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Thread: Feeling overwhelmed - please help

  1. #9
    teakdesk's Avatar
    teakdesk is offline Tuber
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    Hi Nanny Chicken, welcome to the Vine. Sounds like you've been bottling things up for a while so I hope that typing your heartfelt post is a problem shared, problem halved!


    The detail you put in the post is wonderful and I wonder if you would describe your personality as a perfectionist? I only ask because I find gardening anything but perfection. There are members on the vine who achieve very high levels with their plots but I'm way below that, yet still very happy with what I produce.

    There is a plot close to me that looks wonderful, good crops, few weeds and mown grass paths. I used to covert that plot until I realised the couple lived next to it and visit more than once each day. They also have lots of dense established fruit bushes that have nothing more than a mulch to keep weeds down, another area is potatoes planted closely so no weeds either. A strawberry patch that is overstocked to no light gets between and weeds can't grow.

    I can't keep weeds away and don't attempt to completely get rid of them. I do try and reduce them (and would do more if I could) but, for instance, my onion bed at home gets covered with rampant chickweed and weill only be lightly weeded once a season yet still produces onions I'm satisfied with.

    As others have said, covering the ground around plants can keep weeds away but finding material like cardboard or chippings or compost etc. can be difficult and often involve hard work to bring onto the plot. My solution was a cheap roll of black bin liners from the supermarket. A couple of pounds and I had 100 pieces of coverings held down with a bit of soil (bury the edges). You can make holes in them to plant through or use a couple either side of an existing plant. Water runs off the edges even if I use a few bags to make a larger area. I used these for many years on potatoes and never once added.

    Lots more I could say but top of that list is to decide what plants you enjoy eating and get pleasure from. Try and concentrate on those.

    If you can't get to the plot regularly don't grow courgettes but grow slower maturing winter squashes. Cover the ground with large areas of closer down perpetual spinach (I've never weeded mine!).

    Most seeds have an "optimum" spacing but you can plant closer to exclude light from weeds underneath, the crop might be slightly smaller but still satisfies me!


    Good Luck!
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  2. #10
    Nanny Chicken is offline Germinator
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    Hi all

    Many, many thanks for the replies and suggestions so far. I feel better already :-) That link is a real inspiration. I have access to as much card as I want and I did buy green manure in the Wyvale 50p promotion last year!

    Marchogaeth - your kind words made me well up - soppy date that I am (and yes probably also a bit tired!) We can grow anything, we are surrounded by nice people and you made me think about a really enthusiastic allotment holder who is at his plot every day for most of the day who also drinks in our local (not that we have been there recently - we might have to plan a special trip!) who I am sure would fill up the water container for us during the week. That would be a weight off my mind.

    I really want to believe that we have broken the back of it. Right from the start we have been so aware of not overwhelming ourselves that I felt we had a really sensible, measured approach. It has been such an odd year weather wise that we can't be the only ones facing waist high weeds in a matter of a couple of weeks surely? Doesn't make my plot easier to manage but there's a strange comfort in us all being in it together.

    We were given a really decent sized shed two or three months ago and I have been hanging onto the premiss that once the shed is up and we can store stuff in there rather than filling the car up each time then that will make a tremendous difference on both a practical and mental level. But with all the weeding etc etc clearing the space and erecting the shed is currently on the "nice to have" list. Perhaps it's time to elevate the shed to the "next job" list while I can still muster a modicum of enthusiasm from the other half?

    I have actually planted my brassicas through cardboard this year but didn't think to use it on the uncultivated parts of the plot. I have not put anything on top of it though as a mulch - again the new composting area is on the "nice to have" list. We have bags and bags of kitchen waste, spent seedling compost and chicken run waste just waiting to be composted. My old compost bin is full of decent stuff - shall I just empty that onto the cardboard brassica beds? It needs emptying anyway to make room for the new composters.

    Thanks again for your kind and encouraging words.
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  3. #11
    Nanny Chicken is offline Germinator
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    Thanks Bigmallly and teakdesk - as you can tell by the time I had composed my first reply I had had two more replies from you guys - so am I a perfectionist - probably (blush!) - message received and understood :-)

    Its a bit addictive this purging isn't it?

    Thanks again x
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  4. #12
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    Bigmallly is offline Think outside the box
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    We're all in the same boat NC, trying to work with nature yet battling with it at the same time.
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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanny Chicken View Post
    Marchogaeth - We can grow anything, we are surrounded by nice people and you made me think about a really enthusiastic allotment holder who is at his plot every day for most of the day who also drinks in our local (not that we have been there recently - we might have to plan a special trip!) who I am sure would fill up the water container for us during the week. That would be a weight off my mind.
    I'm glad you are starting to see the positives and options.

    Now you are gardening on the web, have a look at lasagne beds it really sounds like you have all the ingredients to make a few. Do search through The Vine for ideas. Our search facility is a bit grim but if you search for say:- weed control cardboard growyourown.com in goggle you might find it easier and you will get lots of links back to here.

    I didn't want to say before but is it too far to cycle? Nothing like exercise to get the endorphins going and cycling followed by "a garden" would be a double whammy!
    Last edited by marchogaeth; 13-08-2014 at 01:08 PM.
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  6. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchogaeth View Post
    I didn't want to say before but is it too far to cycle? Nothing like exercise to get the endorphins going
    He he............I read that as earphones.................
    Glutton4... and marchogaeth like this.
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  7. #15
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    If you put compost on top of cardboard cover it with something, grass clippings, straw etc or the weed seeds will germinate and you will be back to square one. Most of us don't get a compost heap hot enough to kill all the weed seeds, and get rid of those grass paths.

    Keep going and the best of luck.
    Gardening requires a lot of water - most of it in the form of perspiration. Lou Erickson, critic and poet

  8. #16
    The Nichols''s Avatar
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    Hello Nanny Chicken and welcome.

    I think part of the problem might be that it's human nature to focus on what we didn't do rather than what we did. Perhaps next time you go down don't think "I didn't finish weeding" or "I didn't get the grass cut" and instead, focus on "I got all those over winter onions in and the shed looks very tidy."

    I personally over-estimate how much I can do in the time I have and end up disappointed but when I realise that I did actually get quite a bit done, even if it wasn't everything I thought I would, then I feel better.
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