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Feeling discouraged

Posted by gardenfanatic MO zone5b (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 14:36

I'm so discouraged about my garden right now, I'm having a hard time getting the energy to go out and work in it. I've got several plants that I bought during summer sales when the temps were sizzling that need to be planted now and I just don't have the energy to do it.

The vast majority of my hostas are practically gone. They fried and died stem by stem throughout the summer until most of them only have a few stems left, some of them only one or two. We had watering restrictions this summer, so I watered as much as I could. They got watered at least once a week, but obviously it wasn't enough.

There are cracks throughout the soil in one of the beds that I know of. Many of the cracks run square into the middle of plants, so the roots have been "hanging in air" so to speak. The cracks are too large and numerous to just fill in with some dirt. I need to dig up the plants, till the bed, then replant.

I suspect many of the plants are just as pathetic underground as they are above ground. So I don't know if they'd even be worth replanting. The whole thing just makes me want to throw up my hands and give up.

Deanna


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Feeling discouraged

Deanna it is a 2 step process. 1. You need to do something for the problem (IE hostas) and 2 something everyday for yourself. Even if you do nothing more than tend one plant a day it is a start and then enjoy a cold one. Before you know it the plants will be ready for fall and your frame of mind will not be so overdrawn. 2 steps a day. easy just start with baby steps. Have a great grow day, Paula


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RE: Feeling discouraged

Oh boy, I know exactly how you are feeling! Last August I broke my leg which obviously brought all my garden projects to a screeching halt. I was so depressed looking around at all the the things I wanted to do and looking at half finished projects. This spring it all felt so overwhelming, spring clean up plus finishing all the projects half started from last year. I ended up finding someone to help me who worked cheap and needed a few extra bucks. It was hard for me to admit I couldn't do it all myself.

Take it small. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when looking at the whole picture. Break it down into little projects and feel proud of what you accomplished.

Besides, Hostas are amazingly resiliant. I had some dug up last year that never got back in the ground and layed on conrete under the snow all winter. I threw them in my compost bin this spring figuring they were goners and wouldn't you know it, they started sprouting!

Hang in there, and don't be so hard on yourself!


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RE: Feeling discouraged

  • Posted by irawon Ottawa ON 5b (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 20:13

Gardenfanatic,/Deanna:

Many of us have frustrating hosta stories (drought, cutworms etc.), probably not as dire as yours. I'm in zone 5B too. If those water restrictions have been lifted, go to town.. water,water, water.

I'm in the same situation that you're in ..hostas requiring planting before freeze. Also energy levels at a minimum. So as was suggested above, do what you can and next year will present itself as it will.

Next year your hostas will be renewed. Just a word more of encouragement. I moved my hosta Halcyon. A little fragmant must have been left behind, survived and sprouted.

Jetman, good luck to you too.


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RE: Feeling discouraged

  • Posted by irawon Ottawa ON 5b (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 20:15

Gardenfanatic,/Deanna:

Many of us have frustrating hosta stories (drought, cutworms etc.), probably not as dire as yours. I'm in zone 5B too. If those water restrictions have been lifted, go to town.. water,water, water.

I'm in the same situation that you're in ..hostas requiring planting before freeze. Also energy levels at a minimum. So as was suggested above, do what you can and next year will present itself as it will.

Next year your hostas will be renewed. Just a word more of encouragement. I moved my hosta Halcyon. A little fragmant must have been left behind, survived and sprouted.

Jetman, good luck to you too.


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RE: Feeling discouraged

Dear Deanna: I am so sorry that you are feeling so overwhelmed! If I were closer, I would come over and help you to begin rejuvenating your garden. But I am afraid I am too far.

It looks like you have gotten a lot of good advice. I especially like Jetman's suggestion of breaking down your garden work into smaller projects. When the kids were little, I learned to do that also---break a project into smaller sections. That way I felt that I had actually accomplished something. If I had planned a larger project, in most cases, I would never have been able to finish it and that would have been terribly discouraging.

If you have had hosta for several years, then you know that many of them can be quite tough. You may be surprised next year to see how many of them have survived.

Perhaps you could ask someone to help you for a small fee just as Jetman did? And if not, just begin doing something in the garden. You may just find that it makes you feel a little bit better.


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RE: Feeling discouraged

I agree, you have received some good advice, break it down.
For example, pick a small bed, one near a patio or door, so you see it. This small project could inspire you to do more. It works for me when things get out of hand.

Best Wishes
Beverly.


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RE: Feeling discouraged

  • Posted by Dgregory 6A - So.Central IL (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 22:07

What a wonderful group of folks! You all quickly offer Deanna such encouraging words and helpful suggestions. It's a pleasure to be a member here.

Deanna,
I hear your frustration that something you have worked so hard on, and found such pleasure in, seems to have been destroyed in one short Summer. Of course you feel depressed and exhausted by it, how could you not?! Please have courage that the rains will come and things will get back to normal for your garden once again.

The suggestion of working in one small section of garden at a time sounds like a really constructive idea. I'd suggest choosing an area which can be seen from a window that you look out of often. As you do the gardening, you'll begin see this one small area starting to come together. As this little piece of the garden is renewed, it may help you regain that pleasure you felt and, with that, more energy.

Best wishes,
Deb


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RE: Feeling discouraged

  • Posted by Dgregory 6A - So.Central IL (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 22:27

Oops, it took me so long to compose my post. Simply put, what Beverly said!
;-)
Deb


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RE: Feeling discouraged

Please don't be discouraged. My year has been far from a huge success as a hostaholic. It began with my tripping over a carelessly placed garden hose in March, which was way to early to me tending to my hosta gardens. I ruptured the patella tendon in my right leg. While in rehab my hostas unfurled and froze several times. When I was able to see my gardens they were overgrown with weeds. Then came the drought.

Hang in there and trust your hostas. They will reward your trust.

Les

My other "dependable" perennials went to stasis and didn't bloom. My gardens look like "S---". No Cannas, no tomatoes, no summer squash, no Happy Returns daylilies of any form. But now there is water and it gives me hope for next spring.


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RE: Feeling discouraged

I can't imagine how bad things must look. We're in 5b extreme drought, but without watering restrictions. Even with constant watering, the garden still looks terrible. You have my sympathy and I hope things will recover next year.

When we do have watering restrictions, I take baths using as little soap as possible, then use buckets to scoop out every drop I can and haul it to the garden. If you have the time and ambition, try it: That 30-40 gallons a day is a big help. At least it might stop the giant cracks.


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RE: Feeling discouraged

Absolutely, Deanna, you are not alone with this problem. That you made it all summer is a sign of TRUE GRIT.

Quite possibly, you can get some leaves and lay around the open wounded dried cracked ground, and it will help cool the hosta roots. If they were losing their leaves all summer, I think they were going summer dormant and protecting themselves. At least they were not rotting from standing in water, so they are preserving life through dormancy. The ones I lost here were in pots that I neglected to drill enough drainage holes in....then we got lots of rain and those plants sort of withered away more surely than if they'd been dry.

MadPlanter, I think you are a very disciplined individual. When you get right down to it, I remember during WWII (the big one) that we had water restrictions for each household, and we had one tub about 3 inches deep in water that the four of us bathed in. As kids it did not bother us much, since it was not a swimming pool to play in. :) Nowadays, I love a deep tub of water, and a long soaking bath. But I also have an outdoor shower which is on the irrigation meter and that is where I "outsource" much of my chores like house plants and dog baths and such. If we ever have water rationing here, I hope to be ready for it.

Also, years ago we put the washing machine drain into the flower bed to reuse the gray water. Don't do it now, our washer is a front loader which uses a tiny amount of water. But big washers use 30-40 gallons PER FILL, meaning for the WASH and then for the RINSE. That is a lot of water you know.


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RE: Feeling discouraged

  • Posted by irawon Ottawa ON 5b (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 18, 12 at 17:55

Deanna, How're ya doin'? I've done the "little bit a day bit" the last few days.

The hardest part, I find, when discouraged is the decision making. Where to put what that I acquired etc. I question some of the choices that I made earlier in the season but things are progressing.

Your username "gardenfanatic" indicates to me:

1. you love to garden
2. like me, you are a perfectionist

I find doing nothing for a day or two OR indulging myself for a day or two renews my enrgy levels. AND I keep reminding myself that my human interpersonal relationships are more important than my hostas.


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RE: Feeling discouraged

Thanks so much everyone for your encouragement! Your words encouraged me enough to go out yesterday and start digging up plants in preparation for the big tilling. Everything I dug up had large portions of their crowns dried up and very little left in the way of roots. Everything except the plants that were new from Hallson's last year (this year's new acquisitions are still in pots). Even though the Hallson's plants were mostly toast up top like everything else, they still had good root systems, thank heavens. At least some plants are still healthy.

I'm thinking I might pick up some horse manure to till into the soil since I'm tilling anyway. That should give the hostas a healthy boost for next year.

Irawon, you nailed me with your assessment - I love to garden and I'm such a perfectionist I drive myself nuts!

And newhostalady - how sweet of you to say you'd come over to help me if you were close.

Hosta really is the friendship plant. Hosta friends are the best. :-)

The gardener's mantra: "There's always next year!"

Deanna


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RE: Feeling discouraged

Tilling horse manure always makes me feel better too. :~)

Deanna, don't you have some seed pods to start harvesting? Nothing like seed growing to provide hope and promise.

Steve


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RE: Feeling discouraged

Steve, the only thing with pods is Great Arrival, and I don't know if its seeds are viable. I think it was too hot for much pollination to take place. Most plants put scapes up early and it was 100+ degrees nearly every day for a month. My Aphrodite didn't even put up scapes this year at all (scratches head??).

Deanna


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RE: Feeling discouraged

Deanna, I am so glad that you are feeling better. Good luck with the garden.

I too have found that "hosta people" are very friendly and helpful. Perhaps that is true of gardeners also.


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