4 Vegetable Garden Plants that Survive Summer Vacations

Do you have a hard time putting in the summer veggie garden because you know the plants won't survive your travel plans? We used to harvest as much as we could in June, and abandon the garden in July while we traveled, pull the whole thing out in August when we returned to a jungle of weeds and dead plants, and start over in the fall.

We needed a new garden plan that worked with our summer travel plans and didn't leave us with wasted produce or drowning in weeds.

This year we planted a few beds with the summer veggies we love and covered the rest with four garden items that will survive - even thrive during our summer travels and take up enough space that the weeds won't win while we are gone.

Here is what we decided on:

1. Herbs - herbs need very little maintenance once established. The are useful and require little water. Many are perennials and come back year after year. Basil, rosemary, thyme, lemon balm, lavender, and chamomile are in our garden this year and seem to thrive on neglect.

2. Sweet potatoes - We planted a huge bed with sweet potato slips, added more dirt once they took off and watched the vines cover the bed. We can totally ignore this long bed all summer and dig out a bounty of potatoes in the fall.

3. Blackberries - It takes about a year for these plants to become established, but once they do, they are prolific and perennial. I don't think I ever remember to water them. We get a thornless variety for ease, which aren't as tasty as their spiky counter-parts, but my children gobble them up.

4. Muscadines - These plants grow all over our fence around the garden each year without a thought. Every July and August they produce a bounty for jams and jellies. The chickens love jumping up an eating the low hanging fruit.

What is your low-maintenance recommendation?