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Holiday survival guide for your backyard

The summer holidays can be disastrous for the backyard without a little preparation. Here are a few simple precautions you can take to protect your home and ensure you don’t come back to a wasteland after a much needed, relaxing break:


Get routine jobs done – Before you leave home, make sure you get up to date with routine jobs like mowing the lawn, trimming overhanging branches and weeding. A neglected house is a sure sign that the house is unoccupied. However, don’t overcompensate and cut your lawn extra short so it looks good when you return as this can cause long-term damage.


Water – If you’re going away for a while and rain isn’t forecast, consider installing a timed drip irrigation system in your garden before you leave. Also add organic mulch to the top soil to conserve moisture through the hottest season of the year. For vulnerable pot plants, move them into the shade and employ a plant-sitter if possible. A small amount of water-saving crystals can also be applied to keep them hydrated. Indoor plants can be kept on a damp towel in the bathroom or kitchen sink.


Harvest – Pick any ripe produce from your garden so they don’t rot and cause disease. Alternatively, arrange for a friend or neighbour to come around every few days to help themselves to your bumper crop in return for helping water your garden.


Secure items – Make sure garden tools, ladders and outdoor furniture are put away and that you lock your garden shed and garage. Securing your shed is not only important for protecting valuable equipment from getting stolen but it also keeps tools safe from opportunistic burglars who could use them to gain entry into your home. Consider an Absco padlock with extra cut, pry and pick resistance and cover windows with a curtain so it’s not obvious what’s inside. Also get to know your neighbours and ask if they’ll keep an eye on your home, bring in your bins and collect your mail.