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Garden Burnout, Is It a Thing?

Gardening isn’t a love it or hate it. It’s an I’m going to try my hardest to do this kind of thing. Does it come naturally to anyone? I’m not so sure. I think it comes easier for those who stay committed, do a little research, and hope for the best.

My mom is a natural gardener. It brings pure joy to her. We’ve had conversations where she is frustrated and wants to give up some days. I love decorating the outside with plants and doing a vegetable garden.

garden bunrout tips

It doesn’t come easy for me. Inside plants and I are in a complicated relationship. I don’t know what it is about over-watering and under-watering indoor plants with me. I kill succulents guys. Yep, I’ve had a succulent plant get burnt by the sun because I thought it needed more light.

My outside plants and I are in a healthier relationship. Most of them survive.

As I talk about my vegetable garden in our latest vlog, I’m wondering if there is such a thing as garden burnout?

There has to be. I’ve written about coupon burnout and the exhaustion of paying off debt but never gardening.

Gardening is exciting when you purchase your first home or acquire a space to call your own for planting.

As the years go by and seasons change, it takes a little more persistence and resistance.

I took a break last year from my garden and canning. I’ve canned tomatoes every season for the last ten years.  The break was amazing.

I wrestled with getting a couple of bushels of tomatoes from the farmer’s market, but I went full in break mode.

This year I started my seeds indoors right on time and was ready to hit the dirt and get in it.

The weeds!

My biggest mistake the last two years of living here- not tilling the garden. It truly makes a huge difference. The first year we were here the compost didn’t break down as fine and left larger chunks of newspaper and cardboard and it worked. I barely had to weed it.

The problem is we don’t own a tiller and I’m not motivated enough to weed this huge garden. I mean what was I thinking?

This garden has looked and produced far better than what it is this year. Is it just my garden burnout?

Maybe you are feeling the same way. Maybe you are reading this and laughing and ready to share some tips with us.

( if so please do in the comments below)

When I sit down and really think about what is causing this distant feeling between my garden and me, I realized there are some things to consider.

If you are experiencing garden burnout take a look at the tips below.



This is a big one for me. All winter I hit the library looking at design books for the garden and writing everything all down and by the time spring FINALLY rolled around this year, I felt rushed to get it going. I wanted it to be picture-perfect.

We’ll when the budget is small and you don’t have much time left to garden, just look at my video. That’s what happens folks. Real life gardening.

Nothing Pinterest worthy there right.

Garden Burnout, Is It a Thing?
This is the garden this year.
This is the garden a few years ago.


This goes hand in hand with the first one. I got a little too excited that I was able to get free raised garden beds. I thought this would give me a Pinterest worthy garden. I would have less weeding. Little did I realize I need a ton of these raised garden beds to not have to weed. I mean was it really practical for these garden beds?

I’m looking now and not sure if I want to laugh or cry. Not really practical for my space.

Are you being practical? If not, you’re not alone. I’m right here with you.


Garden Burnout, Is It a Thing?


I made this mistake in the past getting excited about how big my garden was. Before we had chickens all the beans I was growing and peppers no one was eating. It was just my husband and a one-year-old at the time. I got angry thinking about the money I wanted to grow those and the time. All so it could go in the compost.

At least there was one purpose. Not a practical one though. Really think about what your family likes and grow that. We could grow tomatoes, lettuce, and squash and be all set. We can eat those every night. Yet, part of me feels the need to grow more. Be more.

Grow what your family loves. 


Garden Burnout, Is It a Thing?


Not grow. Go. Okay, you will have to let them grow a little bit here. I got so frustrated with this garden because things were dying first off, but a bigger part because of how it is looking. I can’t keep up with the weeds. I even tried to get one of the mini pigs Olive in there.  Except all I was doing was pulling her away from the strawberries and nothing was getting accomplished. I whined to my husband of course. Who, had to rub it in that his first pumpkin patch was doing well.

Garden Burnout, Is It a Thing?

He did point out who cares about the weeds on the side. Is it really that big of a deal? Can I let some go? What if we set aside only certain day or days a week to weed. The other days we don’t worry about it. Would that be enough? I think it would. I know I could work with that. Or maybe I can just work with letting the weeds go outside of the garden beds.

Garden Burnout, Is It a Thing?


Truly, many of us take on more than we can handle. My personality is to go big. Do a lot and it’s hard to ask for help. I’m slowly learning this with the kids. Instead of getting angry about having to pick all their stuff up, I tell them to do it! There will be certain personalities who totally hear me on that. It also takes time for your kids to get there.

My children are now five and seven. They can now handle more responsibilities and truly help around the house. If your kids are younger, hang in there. In time they will be older to really give you the help you deserve and need.


So again I can throw my little own fit about having to do all the work, or I can get the kids to help. I can show them how we can have healthier plants and a neater looking garden if we tidy up. Heck, I’ll even let them eat a few ripe strawberries while they work. 😉

Here’s my recent vlog about our Kitchen Makeover, Barn, and my Garden! 

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Sunday 12th of August 2018

So for me this year was my garden year - I started seedlings; then winter wouldn't ever end... I got the plants in; then a realative died and we have to clean that up... woke up one morning to see my 2ft peas eaten by deer; hastily put up fence...then I found voles.... it's enough to give up and that's where I am today... voles... and pretty much everything is dead from it but I might get squash and carrots and a pumpkin. Burnout is real. Gardening is a love-hate activity.


Tuesday 14th of August 2018

The voles got three of my tomato plants earlier in the year. I'm not sure what happened to them but as of now, they have left the other plants alone. The barn cats would kill them but didn't eat them. That tells ya something about them. I bet you will get more than one pumpkin those things can take off! I think it's important to remember how much work gardening is, and that some years are harder than others. Like you said this is your burnout year and I know we all have them. Maybe this winter you will want to have some herbs inside to still give you the feel of growing your own. Next year, I think you'll be ready to tackle it again. Or just bring in your three items you harvested and call it a summer :)

Victoria Pruett

Wednesday 20th of June 2018

Great post! I totally agree! Last year it wasn't garden burnout that I faced, but harvest burnout. We got so much produce that I thought I was going to go insane trying to process it all on my own. But man, what a "good" problem to have, right!


Tuesday 19th of June 2018

Great tips. I think weeding is my biggest obstacle in gardening. I often feel burnt out because they just keep coming back so quickly. I agree that giving up those perfect gardens is a great idea. Sure I want my garden to look nice, but I'm also okay with it being a bit messy. The important thing for me is that my garden produces things for us to eat and to can for winter.


Wednesday 20th of June 2018

Hi Sarah, yes as much as a messy garden can drive me to want to give up, I agree it's all about the harvest. Thanks so much for stopping by :)

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