Gardening Mental Health Self-Care

Thick and fast – a story of a glut.

Don’t get me wrong – I know I grow vegetables so I really should expect them to start a steady flow round about now, but lockdown has had an undesired effect…

I shouldn’t complain as this is exactly what I wanted to achieve. A glut. Of near enough everything.

At the beginning of lockdown, I couldn’t help but think there was more that I could do to increase my yield and variety of what we eat. I had the seeds that I needed so off I trotted into my shed and planted far more than I needed. I am proud to boast that every single tomato plant on our allotments are grown by me (and the others gifted to the other plot members). My tomatoes seem to be of amazement to everyone as I always take such care of them and they’re my main harvest in the year.


I experimented with different varieties of peas, runner beans, courgettes, potatoes, onions, beetroot… the list goes on as you can imagine.

It’s not the plan that I had in mind but needs must. I now am having a steady flow of veg that I am now struggling to keep up with.

Now, the whole point wasn’t to be greedy – not at all. It was to grow, use, preserve. It looks like I am going to be looking up some recipes this weekend and focusing my energy into preserving.


The main problem is that I have planned above my physical ability. I’ve tried returning to work after lockdown and I cannot find that balance anymore like I used to be able to. Along with being Oscar’s 24/7 childcare… it’s been HARD.  I now find that I am limited with my time down the allotment, the jobs are feeling a little too big and I feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew.


I accept that I am disabled and sometimes things aren’t in my ability. I have also been unwell with my sinus tumour removal surgery which was a year ago and I am still healing. Then infections blah blah blah.

No matter what, something alway seems to get in the way but that’s life. It’s always going to be that way. I won’t sit there and pretend that everything is okay and put on a smile for others.

Lockdown was really hard. It still is. We have discovered more about ourselves than ever before and have been pushed to our limits mentally. I am still dealing with what happened at the beginning of lockdown too and I don’t think it has been easy at all.

It still doesn’t stop me from beating myself up. I wish I could spend all day, every day at the allotment and I also wish that I could be as able as I used to be as I’m struggling. Or I feel this overwhelming sense that I am struggling (as the weeds grow around me and I look at them with tiredness and despair).

I haven’t had as much time as I normally would either – life has changed and is still in the process of changing. I think everyone feels like this with their allotment at some point or another and whilst it is overwhelming, with a little help, I think I can get it back to a productive space again.


I do think I should laugh though… I normally plant potatoes in pots. We don’t have a lot of storage at all as we live in a flat with no garden, but this year I grew them in the ground as I had so many seed potatoes.

Well now… can I dig them up? No! Haha! I physically have stumped myself here and now rely on my poor husband who has been dragged into this through no fault of his own, to dig up our potatoes and make the space for us to store them.

So now I really do need to start the preserving process so we can enjoy the fruits of my (our!) labour all year round.


Anyway, enough whinging about how sorry I feel for myself. I don’t feel sorry for myself but I am a little cross at myself for not sticking to my roots of manageable gardening that’s within my ability. I have damn right failed there!  However, I do now feel some sort of responsibility to feel proud of the amount I have been able to chuck out of such a small space. It’s definitely something to celebrate! But next time I need to think about the end result at harvest and think back within my abilities again. I absolutely hate relying on other people when this is my hobby/lifestyle and I think it’s unfair to drag others with no interest into it.


Keep your eyes peeled this week as I will be having to use my veg in beautiful and inventive ways this week! One harvest at a time!

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