As we head into the later half of summer, the time to take a nice, relaxing vacation is growing smaller every day. Sure, plenty of people got away for the 4th of July, but many people chose to stay home and barbeque or celebrate with friends and family. If you haven’t had the opportunity to get away yet (or simply want to get away again), now is your time! So take a look at some of these tips for caring for your lawn and garden while you’re away, and use the MOWZ app to ensure you return to a yard that’s just as beautiful as when you left.

A Few Things To Consider

  • How long will you be away?

    • If you’re going to be gone for a week or less, you won’t need nearly as much preparation, especially at this stage in the summer when the grass grows more slowly.
      • Cut your grass as normal the day before you go and water your lawn right after to make sure it stays hydrated. Leave or mulch the clippings to add moisture-retentive organic matter. It’s that simple!
    • If you plan on being gone for more than a week, you’ll want to take a few extra precautions to make sure you don’t return to a jungle of overgrown grass or even worse, a dry, burnt lawn.
      • One of the most important things to do before you leave is cut your lawn the day before you leave. You’ll want to cut it a bit shorter than normal to compensate for the time you’ll be away and unable to mow.
        • If you’re using the PLOWZ & MOWZ app, just make a note on your order that you’re going out of town and want the grass cut a little shorter, our pros will know exactly what to do.
      • Once your lawn is mowed, be sure to give it a nice, deep watering. Since you’ll be gone for a significant amount of time, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan to keep your lawn hydrated. If you’ve got a sprinkler system, or are considering some of the great ones we’ve mentioned before, make sure that you have it set to water for about an hour every 2-3 days to maintain a nice deep moisture level which promotes healthier, deeper root systems and prevents diseases.
      • When you’re mowing and watering, you should take a look around your yard to inspect for any burn spots, disease, weeds, insects, etc. You’ll want to spot spray any weeds, diseased, or insect infested areas before you go. You won’t be around to fix it if they get out of control!
  • What types of grass and plants do you have?

    • Any type of grass should fair well if you follow the above tips. Some varieties may require more or less water or may allow you to cut shorter or higher. Make sure you know your lawn well or consult our blog on the matter to ensure you’re providing the right care for your grass.
    • If you’ve got a garden or planters, you’ll want to make sure that they are watered before you leave and make sure you have a plan to keep them watered while you’re gone.
    • As we mentioned earlier, mulching your grass clippings is a great way to retain moisture for your lawn while you’re gone. Applying mulch, grass clippings, leaf mold, compost, etc will also help shade the soil of your gardens and retain water.
    • If you’ve got pots or planters, you’ll want to move them to an area that’s more shaded during the day than normal. Keep your pots and planters grouped close together to form a humid microclimate that conserves water.
  • What’s the weather forecast?

    • This might seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many people are more focused on the weather of their vacation destination than the weather back home.
    • If the forecast calls for stretches of hot or dry weather, you’ll want to make sure your lawn and plants are especially well-prepared to deal with those conditions.
      • Similarly, you’ll want to make sure that your sprinkler systems are set up to water every other day.
    • If it looks like it’s going to rain during your vacation, plan accordingly. Consider a light watering before you leave if the forecast calls for rain within the first 2-3 days of your trip.
      • If you’ve got sprinklers set up on a timer, you may need to have someone come over and manually disable them unless you have a smart sprinkler system.

Do’s and Don’ts

So far we’ve gone over things you should do to prepare your lawn before you go on vacation. Here’s some of the things you shouldn’t do.


  • Do not fertilize your lawn before you leave. It might seem like it takes a long time for grass to grow but if you fertilize your lawn before going on vacation you can expect to return to an untamed jungle.
  • Do not aerate, de-thatch, re-sod, or perform any other major renovations on your lawn before you leave. You’ll want to be around when you do any of these things to closely monitor the health of your lawn.
  • Do have a backup plan and contact back home. It’s a good idea to have a friend, relative, neighbor, or lawn care company on standby for when you leave just incase you forget anything or the forecast suddenly changes. Similarly, if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time you’ll want to have your lawn mowed while your gone, which you can do with a tap of the button in the Mowz app. You’ll also want to have someone water your lawn every few days if you don’t have a sprinkler system or turn off your sprinkler system if it’s raining.
  • Do have fun! Enjoy your vacation and forget about your lawn for a few days. It doesn’t matter if you’re going from Cleveland to Tampa for 2 weeks or Syracuse to Boston for a few days, the summer vacation window is narrowing and you deserve to relax.


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