your lawn accidentally dying while you’re away because your aeration technique was wrong!

On that note, don’t fertilise before you leave

You might have this idea in your head about coming back to a thick, lush green carpet in your backyard. But while it might seem like grass takes forever to grow, fertiliser will only turn your yard into a jungle if left unattended for weeks on end. The last thing you want to do is intense maintenance the moment you return from vacation, so leave your grass to grow naturally for an unfussy touch up upon your return.

Book a gardener

If you’re going away for a particularly long period, it may be worth booking a gardener to perform a maintenance visit on your lawn (and any other major plants) while you’re relaxing by a hotel pool. Make sure they have instructions on how to access your backyard, as well as potentially alerting the neighbours of this visit, so they don’t freak out when they see strange men and women traipsing around your property.

Don’t stress!

Honestly, the last thing you should be worrying about while you’re on holiday is your lawn. Focus on enjoying your holiday and making wonderful, interesting memories with your family, friends or even strangers on the road! After all, there’s more important things in life than a perfect lawn.

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