Gardening and outdoors?

Posted by ellerbracke @ellerbracke, Jul 20, 2019

Sort of new to this group, there may be a sub-group I don’t know about. I love to garden – not all aspects of it, of course. But mostly it’s fun. Growing raspberries ( a true challenge in SC), blackberries, blueberries, currants, figs, many vegetables, and lots and lots of fragrant shrubs, flowers, clematis varieties, etc. After initial arthroscopic knee surgery (useless), followed by TKR almost a year ago, I am hoping to hear from other equally engaged gardeners how to best deal with/ work around the knee issue. I’m over-stressing my back, but so far I’m more concerned with all the plants I need to either dig up and toss, or dig up and move, this fall. Both knee surgeries were Oct/Sep. of previous years, so I’m 2 years behind the curve.
Basically hoping for any suggestions for the best way to deal with the limitation. Knee pads are often not an option due to dense plantings. Would love to hear from other back yard grubbers.

@debbraw

Wow! @ellerbracke I'm impressed! Actually, I'm hungry for those berries! Great gardening there. I envy your green thumb!

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Debbra: Thanks. Hope you enlarged the photo…. point I was trying to make that this particular type of raspberry (which I grew up with in Austria) is simply not available anywhere I’ve seen in the greater local area (nor, even though the climate would be much more beneficial, have I seen those in northwestern Oregon). Happen to have son living there, so I pay attention to their climate and local produce. So I bear with the downside of growing them, which is somewhat labor intensive. But don’t they look (and really taste) delicious?

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@ellerbracke

@lioness : Not sure which area/temperate zone of the US you used to garden in. I’m impressed by the organic/natural deterrents you found to minimize damage by pests or animals. Some (proven) negative: today – meaning, these past few years – you can put whatever hair you want onto any plant, and the deer will just east the next one in line. That old remedy has come and gone. At least here. My main fiend are raccoons. The love figs. But only once the fruit is perfectly ripe. So I check the figs in the evening, thinking 12 more hours would make it perfect, and the ‘coons jump the gun. Morning comes, figs are halfway gnawed. I don’t begrudge the occasional snack, but it is really frustrating to lose 3/4 of your fruit harvest, being chewed on and then left on the ground, or even on the branch. For anyone suggesting netting: Been there, done that. Overlaps joined with clothe pins. FYI: raccoons can open them. Tried wrapping almost – ripe figs with alu-foil. Next morning I had silver balls under the fig tree. So there’s a challenge: other than getting another dog (and keeping it outdoors, which we never did) , any ideas? NO, I really don’t think the motion animated water sprays, light-up things, or music/noise (really? we also want to sleep) work. Still, perhaps something interesting comes of this post.

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@ellerbracke Southwestern Pa is in zone 6 so a lot of vegies thrived in this zone clear till end of Sept early Oct . Thanks for the complement . Had to since I canned and did,nt want the pest to eat my garden up. Raccoons had problem with them at our camp They carried a 10lp canned ham took it right out of our cooler . The possums liked the salt in the rubber tires on the car and under stuff of car.

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@ellerbracke

@lioness : Not sure which area/temperate zone of the US you used to garden in. I’m impressed by the organic/natural deterrents you found to minimize damage by pests or animals. Some (proven) negative: today – meaning, these past few years – you can put whatever hair you want onto any plant, and the deer will just east the next one in line. That old remedy has come and gone. At least here. My main fiend are raccoons. The love figs. But only once the fruit is perfectly ripe. So I check the figs in the evening, thinking 12 more hours would make it perfect, and the ‘coons jump the gun. Morning comes, figs are halfway gnawed. I don’t begrudge the occasional snack, but it is really frustrating to lose 3/4 of your fruit harvest, being chewed on and then left on the ground, or even on the branch. For anyone suggesting netting: Been there, done that. Overlaps joined with clothe pins. FYI: raccoons can open them. Tried wrapping almost – ripe figs with alu-foil. Next morning I had silver balls under the fig tree. So there’s a challenge: other than getting another dog (and keeping it outdoors, which we never did) , any ideas? NO, I really don’t think the motion animated water sprays, light-up things, or music/noise (really? we also want to sleep) work. Still, perhaps something interesting comes of this post.

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@ellerbracke This has certainly been a great education for me! Gardening! In Germany we learned that the farmers had similar problems with raccoons and other animals. They started fitting a jar with a lid over the fruit, still on the twig, and animals couldn’t get to it. The fruit still got sun and water! Might be interesting to try

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@becsbuddy

@ellerbracke This has certainly been a great education for me! Gardening! In Germany we learned that the farmers had similar problems with raccoons and other animals. They started fitting a jar with a lid over the fruit, still on the twig, and animals couldn’t get to it. The fruit still got sun and water! Might be interesting to try

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Did not know that this was a common practice. I thought it was mostly, or only, done with pears. You know, to get a perfect, beautiful pear inside a bottle that would later be filled with pear brandy. Known as Williams Birne. Looks neat. Sort of like a worm in a tequila bottle. Which to me does not really look neat………….

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Many have mentioned raised beds as an aid for gardening with physical limitation. All in my family are active gardeners and my brother who supplied produce to friends, family co-workers and neighbors for decades needed to come up with a realistic plan as he now has Parkinson's. He figured out a budget friendly plan on a massive scale. He collected 5 old aluminum fishing boats, deep V and Jon boats very cheaply and raised them up on cinder-blocks. His grown sons came for a visit and helped getting the boats raised up, but he did the rest. Took out the plug (he lives in a dry region so no need for other drainage holes) and started composting all his garden clippings and waste from his large in ground garden. He also added manure and screened dirt, then let is all compost for a year. Today has cut his in ground vegetable gardening almost completely out because of the astounding results he is getting from his raised bed garden boats. Also less water is needed in a area with water rationing at times. The joy gardening brings him is so good for him as he lives alone and Parkinson's sufferers are prone to depression.

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@Erinmfs Glad he gets so much joy out of it . I'm my apt I have containers and use them to grow lettuce and some herbs. At one time I did grow some green beans the bushes.

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@becsbuddy

@ellerbracke This has certainly been a great education for me! Gardening! In Germany we learned that the farmers had similar problems with raccoons and other animals. They started fitting a jar with a lid over the fruit, still on the twig, and animals couldn’t get to it. The fruit still got sun and water! Might be interesting to try

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Raccoons are real pests to a gardening and birder. I have solved the rampages on my compost bins. Of course no meat or dairy to attract them, but as mentioned fruit is a favorite and it's such a great addition to compost. Now I have closed and locked bins or tubs. I use a Hav-A-Hart live trap to relocate because just the smell of the compost draws them. They are winning on the bird feeder attacks. I can't get a shepherd hook tall enough or suspend a feeder far enough from a tree. I even ran a fine gauge stainless cable between to trees at what should have been a safe distance and they walk or hang on the wire.If they get to the feeder and can't access the food they rip it down or try to destroy it. Yet, I keep trying.Be aware it is possible for raccoons to carry rabies so I wear thick leather long armed rose pruning gloves when lifting trap. I have pick-up truck to transport. No big deal to catch a possum, but so smelly so I always line truck bed with cardboard. Now skunk trapping is an entirely different challenge.

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@Erinmfs My goodness Erin you sure are busy with those animals . I had more problems with gophers in my garden then raccoons Also one year our neighborhood was overrun with red squirrels those are the chewy ones , chewed through my screen door and couch. The gray and black are aggressive like those reds.

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When we have physical limitations we must adjust and search for alternative methods. I have no doubt my love of the outdoors and gardening cured me from the leukemia I was diagnosed with 20 years ago. When outside and free from man made walls I feel in touch with God and the universe. it's a freeing and spiritual feeling so do all you can to be a part of nature for your own health.
One trick I have is a reversible garden benc. I carry mine everywhere when I garden. It can be used as a seat or flipped upside down to kneel on and then when getting up use your arms to push up. I have knee issues and knee replacements are not an options as I have 5 metal allergies and the newer ceramic knee replacements called the "gold" replacement joint (name based on the color not the material) is now facing recalls in the near future. The bone cement is not adhering to this ceramic joint as moisture builds on the ceramic material and loosens the cement; there are multiple lawsuits that began in 2018 I believe and haven't been settled yet. I am so glad I did my homework as my ortho was ready to put this gold ceramic one in last month. He never warned me; thank goodness for the internet. From experience I have learned to verify all the doctors prescribe or suggest as treatment. It's up to us to do our homework. True my allergy situation is less common, but he told me he puts a 2-3 of these ceramic implants in each year for patients like me and without issues. Yet I always manage to be the 5% with problems. My fear is they take out my joint, then I become allergic to the implant and then what? I have no implant options. It must be removed and I am then in a wheelchair for life. At least now I can walk easily and pain free on level ground, it's just getting off the ground is painful and harder and harder to manage, stairs are painful but doable though slow. No pain meds because of interactions with other health issues. Yet I am 70 and had many good athletic years to be grateful for and will be creative to manage my limitations and believe me I do not feel sorry for myself, simply grateful for all I can do.

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@gardeningjunkie

Many have mentioned raised beds as an aid for gardening with physical limitation. All in my family are active gardeners and my brother who supplied produce to friends, family co-workers and neighbors for decades needed to come up with a realistic plan as he now has Parkinson's. He figured out a budget friendly plan on a massive scale. He collected 5 old aluminum fishing boats, deep V and Jon boats very cheaply and raised them up on cinder-blocks. His grown sons came for a visit and helped getting the boats raised up, but he did the rest. Took out the plug (he lives in a dry region so no need for other drainage holes) and started composting all his garden clippings and waste from his large in ground garden. He also added manure and screened dirt, then let is all compost for a year. Today has cut his in ground vegetable gardening almost completely out because of the astounding results he is getting from his raised bed garden boats. Also less water is needed in a area with water rationing at times. The joy gardening brings him is so good for him as he lives alone and Parkinson's sufferers are prone to depression.

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@gardeningjunkie I love this idea! Bet my husband will, also. We will do that at our new house for the gardens he wants to try!
Ginger

Liked by Parus

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@gardeningjunkie

Raccoons are real pests to a gardening and birder. I have solved the rampages on my compost bins. Of course no meat or dairy to attract them, but as mentioned fruit is a favorite and it's such a great addition to compost. Now I have closed and locked bins or tubs. I use a Hav-A-Hart live trap to relocate because just the smell of the compost draws them. They are winning on the bird feeder attacks. I can't get a shepherd hook tall enough or suspend a feeder far enough from a tree. I even ran a fine gauge stainless cable between to trees at what should have been a safe distance and they walk or hang on the wire.If they get to the feeder and can't access the food they rip it down or try to destroy it. Yet, I keep trying.Be aware it is possible for raccoons to carry rabies so I wear thick leather long armed rose pruning gloves when lifting trap. I have pick-up truck to transport. No big deal to catch a possum, but so smelly so I always line truck bed with cardboard. Now skunk trapping is an entirely different challenge.

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@gardeningjunkie I’m impressed! I was amazed when my daughter took care of relocating mice at our woodsy cabin Maine, I could not do that!
I’m glad that you did your research on the gold knee replacement. I would not risk it either unless i reached a point of total desperation.
JK

Liked by gardeningjunkie

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@contentandwell

@gardeningjunkie I’m impressed! I was amazed when my daughter took care of relocating mice at our woodsy cabin Maine, I could not do that!
I’m glad that you did your research on the gold knee replacement. I would not risk it either unless i reached a point of total desperation.
JK

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You daughter is kinder than I am. At our cabin when we leave I line the floors with sticky traps and have Decon poison stations. It's no fun to come back and need to clean out all the drawers, cupboards, bedding and so on because mice have moved in and their dropping are everywhere. I keep all food either in refrigerator or in sealed plastic tubs and yet they survive just fine. They will even eat plastic and rubber and have no need for water. They can live in a vehicle and chew the wiring or plastic arm rests in a car, this has happened to us. You daughter is a kind person but I have no mercy these cute little animals I consider vermin. Mice and pack rats can carry disease.

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@gardeningjunkie

You daughter is kinder than I am. At our cabin when we leave I line the floors with sticky traps and have Decon poison stations. It's no fun to come back and need to clean out all the drawers, cupboards, bedding and so on because mice have moved in and their dropping are everywhere. I keep all food either in refrigerator or in sealed plastic tubs and yet they survive just fine. They will even eat plastic and rubber and have no need for water. They can live in a vehicle and chew the wiring or plastic arm rests in a car, this has happened to us. You daughter is a kind person but I have no mercy these cute little animals I consider vermin. Mice and pack rats can carry disease.

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We also show no mercy. Mice have found refuge in our attic at some point, urinating in the same spots, and the ceilings got stained, of course. Initially we thought it was water damage, but alas, no. So we have traps in the crawl space, and in the attic. And squirrels are equally destructive. They like – among other things – to get under car hoods and chew on wires. Had my AC system wiring gnawed on, and after our February 10-day trip they snacked on another wire that made my car suddenly loose power…. about a mile from home, of course.

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@ellerbracke

We also show no mercy. Mice have found refuge in our attic at some point, urinating in the same spots, and the ceilings got stained, of course. Initially we thought it was water damage, but alas, no. So we have traps in the crawl space, and in the attic. And squirrels are equally destructive. They like – among other things – to get under car hoods and chew on wires. Had my AC system wiring gnawed on, and after our February 10-day trip they snacked on another wire that made my car suddenly loose power…. about a mile from home, of course.

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@ellerbracke That is what happened to me up in the woods by possums they chewed the rubber on the water hose I just hoped I would get to town before all the water drained out It was about 2-3 miles into town.

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