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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

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Questions for the Week

Vacation Plant Care

It's vacation time. We all enjoy a nice vacation but most of us want something left in the landscape when we return. If that’s the case, then there are some steps you can take to insure plant survival during your absence.

Water your plants deeply if rains have been scarce. If you'll be gone over 5 to 7 days, enlist the help of a neighbor. There is an easy and excellent way to water. It’s called drip irrigation. Drip irrigation also simplifies your irrigation methods and reduces the amount of labor involved. This is imperative if you have a family which is allergic to dirt and sweat and who will let plants die of thirst when you are away if an easy watering technique is not available. Drip systems can be easily activated from a single faucet. A drip irrigation system also takes care of situations when your helpful friends and family "forget" to water certain plants. Once the drip hose is installed around shrubs and vegetables, it never "forgets" to water—it specifically waters each and every plant. Of course, you’ll have to remember to activate the drip system for 3 hours a day every other day by turning on the water faucet. If you can't remember this, you can purchase an automatic timer to "remember" for you.

Fertilize lightly, if at all, right prior to leaving. Nitrogen fertilizers are the big growth producers—so go especially light.

Prune plants that are likely to get rangy by the time you return. Pick all ripe and nearly ripe vegetables. If you'll be gone over a week, arrange for a friend to harvest and use the produce.

Check carefully and spray for all insect and disease pests. Four days can ruin a plant that gets hit with spider mites. The same thing goes for caterpillars.

Spray or hoe weeds in the garden—they can quickly conquer your beds and landscape while you are gone.

Mow the grass the last day or two before you leave. Don't mow "extra close" or you'll likely hurt the grass, subjecting it to sun-burning. Don't let your grass grow hog wild while you're gone—get somebody in for a clip job. He'll probably need to edge walks as well.

Mulch as much as possible. A good mulch conserves moisture, prevents compaction, keeps soil temperature lower, reduces weed population and, in case weeds do get a start, they are much easier to pull if a mulch has been used. Check the depth of the mulch material. Organic mulches tend to decompose or sometimes wash away, so frequent checks and replacement where necessary will help conserve moisture.

Put houseplants out under a shade tree or near a bright window. Soak them overnight before you leave, but don't leave them standing in water for the duration.

Take equipment by the repair shop if needed. Hopefully they'll have it ready when you return.

You’ll have a nice trip—secure in the knowledge that things at home will be fine when you return.