Monty Don's jobs to do in the garden before you go on holiday

Don't travel until you've completed these simple tasks

Going on holiday any time soon? Lucky you. No doubt you've bought suntan lotion, found someone to feed the cat and ordered your currency. But what about the garden?

Related: Brilliant budget garden ideas that will boost your outdoor space without breaking the bank!

You've put months if not years of hard work in making it beautiful, so the last thing you want is to come back to dead Dahlias and limp lettuce. Cue the green fingered Monty Don, who on Friday's night's episode of Gardeners' World, revealed his must-do jobs for gardeners about to go on holiday.

1. Strip sweet peas

gardn with white flowers and green plants

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

'If you grow sweet peas, be sure to pick every last flower, and give them away,' says Monty. 'Because if you don't do that, there's a real risk that you'll have far more seed pods than flowers when you return.'

2. Move pots into the shade

garden with ladder shelf having green plants in pots

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

If you've got plants in pots, moving them together closely side by side in the shade will create a protective microclimate,' advises Monty. 'And if you can put them in a tray, half filled with water, that's ideal.'

'Then if someone can come and check them once while you're away to top up the water, everything should survive until you get back.

3. Harvest veg

wooden box with beans and peas

(Image credit: Terry Benson/TI Media)

It's not the ideal time for a vegetable grower to go on holiday,' warns Monty. 'But you can mitigate the damage by harvesting as much as possible. So any lettuce that might go to seed, kidney beans, peas, courgettes – give them to friends and family, and on your return, you can start to harvest for yourself.'

4. Don't bring plants back with you!

room with wooden door wooden bench and flowers in pots

(Image credit: Mark Scott/TI Media)

Related: How to grow your own vegetables, fruit, herbs and more at home

'One little word of warning,' concludes Monty. 'If you are going on holiday overseas, resist any temptation to bring back plant material, be it a plant, a cutting or seeds.Because the risk of importing a pest or disease is just too great.'

'Enjoy the holiday, visit gardens, and then come back to your own garden without risking that possibility.'

Follow Monty's advice and we're sure you'll return to a garden as colourful and healthy as you left it. Have a great break!

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.