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Old December 14, 2019   #1
DonDuck
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Default Motivation!

I'm having a difficult time generating enough motivation this fall to get my sleeping garden clieaned up and ready to plant in the spring. I've ordered and received the seeds I want for my 2020 garden, but it just sits in the envelopes waiting for me and I still have a ton of work to do in my shop getting my light table, heaters, planting cells; and planting soil ready to receive new seed. I need to buy eight or ten gallons of distilled water at the grocery store to nourish my seedlings. I know that sounds easy, but it isn't easy to do if your not motivated. I usually plant all my pepper seed and tomato seeds in cells in early January, but this year; it will probably happen in mid to late January. I have a lot of work to do on my riding mower and other things so I'm debating if I should do the mower work and other stuff before or after I do the garden work. I know I must plant my onions (600) in January or they will not mature before the summer heat arrives.


I have a lot of late harvested beets and June harvested onions in my shop waiting for me to use or give away. Many oif the onions have new green tops growing out through the mesh of the bags I harden them in.



I'm expecting a lot of cold and probably freezing weather in January and February and the cold weather usually motivates me to get busy in my warm shop because it's too cold and wet to do anything outside.

Last edited by DonDuck; December 14, 2019 at 09:14 PM.
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Old December 14, 2019   #2
SueCT
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I haven't gotten my garden cleaned up yet either, and the tomato cages and dead vines were covered with snow. Does disease on the plants over winter through freezing temps in the North? Now I am sick with Bronchitis and it doesn't look like it is going to get done any time soon.
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Old December 14, 2019   #3
MissS
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Originally Posted by SueCT View Post
I haven't gotten my garden cleaned up yet either, and the tomato cages and dead vines were covered with snow. Does disease on the plants over winter through freezing temps in the North? Now I am sick with Bronchitis and it doesn't look like it is going to get done any time soon.
Sadly it does over winter.

And a BIG BIG word of advise. Stay inside. Stay in bed or watching TV. DO NOT over exert yourself. Do nothing for the 3-6 weeks that it takes to get better. Unfortunately when I had Bronchitis my boss would not allow me to take off of work. Unknowingly because I was over-exerting myself and got run down, the virus went and attacked my heart. You are unaware of this happening until 6 months later and then BAM, heart failure. So no worries about the gardens now. That is just part of life and it will still be there when you recover.
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Old December 14, 2019   #4
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Don, there are always store bought plants for if and when you get motivated.
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Old December 14, 2019   #5
BettyC-5
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My garden is covered with snow also, did stack the tomato cages but there are still sunflower stalks to pull up. And left over cilantro stems, weeds, grass, etc. Won't be doing anymore cleaning until spring. I don't have much disease so don't know how the cold affects it.
DonDuck I make lists, pick which job needs done first, put them in order, finish one before starting another. Works most of the time.
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Old December 15, 2019   #6
taboule
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I know what you mean, been feeling the same lately, some of it due to chronologically related lower energy. I never even dug up a small patch of potatoes I planted.

Much of the snow here melted, so I may spend a bit of time outside, tidying up. I'm gonna dress warm, take a few tools and the wheelbarrow and go at it. No thinking, just do it. I only have 2 of the 5 beds still to clean, the tomatoes and their sick leaves are gone -the most important part for me. Cages stacked and put away.

I'm not gonna do anything inside for at least a couple months still. I'll start planning on paper after the holidays.
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Old December 15, 2019   #7
GoDawgs
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Once I got the fall garden in and it was on auto pilot, a major case of the blahs set in. No motivation for cleaning anything up. Then for two days I got the field pea vines removed, tomato plants yanked from pots and hauled off and half of the tomato cages toted off to their winter storage area. Then back to the blahs.

It's probably natural that we all get a taste of garden burnout after a busy growing year. Even the arrival of catalogs hasn't been as exciting this year, maybe because I don't need much.

I did hoe the henbit out of a few beds the other day when the day warmed up but now the garden's too soggy after 6" of rain Thursday. Back to the blahs.
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Old December 15, 2019   #8
Nematode
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Deer tore down the fence and ate EVERYTHING to stubble.
Saved me the trouble.
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Old December 15, 2019   #9
Nan_PA_6b
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Don, yes, I know that feeling. There are a few suggestions for things that have helped me.

1. Do the easiest or most enjoyable things first. This is the stuff that takes the least motivation to do. Sometimes doing this stuff makes the other stuff seem easier, or gets you excited to do other stuff, or at least it makes your To Do list shorter.

2. Set a time limit. Depending on how bad you're feeling, that limit might be one hour, or just 15 minutes. Anyway, you commit to doing garden work for exactly that amount of time. You'll do, for example, one hour's worth of work. At the end of that hour, you stop, or, if you're really gung-ho, you keep going.

3. Take frequent breaks. I often decide to do a little work, then take a break (as a reward for having worked.) An hour or 2 of work, an hour or 2 of break, etc.

4. Write out a list of everything that has to be done, item by item. The list looks daunting, I know, but it's useful.

5. Look at the big tasks and break them down into littler tasks. "Work on mower" might be broken down into "take mower apart" + "find out what's wrong" + "trip to hardware store" + "replace parts" + "put mower back together". You might not have the energy to fix the mower totally at one time, but doing a little thing like taking the mower apart might seem more doable.

5. When you do something on the list, cross it off. That feels GOOD! If I do something that wasn't on the list, I'll write it on the list and immediately cross it off, so I get credit for the work I did.

6. Ask for help. I always forget to do this; maybe it's how I was raised. You can ask a spouse to help you, or a friend or other family. Maybe someone else would be willing to go to the store to buy the distilled water?

7. If you don't know how to do something, talking it out with someone else can help. A friend or family member, or any of us here at TV might help.
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Old December 15, 2019   #10
SueCT
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Today I pulled the dead hyacinths out of the pond and 2 dead goldfish almost certainly died because I didn't get out there and pull those plants so I could put the heater in. The combination of a pond completly frozen over and dead plant matter covering the surface under the ice probably caused a decrease in oxygen. It was two of my largest fish and those require the most oxygen so they usually go first when it dips. I felt bad. I completely forgot to get out there before the first snow and once it froze there was no way to get the plants out to get the heater in, etc. I likely won't let it take me by surprise again. Sometimes it isn't what you enjoy doing most its what will cause the most damage if you don't get it done. Next is getting new netting on it before the local heron discovers I pulled the netting off. Then the getting the dead tomato plants out so I don't get killed with disease next year, then the cages. The Texas Tomato cages are pricey to replace.
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Old December 15, 2019   #11
shatbox
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It's funny because when I'm feeling that way, lists just add to my anxiety. The best thing for me when I get in a funk is to just go out there. I give myself a lot of time to just observe or move a few things. No expectations. I try to give myself opportunities and set myself up little by little. That usually gets me to come inside and do a little bit.

Take tiny bites every day and give yourself permission to take your time.

Last edited by shatbox; December 15, 2019 at 07:02 PM.
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Old December 16, 2019   #12
rhoder551
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I'm familiar with the feelings you are experiencing. What helps me is just do the things you enjoy the most or the things that are least taxing and make sure you have a comfortable chair out in the garden so you can sit down and enjoy the sun and good weather, while you have a think.
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Old December 16, 2019   #13
Salsacharley
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I got up the gumption to go out and empty my containers to clean and store, but when I dumped the soil out of the first two, which still had the roots from last season's tomatoes (and peppers) I was surprised to see a bunch of worms in the soil, and the soil was warm! There was snow still hanging around in some places! I decided to just cut the tops off the dead plants and leave the roots in the soil because my theory is that the soil is still alive with microbial, fungal, and other good guys. That gives me the excuse to no clean up at least the containers.
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Old December 16, 2019   #14
Tormato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueCT View Post
I haven't gotten my garden cleaned up yet either, and the tomato cages and dead vines were covered with snow. Does disease on the plants over winter through freezing temps in the North? Now I am sick with Bronchitis and it doesn't look like it is going to get done any time soon.



I've had this previously, and this year, too. The best I can do is clean up everything real good in the earliest of spring when the soil starts to thaw, and then hope some more hard frosts will help.
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Old December 17, 2019   #15
Father'sDaughter
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Knowing that fall clean up would be high on my task avoidance list, I set up a rotation where I have to clean out and mulch the tomato/pepper/eggplant/cucumber/zucchini bed. It's the one that the following year's Garlic and shallots need to get planted in during October. No clean up, no garlic and shallots...

And while I'm cleaning and mulching one bed out, may as well do the other.

And Sue, take care of yourself!
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