Real Men Sow

The Overwhelming Feeling of Being Behind and 5 Ways to Catch Up

rhubarb

Right now, I feel behind. It’s the end of January, and the weather continues to be atrocious. What I could really do with at the moment is a good, solid weekend at the allotment.

I’ve got a load of jobs still to do. I need to line and mulch the paths around my garden raised beds, finish cleaning out my greenhouse and plant out 10 well overdue rhubarb crowns.

Oh, and there’s a small matter of the quarter of an allotment which is still covered in waist high weeds, and a shiny new shed that needs putting up.

Factor in an 11 month old baby who has found his walking shoes, and suddenly I’m feeling rather overwhelmed.

However, I will prevail. And here’s how:

Do I have to clear it all now?
I have been fixating on converting my unruly new plot into a spick and span, freshly dug growing environment before Spring, so I’m ready to go straight away.

But you know what? I don’t need to do this. Yes, I know it looks scruffy, but the plot is a work in progress. If I don’t use all the space straight away then that is absolutely fine. Instead, I’ll clear as I need the space.

I’ve already made room for raspberry canes and gooseberry bushes, and I’ll clear space when I put the rhubarb in, shovelling plenty of manure into the holes as I go. I can do the same with my squashes, which won’t need planting until Spring and buys me even more time.

Take a Day Off Work
I appreciate annual leave is valuable, but I love booking a Friday off to get jobs done down the allotment when it’s quiet. The extra day is really useful, especially if the weekend is taken up doing more mundane house chores.

The allotment is a wonderful place to be on a weekday too. Our plots are so quiet, with very few people about. Get a good day’s weather and I couldn’t think of many things I’d rather do with an annual leave day.

Get a Friend to Help
I’m always amazed by how much two people can get done on an allotment in just a few hours.

I’ll admit, sometimes this is a hard sell. Hopefully you’re fortunate enough to have a likeminded mate. If not, just bribe them with cake and explain what a great way it is to catch up. That always works.

Honest.

Write a List
I enjoy compiling lists. It matters not whether the lists are neat and tidy spreadsheets, or scrawly and rudimentary on a scrap of paper. My favourite type of list is one for the garden and I think there is an art to a good garden job list. You need to prioritise a couple of easy jobs, so you quickly feel like you’re achieving.

….and Relax!
Yes, I need to relax.

I’m often worrying about being behind, and a quick check of the blog archives brought up a good example of me worrying back in May 2012.

As they say on the tele, it’ll be alright on the night. I just need a few extra hours in the day. Or maybe the clocks to change. 

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3 Comments

  1. Dee SewellJanuary 26, 2014 at 9:34 pmReply

    Jono I’m so with you though like you, know from past experience it will be alright on the night. A couple of days and we’ll be ship shape again :-)

  2. DanJanuary 27, 2014 at 10:26 amReply

    10 rhubarb crowns! I guess you really like rhubarb!
    I’m always making gardening lists but for the moment I have decided it is a no go area so am content to look from afar.

  3. ScottJanuary 27, 2014 at 1:26 pmReply

    It’s always reassuring to know that you’re not the only one who feels way behind, especially as it’s only January. It helps me anyway.
    Along with the above problems I had the greenhouse 95% glazed when a massive gust of wind blew out 8 panes which smashed all over the lawn. Remember, it could always be worse!

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope.

However, three years on, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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