What should I do with my garden if I go away for an extended period of time? Do the automatic waterers that only let in water when needed really work?
Leaving the Garden
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You could try the automatic waterers; however, you may want to let a neighbor or family member keep an eye on the garden while you're away, as there is a chance that the waterers could malfunction. This article should also offer some suggestions: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/lifestyle/out-of-town-garden-woes-tips-for-travelers.htm
One last thing - I didn't address your question about automatic watering. I don't like the idea of leaving the water on waiting for a timer but that's just me. Depending on how big your garden is - a trusty neighbor can water everything thoroughly within 30-40 minutes and not have to do it again for antoher two days and if it rains then skip a day or two. I find this to be one of the most relaxing things to do on a nice summer day...
You did not indicate when you will be gone or how long which will determine what to do. Note: in MD it rains so much/so hard that watering is almost a secondary act. However, if it's a new garden you must water well during late June (2-3 x a week, as well as in July and August. If it rains that week then only once about 2-3 days after the rain. I maintain fairly hardy plants that do well w/o water and have grasses and annuals on the deck that I rarely water letting the rain take care of them most of the time. I recommend asking a trusty neighbor to care for your plants. Most folks are glad to do this as long as you give them explict instructions - pls seek a fellow gardner not a novice.