Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

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MKG
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Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279421 MKG
Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:09 pm

No, it's me who needs to be vertical. I find that as I'm now a old crock I can neither kneel nor bend for more than a few minutes without ending up with a raging backache. For the past year, then, I've been trying to do everything standing up (when I say everything, I'm sure that you know what I mean). I still end up bending, though, without actually meaning to - I only find out I've been doing it when I try to straighten up again.

Soooooo ... I've been replacing my tools with long-handled versions, and they work to an extent. But the best thing I've bought (and this is a shameless advert) is the Fiskars Weed Puller. It takes a bit of getting used to - in fact, for the first few attempts I thought I'd bought a lemon - but once you get the knack, it's pretty wonderful. My record so far is a dock with a 70 centimetre taproot - all out in one piece, and all I moved were my arms and one foot.

Any other wonder tools out there?

Mike
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bonniethomas06
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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279422 bonniethomas06
Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:46 am

Sorry to hear that :-( Do you think raised beds might work in the future? We have a few plots on the allotment with raised beds for people with bad backs - when I say raised I mean, 4ft off the ground, so you could comfortably stand and weed them. Meanwhile though, when I was at the National Trust garden we had this great system of Wulf tools which had detachable heads and a variety of handles, meaning that anything you could do with a short handle (trowels and things) you could switch to a long handle - great. In particular there was a sort of 'claw' with three prongs, which was brilliant for weeding in between narrow rows.

We take our backs for granted - I definitely do. Just remember, bend at the knees!
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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279424 Odsox
Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:14 am

I feel for you Mike as I'm pretty much in the same boat. I fell of a ladder backwards from 4 feet up flat on my back, that was about 4 months ago and I'm still useless at some jobs. Jobs you don't think about normally, like picking peas, let alone digging and weeding.
I agree with Bonnie, raised beds are the way to go if it's a permanent back problem. I love my hydroponics set up with the pipes at waist height, that at least makes gardening a pleasure rather than a pain.
I'm in two minds about my back, it IS slowly getting better, but I'm not sure just how much better it's going to get. I'll struggle through this year, frequent sit downs, buying one of the kneelers with handles, getting the missus to do heavy lifting, but if I'm still like this next winter I think radical alterations are in order.
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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279426 bonniethomas06
Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:02 pm

Oooh Odsox, sorry to hijack this post but I didn't realise you were into hydroponics...I have just bought a starter kit for £45 - a ten pot trough to set up on a windowsill, with pump and everything. I am a bit flummoxed though, because it only came with one type of nutrient solution. Do you know if this will do for all stages of growth for a tomato? Or whether I need a different solution for the seedling stage? Confused...


Apologies MKG for butting in on your post. :oops:
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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279427 Odsox
Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:58 pm

It is usual to start off seedlings with about 2/3 strength and then when they are growing away switch to full strength. The formulation will be OK for all stages of growth, just maybe a bit too strong for seedlings struggling to adapt to a new way of life.

I have 2 different systems, nutrient film where there is a pump running all the time, and ebb & flow where the pump only runs 3 times a day for 8 minutes.
You can see a bit of my ebb & flow here .. viewtopic.php?f=38&t=27872&start=0
Although some of the pictures are not there due to the corruption during the forum changeover last September.
It's all good fun though.
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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279429 doofaloofa
Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:20 pm

MKG

try knee pads for kneeling
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279435 bonniethomas06
Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:26 pm

Thanks Odsox, I started some seeds off last night in the little foam sponges, and will get a nutrient solution ready at 3/4 strength for the 1st phase.

Think I will require all of the neutralizing solution for my hard water!

Will start a new thread once it is set up.
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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279439 Carltonian Man
Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:28 pm

Hi Mike. I know a lot of folk who swear by a back-saver spade. Not cheap but they do seem to cover the ground quickly and without the usual stresses associated with digging.

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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279446 MKG
Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:53 pm

@Odsox ... not thinking about jobs ... exactly. Nail on head. You tend to do the jobs as you always have. But now it hurts. Sorry that those hydroponics photos disappeared - I really enjoyed that thread. Sorry about your back, too.

@Doofaloofa ... kneepads I have in abundance, and they're wonderful things. But my knees aren't the problem - that's my back (and it's been coming for a long time and I knew it was coming but you still don't do anything about it. Eternal youth, y'know!!!?). I need something as efficient as your seed sower, except designed to force you to straighten up.

@Bonnie ... Yes, raised beds are the absolute answer, but I have a couple of hundred square yards of beds to raise. With the best will in the world, that ain't gonna be done.

@Carltonian Man ... Yep - I've been looking at those for a while (suspiciously, I must admit). I'll look even more closely now.

My knees are pretty bad, but they're not the problem - they do tend to remind you pretty quickly that they hurt (even with kneepads). And, actually, my back would, if I used it right, take the strain. But the real problem is my memory - I invariably end up in a kneeling and/or bent-forward posture and I can stay like that, apparently comfortably, for ages - so I forget all about everything, whistle as I work, and never learn that regaining verticality is going to take some time and hurt like Hell as I'm doing it.

Memory exercises - that's what I need!

Mike
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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279449 diggernotdreamer
Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:17 pm

I have a bad back, and a few years ago, I got bursitis in my knee from too much kneeling down, got a lot of nerve damage which causes me problems in my legs, I had a virus in my spine which caused me paralysis and a legacy of neuropathic pain. I pick a lot of salads for my business, I have found it very helpful to use a low stool, I have a garden stool and a thing called a batonka stool, which is a wooden African stool, they are low enough for you to be able to sit and pick, weed etc with having to kneel or bend over, it has really helped me. It is very hard to remember not to kneel, you see something that needs doing and you just do it

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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279457 doofaloofa
Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:08 am

God we allsound like a bunch of old fogeys

I get a sore back (smallofthe back) if i don't mind it

The key I believe to backpain free digging is proper technique,and appropriate tools

As has been postedalready ,let your legs do the work, keep the back straight. Use the hips. The pelvic girdle can generate a lot of power

It may take a bit of practice to undo habits of a lifetime, and time to develope the leg/hip muscles, but it will take the pressure of the back. I also favour a warm up before and stretching regimen after arduous digging etc. if you were playing sport this would be expected,and gardening can be pretty physical

I also favour long shafted tools. They give you more leverage and allow you to maintain an upright posture

Also. Know your limits. I prefer to tackle big jobs a little at a time. if your back gets sore take a break, stretch it out, and resume another time
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Re: Vertical Gardening (no, not like that ...)

Post: #279463 Pumkinpie
Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:23 am

Yep, me too bad back.
It is a real nuisance , did a lot of weeding kneeling yesterday.
Real pain today, I hate taking painkillers but I am going to have to give in.
What ever I do is agony .
Can't lotty for a few days as kitchen is been done . Everything is at a height so I don't have to bend.
It's going to be great.
I am even going to have a cupboard to put my stuff in when I am making various preserves with stuff from the lotty. Even got a ' dirty ' sink for washing my homegrown veg.
It's going to be great if I manage to grow something this year and the pesky slug stop eating everything I put in!
Happy minimal pain gardening .
Any tips to minimize back pain and bending welcome .
( apart from building raised beds. I don't think I could manage that as I have about 60 small beds a meter across and it would cost a fortune.)


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