Discussions That Affect my Mental Health

digit(ID/WA)November 5, 2012

Of course, I'm always talking about my gardens. . .

Gardening brings with it a whole range of concerns over which we may reach the end of our ability to cope. Weather is foremost. There is also the agony of looking back at past mistakes and not fully knowing how to avoid them in the future. Things may never get any better and there is no one else to blame!

To avoid the empty feeling that no one has ever been through what I am going through, I turn to RMGardening. I hope there is no shame in this . . . It is just that there is a measure of trust in asking for help and support from others here.

Obsessing about the choice of plant varieties in the coming catalog season and how better to deal with growing season weather is just a threat to my mental health. I am worried that I have GAS (Gardening Anxiety Symptoms). There just seems to be such a danger to GAS leading to a more general GAC (Gardening Anxiety Complex).

Do things like this, worry you?


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david52 Zone 6

My name is david52, and I too suffer from GAS. ("Hello, david52" intones the forum)

I swear at this time of year that that next year, I'm only going to grow three tomato varieties - a black one, a beefsteak, and Thessaloniki. And only one sweet pepper and one hot pepper. And then golden beets, Russian kale, one variety of beans, and one variety of squash.

Then the catalogs come, and ..... well ...... its off the wagon we go. Hi ho. Hi ho.

I actually did plant only one variety of garlic. And I'm already regretting that

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:38PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Digit! You're looking at the situation with your hose half empty, when you should be looking with your hose half FULL! Why do you assume the "past mistakes" are YOURS!?! The one Permanent Constant in gardening is that there are LOT of things we can't control--no matter how much we'd like to believe we can. Even if you had GOD [Gardening Obsessive Disorder] you couldn't control the elements! ;-)

When I bought this house and finally had room for a garden--veggie garden, I observed and pondered and put a lot of angst into what was going right--and what was going WRONG with my veggies. Now, about eight years later, I've come to the conclusion that Angst didn't help my garden at all! A couple years ago I decided that what does and doesn't work in any one year is very little related to me and very much related to the seeds, the soil, the water, the sun, the heat, the wind---and the very fine day-to-day interaction between all of those. I can help--a little bit--with a couple of those, but the Final Conjunction of how they all come together is very much out of my hands! So I plant my veggies, hopefully at the right time, and I water them, hopefully at the right time, and I watch them---very closely (they haven't boiled yet!), but beyond that all I can really do is hope I'll wind up with something big enough to eat---and hope it tastes good enough to eat!

One of my best years was the very first year when I was, truly, planting everything in Potter's Soil! Since the soil has been getting somewhat better there have been a LOT of ups and downs! Go figure! I attribute it to The Conjunction!

And with the tomatoes especially! Every year folks are wondering what's the "disease" with this leaf or that leaf--and [IMO] nobody REALLY knows! Even "the experts" don't know! Yeah, they'll have an answer for ya---but go to three different Experts and you'll get three different answers! I wondered and worried about my (few) diseased and dying tomatoes the first couple years too! Never did figure out what what wrong with them! Everybody had a different supposition! I still wonder a little bit at times, but I don't worry anymore! Either they're gonna be fine--or they're not! This year I had a couple with SERIOUS problems. Have NO idea what "the problem" was--I call it Failure To Thrive, but they were growing all crammed up against each other like they always are, and whatever the "problem" was, it didn't spread, at all, to the ones next to and against the "diseased" ones! I just kept cutting off more and more of the leaves as they deteriorated and kept on keeping on! And since I have nowhere to "rotate" my crops to, they're grown in the exact same spot every year, and I have never found "whatever" was wrong with a couple of them the previous year to be spreading to the "new" ones the next year. I know people worry about that, but I've never seen it happen.

I have to admit I do still put a little bit of GAS into my perennials at times! Guess it just seems like since they grow from year to year I should be able to figure it out when something is going wrong--and sometimes I can---sometimes it's painfully obvious, but this year I had a couple of them just suddenly keel over, and I don't have a CLUE why! Oh, well! Will try again! Maybe with the same thing, and maybe The Keeling has given me an opportunity to try something new! It's Gardening! And it would be VERY boring if I got everything exactly where I wanted it and it was all growing beautifully, and all I had to do was look at it! That wouldn't be any fun!

So, as I see it, Digit, the only thing you're Doing Wrong is that you're gardening! And you most definitely don't want to stop doing that! So just stop with the GAS and the GAC and the GAD (Gardening Anxiety Disorder) and the GOD! Be sure your hose is half full---and Garden On!


P.S. And besides which, if everything went right, there wouldn't be anything at all to talk about around here! :-)

P.P.S. Hello, David 52!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:20PM
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~ Hey kid . . . pssst! Kid . . .

i've got some Casey's Pure Yellow seed for ya!

Nah, no need to thank me. . . just let me get away from the curb before ya plant some in the asphalt ~


    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:38PM
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OMG! This multiple personality disorder can really be an added problem!

You see Sky', I really do want everything to go perfectly - every year!! Of course, the digitS' only wants me to try random, risky things. I can't gain any gardening equilibrium . . .

Maybe there will come a time when control won't just be a momentary illusion . . .


    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 2:09PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

MPD? Nuh-uh! Digit or DigitS, the "Steve" always seems to come thru!

You might "want" everything to go perfectly - every year, but I'm guessin' that if everything went perfectly - even one year, you'd for sure wind up in a Padded Room! ;-) Gardening just doesn't make for perfectly anything - ever! LOL!

And, uh, I wouldn't count on "control" ever becoming more than a "momentary illusion!"

Not real sure if I'm a cynic or a realist---or maybe I'm just plain too old to worry about things I can't do anything about! But I consider control to be highly overrated! Go with the flow works for me--and it keeps life interesting!

And you KNOW we've ALL "been through what you're going through," which is why we all hang out around here! Therapy for the wise gardener! Not in control, but wise all the same!!!


    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 2:41PM
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david52 Zone 6

This was one of the worst tomato years in recent memory, 3/4 of my plants died.

As I finished up canning them and then filling the dehydrator - every three days for 6 weeks - the thought occurred to me .....

Can you imagine if it was a GOOD tomato year? I'd be processing the things 'till Christmas!!!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Skybird, a perfect tomato can't be a thing of beauty - a joy forever but it is delightful. Pest attacks on anything make my blood pressure go up . . and I blame myself. . .

This season wasn't as bad as 2011 for me in the tomato patch, David. That year had the great slug attack. I decided that I'd go back to staking in 2012 but I don't think the slugs would have been anywhere near as bad, one way or the other. Sluggo was going to be hauled out by the bucketful if necessary even if it would have broken the gardening bank to do so.

With a warm September, despite the mid-month frosts -- the late fruit had a fairly good chance to ripen. After a mad harvest before those frosts, most plants had more ripe tomatoes after another 10 days, or so. A short time later, 2nd load of green fruit was carried off. Every single one of them is gone now - to sauce and freezer.

Of course this means that there is a new season just around the corner! And, I'm thinking not only of lots of tomatoes but growing many varieties of beans for drying, beyond soy! And, flour corn, again! Hey!

There are 350 varieties of shark, not counting loan and pool. ~ L. M. Boyd

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:51PM
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My cauliflower didn't mature this year but did very well last year and same seed. Could be weather, smoke or who knows what? Some years things don't go according to plan. The broccoli went crazy. I am beginning to think that cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts are not worth the time and effort they take for what I get out of them. Maybe I will plant more dahlias!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Well, I'd almost imagine that it was all the smoke in 2012, Margaret!

I think it was Mark Twain who said that cauliflower is just cabbage with a college education. That must be true; cauliflower is quite beyond me!

I never have much trouble with broccoli once I learned to only grow a very quick-maturing variety that wouldn't get "blasted" by the heat in July! Then, it was just getting the things past Benjamin Bunny without being eaten. That is often much easier said than done!

Dahlias? Well, you gotta get off the fence, Margaret. You are either all in or all out! Just kidding . . . how about growing both dahlias and Asian greens? Since the greens (including Guy Lon) are so quick, I can get away with that on the same ground . . .

Let's see, I've got a picture around here of me moving some of those seedlings around to give them some more room in what will soon be a dahlia bed. See the dahlia emerging right above the transplants? (In about 3 weeks, nothing besides that dahlia will be able to grow anywhere near it. ;o)


    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 3:38PM
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I grow chard, boc choi, kale, mustard greens, chinese cabbage and they grow well but my husband won't eat them.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:44PM
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~ bacon ~



    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:10AM
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