I travel. A lot. I’ve owned a travel agency since 1989, and we have an office in Chicago where I travel usually a couple of times a month. This is besides all of the other travel we do. No one else in my family takes on any responsibility in my garden. It’s my garden that I love, but they don’t love it so I don’t ask anything of them.
How do I manage so much travel and still keep my garden in good shape? I’m glad you asked.
Irrigation: Most of my garden beds are irrigated. The four main beds have drip irrigation that are controlled by a control panel in my garage. Then some of my planting areas have drip irrigation that is attached to the main sprinkler system for the yard. I attach a riser to the pipe in the ground, the attach this head on it which allows drop hoses that I put alongside the various plants in the area. Especially in my garden area, I don’t care if the grass gets irrigated or not. Even in the rest of the back yard, I have brown spots because of my two Golden Retrievers so having a perfect back yard is not attainable anyway. May as well use those sprinkler heads for something useful.
Weeds: I use mostly raised beds where weeds are pretty manageable. When I establish a new bed I take care to dig the grass out and I will also often line it with cardboard or think layers of newspaper which serves as a barrier to grass and weeds growing up into the beds. So, some grass and weeds may grow while I’m out on a trip, but not to the point where they take over. I’m able to get it back in shape with minimal effort when I get back.
Harvesting: Before I leave on a trip of more than a couple of days I harvest everything possible. If I’m going to be gone for a while, and it’s the season that something prolific is going to be ready to harvest (like tomatoes this year for instance), then I text my yard man and let him know that he is free to take anything that he sees when he comes to do the yard.
Basically, you manage a garden with travel just like you manage any other part of your life when you travel alot. You just do the very best that you can while you’re home, and accept whatever comes while you’re gone.