All Things Gardening forum: I'm new here & maybe this isn't the correct forum

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 675, Replies: 27 » Jump to the end
clifton, n.j. (Zone 7a)
applevalle
Jun 4, 2016 7:48 PM CST
I am an avid gardener who is getting older & have had brain surgery, big-time spinal surgery….. & joy of joys….I had a mild heart attack 5 weeks ago….sigh. I'm doing fine but am having to learn some new ways of doing gardening chores. Up until about 3 years ago there was literally nothing I wouldn't tackle & have always been a strong woman. Anyone else having to accept that they aren't superwoman any longer? Any tips for making gardening easier on the old bones & especially the spine. Also, safer ways to garden that will be a little more heart-healthy?
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Jun 4, 2016 8:26 PM CST
Welcome to Garden.org, @applevalle !

You will find plenty of company in "having to learn new ways of doing gardening chores" here ! Even without specific health problems, many (perhaps the majority) of us here are getting older and finding we need to make some modifications in our gardening routine ! So, pretty much everywhere you go here you will find someone referring to the fact that they apparently are no longer superwoman -- but you may find this thread, in particular, or interest: The thread "For Physically Challenged Gardeners" in Sandbox forum

I hope you enjoy the site -- I'm looking forward to "seeing" you around! Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Moonhowl
Jun 4, 2016 8:29 PM CST
Welcome to NGA @applevalle

Raised beds are easier on the back and knees.

http://www.lowes.com/creative-ideas/lawn-and-garden/build-a-...

Plant native perennials as they require less care and time.

http://www.npsnj.org/

Check around, ask if there are volunteer programs with churches, schools or scouts. Often you can get help with garden tasks for little expense.


The Master Gardener Program and the County extension Service have loads of info about choosing and growing vegetables best suited to your area.

https://njaes.rutgers.edu/mastergardeners/counties.asp

And for great moral support and good info, you already have the nicest group of folks to talk garden with right here. Smiling
Again, Welcome!
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Jun 4, 2016 9:32 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome!
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
Hellebores The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
NJBob
Jun 4, 2016 9:56 PM CST
What I did at my mothers house was set up containers on old picnic Table benches. Just about no bending over.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
jvdubb
Jun 5, 2016 4:20 AM CST
Welcome!
north of Kansas city MO (Zone 5a)
Image
happgarden
Jun 5, 2016 6:07 AM CST
Our 4h group has what they call the green team to help folks with gardening task.

I am also testing some ideas I have seen. I took pvc pipe (one rated safe for drinking water) will have to check the diameter but put them in the ground standing upright and put potting soil in each one and planted tomatoes in them. I saw this on a pbs gardening show, the gentleman was in a wheel chair and the tomatoes were at the perfect height. Course you will need help cutting and placing the pvc in the ground the first go around. I also built 2 raised vegetable beds using concrete block, 2 blocks high I can sit on the edge and garden. They are just wide enough I can reach the center on both sides. Husband was asking why we were building them, told him so when I get older I can still garden, he said building the concrete block bed was going to make us older....they are really heavy but don't cost alot.
Hope you can find help, and for everyone else it is always good to be ready for when we are older or have issues before hand. I know it is hard to believe but hopefully we will all get older.

Thumb of 2016-06-05/happgarden/7d5fbf


Thumb of 2016-06-05/happgarden/41f129

Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CarolineScott
Jun 5, 2016 7:50 AM CST
Welcome! applevalle

You will find lots of company and ideas here.

"Old gardeners never die----they just spade away"

"Old gardeners never die----they just go to seed"
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Jun 5, 2016 10:32 AM CST
Warm welcome from the Pacific NW! I'd suggest investing in a rolling stool of some sort, I find mine very helpful. Another thing I've found helpful is to use one of those big kitchen or workroom poly-mats for weeding. Easier than the tiny little knee pad mats and gives more room for comfort. Sometimes when I'm feeling punky, I just lay my mat down and tell myself to just do 'that much' -- often that much turns into much more but it sure is a doable goal!
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
Image
CarolHB
Jun 5, 2016 11:15 AM CST
Get 'em up high and put 'em on wheels. Welcome!
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Jun 5, 2016 12:07 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome applevalle,
There are lots of folks here who are physically challenged and manage to keep their gardens going. Thankfully most people concentrate on what they do in the garden each day and not dwell on the negative stuff. (We do have a Grumpy Thread for when people feel like letting off steam.) I had to re-learn gardening about 10 years ago when I became disabled. Thought about not having a garden and nope, that was not gonna work for me. Even just a few pots or raised beds will keep you in the game. Just do what you can each day and no matter how independent you are, please ask for help when you need it.

All of the above are good answers. You could contact the local Boy Scout group to see if anyone is working on an Eagle Scout project. One surprising way I received help was from the missionaries from the Mormon church. They come around with a plan to talk about religion but I told them I had too much work to do and, sorry, had no time to chat. Their eyes lit up as they asked what they could do to help me. They returned the next day (without the white shirts and neck ties) and were happy to get good and dirty. Here is the mess that my garden was in before the young men helped:
Thumb of 2016-06-05/greene/71b86f Thumb of 2016-06-05/greene/93c563

After the two men and I worked all day the garden looked a lot better. All I had to do was add plants and water.
Thumb of 2016-06-05/greene/415260

The young men even managed to move my 10 foot long table (a gift from Home Depot when they renovated their garden center). The table is a good height so I can sit and plant seeds or re-pot plants.
Thumb of 2016-06-05/greene/7f3721

The landscape fabric was covered with bark chips as it is easier for me to walk on. All the plants are in raised beds and large plastic tubs that I get from local landscapers (free) when they plant trees in the area. Since the soil never needs to be tilled all I need is a hand trowel to do my planting. When I am too week to lift heavy bags of soil/mulch/manure I holler for help, even if I have to pay someone. Some of my neighbors work for money; some work for lemonade or a beer. Thumbs up

If I need to sit I use a shower chair to sit on while I am working in the yard. I had tried sitting on plastic milk crates but...well, my butt was too heavy. *Blush* I was thinking of taking my old commode chair and adding wheels to use it as a gardening chair...with storage under the seat!!

My old body has good days and bad days. While resting in the house on the bad days I like to plan for the good days. Here is a super tall raised bed that I built (over several weeks) to keep out the rabbits. You can believe I had some help to fill it with planting medium. Thumbs up
Thumb of 2016-06-05/greene/d3c63f



Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
Image
JB
Jun 5, 2016 1:49 PM CST
I just found this thread and I want to welcome a fellow NJ gardener to this group. I almost said ATP but now we have a new name that I keep forgetting....I am the old one here. I live on the corner of Wrightstown Sykesville Rd. and Route 537. Near Wrightstown or Chesterfield, whichever you may have heard of. I am in Burlington County near the Joint Base MDL...in fact just up the road about a mile or so.

I had a mishap last July and it will be a year in a few weeks and I am still learning to change my way of living, playing and gardening as well as walking. Anyhow, keep your chin up and move on, but the trick is keep moving. I have a little red cart that you can sit on and it has a bucket and a swivel seat if I feel I can bend over without falling on my face that you can pull around and use to weed or whatever. I have severe vertigo which makes my balance a real challenge at times. Anyhow, I also use a golf cart to get around the farm if I feel I do not want to walk much. Otherwise, I use a cane and just hobble around and I have mostly moved all my plants into containers that can be moved into the greenhouse in the winter. Our veggie garden has been cut back to tomato and peppers in containers. I have a gardening seat that you can sit on or turn upside down and kneel on it if you can kneel, which just now I do not do too well. It depends on your ability and what you can and can not do. I love the bench that you can sit or stand to use. Greene has some great ideas. I feel sure you will be able to find what suits you. Many times I just do not feel like going out so I have taken up adult coloring books and decorate and paint horseshoes. All in all, I just thank God for what I can still do but I must admit, the first few months were not good for me mentally and I still find myself having a pity party once in awhile. Anxiety and depression are the most difficult to deal with when you have to give up so much of your activities that you love. Do not let them get the best of you and be sure to exercise. I found moving and exercise was the key to both mental and physical healing. I hope you feel free to get in touch with any of us if you want to chat or ask questions. We are always hanging around or checking in our favorite forums. Take care My friend and stay safe in this weather they are predicting for our area today. Talk again soon. Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Lovey dubby
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jun 7, 2016 5:50 PM CST
Hi applevalle. Welcome to NGA!

I agree with many suggestions, especially "raised beds" if kneeling and stooping are hard.

You might have to get someone else to build or assemble them and cart in improved soil.

You can also have the people building them dig soil from a "walkway" on one side of the bed so that your feet are 8-16" lower than "grade", and the soil surface inside the bed is 8-12" above grade.

It would be smart to have level walking surfaces without stones that will break your ankles.

My biggest help is to keep a sturdy chair on solid level ground right near where I am working.

Then I put a thick, firm cushion on the chair to reduce the sit-to-stand height.
And I usually park the chair near some sturdy pole I can grab, or keep a rake right there to use as a cane while sitting or standing.

If the chair is too low, you kill your knees going up and down every 20 minutes.
If the chair is tippy, eventually you'll brain yourself.
If the chair is too far from the work spot, you won't sit for 2 minutes every 20 minutes because it's a 2-minute walk.

Especially in heat, take frequent breaks!

And one thing that is really hard: stop doing the hardest tasks. If some plants won't grow unless you break yourself, give those plants away. Ask for help, and accept it. (Give away flowers and veggies so people will offer). Budget for paid help instead of buying new plants.

You've got to save your energy and money for what you want most. Every time you waste either one, its like deciding NOT to do something you wanted to do even more.
Name: Linda
Southern NJ (Zone 7a)
Image
wheetie67
Jun 7, 2016 6:36 PM CST
Welcome! I, too, am from NJ (30 miles north of Atlantic City)

As they say.....you're going to like it here! Welcome! Hurray!
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
Image
JB
Jun 10, 2016 9:10 AM CST
Linda, if you decide to drive up Rt. 537 let me know....I am just about an hour father North from you. Actually I am very close to the Joint Base MDL in Wrightstown. We have the Christmas Tree on the corner of 537 and Wrightstown Sykesville Rd. Drop in if you get up this way.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 13, 2016 12:06 PM CST
Drink ALOT of water. Alot. I find that I start to feel dizzy if I don't drink alot and I end up w a headache. The dr told me that as you dehydrate the heart has to work harder. Take frequent rest breaks, I have been out today in 90 degree temps, so I think I rested more than I worked but I did get it done. I have even set up a light at night and worked after dark when it was cooler. For some of the heavy jobs like digging/dividing a few times a year you may consider paying a college student to help you. I also started using more potting soil mix that I buy at Lowes, because I find it so much lighter, easier to dig than the natural soil here which is hard and heavy-it is just so difficult to dig. So I started working in the bagged mix to everything when I plant. It makes it so much easier to pull weeds and to dig/divide my plants later on. Also wear a good quality pair of shoes-your knees, back and hips will notice. I bought a shovel at Lowes that has a wider step area-where you put your foot, it is heavy but it makes digging so much easier on my feet.
Use a cart or a wheelbarrow (they make some smaller styles), do not try to carry stuff that is heavy. (guilty! I think, it's only a few feet...... )
As soon as you are done working for the day, lay down for just an hour to rest everything before doing your regular housework ect. Also I am sure w back problems you already know this, but find a chiropractor you like and keep him on speed dial ... I have went to some I did not like at all, they are all different, so keep trying until you find some you are comfortable with. Mine does all kinds of stuff, deep tissue massage, and muscle taping, and that sort of thing. IcyHot is one of my best friends, I love that stuff! It smell kind of minty, but it is not a bad smell like some of the creams are.


Finally, it you don't LOVE it, toss it. Make a long term plan and work toward that a little at a time, In 10 yrs what do I want to take care of? Will I be able to keep this up? How much can I afford to pay someone to help me maintain? What plants can I trade out for plants that take less work? What do I want in a garden-veggies? cutting flowers? to attract birds? foliage or winter interest? something my grandkids find interesting? fragrance? lots of color I can see from a certain window? ect.
You may even consider dressing up your space with items-not plants. Birdbath, gazing balls, stones, birdhouses, large pots, bench, or with shrubs and plants that take hardly no care instead of annuals and flowers that need frequent water ect.

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Jun 13, 2016 1:24 PM CST
Frillylily said:Drink ALOT of water. Alot.



I'm not a medical professional or anything like that but water is not enough - you also need potassium and sodium and a few other things. If a person sweats and drinks too much water they can upset their electrolyte balance and yes, the heart will have trouble keeping up. The electrolytes need to be replaced in the same proportion they are lost. There are products such as Gatorade, Powerade, etc., or Emergen-C or you can Google to find recipes:

Thumb of 2016-06-13/greene/8a6bee

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 13, 2016 9:00 PM CST
Yes! I had a cousin once who when he was little drank alot of water for several days and he started having seizures and the dr said it was an electrolyte imbalance, the water flushed too much out and he wasn't eating to replace it. He was like 3? So that is important. I just drink fruit juice, but that's just me, I don't drink anything w artificial coloring or sweeteners in it on a regular basis. There are some vitamin water drinks and such that I think are natural.

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Jun 14, 2016 8:42 AM CST
I agee with not using artificial color or sweeteners. I usually drink a glass of water with vinegar (either apple cider or Balsamic), water with lemon juice and a dash of sea salt, a banana, grapefruit juice and water, watermelon...in other words I consume different liquids-not just one thing. That way I feel like I have it covered. Oh, and coconut water - that stuff is fantastic.

Here is a link with a receipe for an electrolyte drink you can make at home:
http://awomanshealth.com/electrolyte-drinks-separating-the-h... ounces water

And here is the recipe from that link:
Put into a blender:
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon high quality sea salt
1-2 cups of fresh fruit
Sweetener of your choice (optional) (maple syrup, honey, agave)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Jun 14, 2016 8:57 AM CST
Sounds awful. My outlaw-sister is a big fan of tepid water with apple cider vinegar. I've tried it and...yuk. And any of those gater-drinks are really blech for me. Way too sweet. Plain ol' water for me. Lots of it. Keep it simple.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« All Things Gardening forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Dianthus 'Nyewood Cream'"