Protecting Your Garden When Away for Spring Break

At press, spring break of 2023 is just a few short weeks away. While plane tickets and accommodations may already be booked, we wonder if your household is prepared for the family “member” you’re leaving behind. And no, we’re not referring to the dog, cat, or goldfish (we’ll assume you’ve got that covered). Instead, we want to draw attention to your backyard garden. In the same manner that you must batten down the hatches to protect your home from all that can befall it when vacant during spring break, there are things to do to protect your garden too. Let’s review!

3 Ways to Protect Your Family’s Backyard Garden When Leaving for Spring Break Vacation

Planting Prep Before You Leave

Spring break may land at a tricky time for your garden, especially if you live on the west coast of Canada. You probably won’t plant before you leave, but waiting for too long to get started can put a time crunch on your horticultural plans for the season ahead. There are things that you can do prior to departure that will give you a head-start on gardening so that you jump right in upon return. These include the following:

  • Build a raised bed
  • Clean your gardening tools
  • Set up a compost system
  • Source your seeds
  • Remove weeds
  • Start transplants
  • Plan for maintenance

Want to learn more about each of these steps? Please reference this guide from Jessica Hill, one of the Foundation’s garden experts, who offers her expertise on how to prepare for spring planting.

Prep for Weather Events

Climate change has made spring weather more unpredictable across Canada. Heavy precipitation, drought, and extreme winds may all impact your garden. While you may feel powerless against weather events, there are steps to take to ensure that you don’t return to soaked and disrupted soil, plant beds, and already planted (all-season) crops. View this helpful guide on how to protect your garden from extreme weather and this more detailed look at how to make it even more wind-proof.

Wildlife-Proof the Yard and Garden

When the cat’s away, the mice will play. Or in this case, when you’re away, nearby wildlife are free to venture into your unattended yard. When they do, they may feed on plants, dig up soil, mate, nest, and get into all sorts of disruptive mischief. Birds and other beneficial pollinators are more than welcome to enter your biodiverse garden, but the bears, mountain lions, skunks, and raccoons that have become increasingly common visitors to suburban Canadian communities can be problematic. Do you have to have someone housesit for the duration of your vacation? Not at all. The Foundation has a guide for how to keep harmful wildlife out of your garden this spring break and beyond.


Enjoy your family vacation this coming spring, and find peace of mind that you’ll return to a backyard garden that is ready to grow. Stay tuned to our blog for other helpful tips for the seasons ahead.

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