Agave's in containers, a person working on a tree, a woman in a summer dress and hat with a red suitcase in the desert looking up at a plane, and a lawn being watered with a sprinkler.

Heading Out of Town for Summer? Here's How to Prep Your Garden & Landscape!

Ways You Can Prepare Your Plants & Yard for Your Summer Away!

When preparing your garden and yard for an extended absence during the summer, it's important to consider maintenance tasks that will ensure the health and appearance of your outdoor space. Here are some of the best ways you can prepare your plants for when you'll be away for the summer!

A man in shorts fertilizing a lawn with a rolling fertilizer cart.

Lawn Care:

  • Mow the lawn before leaving to an appropriate height, usually around 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm).
  • Apply an Organic slow-release fertilizer a few weeks before your departure, to provide nutrients over time without burning your lawn.
  • Where possible, use a sprinkler system or automated timers to ensure your lawn receives adequate watering while you're away.

A rain sensor on a roof gutter.


  • Set up an automatic irrigation system or sprinkler timer to water your plants, trees, and shrubs regularly.
  • Adjust the watering schedule according to the specific needs of your plants and the local climate.
  • Install a rain sensor or moisture sensor that can override the irrigation system if it rains or the soil is already sufficiently moist.We recommend following the guidelines found in the Landscape Watering by the Numbers booklet by Water—Use it Wisely.

a woman in her garden placing mulch and/or bark around plants


  • Apply a layer of mulch around your garden beds, trees, and shrubs to help retain moisture in the soil and suppress weed growth.
  • Mulching also helps regulate soil temperature and provides nutrients as it breaks down.
  • Check out our blog, Making Sense of Mulch for products and additional recommendations.

A person installing weed barrier.

Weed Control:

  • Remove weeds and unwanted vegetation before you leave to prevent them from taking over your yard in your absence.
  • Consider using weed barriers or pre-emergent herbicides to minimize weed growth.

A person pruning an olive tree.

Pruning and Trimming:

  • Trim any overhanging branches or shrubs that may cause damage or block sunlight.
  • Prune flowering plants or fruit trees to maintain their shape and encourage healthy growth.
  • Check out our How-to Prune Video for recommendations.

A man installing drip irrigation in a container garden on a patio.

Potted Plants:

  • Move potted plants to an area that offers some afternoon shade, to prevent excessive heat and water loss during our hot summer months.
  • Group potted plants together, which creates a more humid microclimate and reduces moisture evaporation.
  • Set up drip irrigation systems on timers to ensure your potted plants get the water they need.

Wasp on birdbath.

Pest Control:

  • Inspect your yard for any signs of pest infestation before leaving.
  • Remove standing water to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. If possible, put up birdbaths so they don't collect standing water while you're away. 
  • Consider using organic pest control methods or hire a professional if necessary.

A variety of gardening tools hanging and organized on a blue wall and rack.

Security and Safety:

  • Ensure your yard is secure by locking gates, securing fences, and checking for any potential entry points.
  • Clean and store garden tools and equipment properly to prevent unnecessary wear and theft.
  • If you have a security system, inform the monitoring company about your absence.

A woman watering a houseplant with a pink watering can.

Enlist Help:

  • Ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to check on your yard periodically, especially if you're away for an extended period.
  • Request their assistance in watering plants—especially houseplants, picking up mail or packages, and taking care of any urgent yard tasks.

By taking these steps before you go out of town for the summer, you can help ensure that your yard and plants remain healthy and well-maintained, despite the heat!

At SummerWinds, We Guarantee Success!