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Easy does it gardening


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#1 enjoytheride

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 03:29 PM

As I got tired and, frankly weaker, I still couldn't quite give up some gardening. So I found ways to do some with less effort. I hope that if anyone else has some tips they will share them too.

1) Cardboard is your friend and should never ever be thrown out. I have put cardboard, especially corregated cardboard, down over grass, put compost and/or soil right over the card board and mulch over that- over the winter, the card board disappears into the soil, worm are all over and you have a new bed for plants that you did not have to dig.

2) Cardboard again- I put a layer of compost under and around shrubs and plants then cover with cardboard and mulch instead of weeding. The cardboard smothers most weeds then goes into the soil for worm food. I have done this for years and my plants have thrived, even in this place that rains and snows all winter and never rains all summer and fall.

3) A long handled weeder and grass clipper (sold by a very famous but not to be mentioned German company,) mean I can do a lot of the weeding standing up. Racheting hand prunners and loppers make pruning easier.

4) A long handled large scooper with it's little rake is good for tidying up without having to bend over.

5) I have a very ornate engraved brass plant parker saying "weeds"- for those places I just can't get clean up right now.

6) I have a few placques with uplifting statements in odd corners to remind myself of the joys of growing thing. My favorit is "Happiness grows in our own backyards."

7) I have a gardening glove for every purpose- long cuffed rose gloves, latex covered mud gloves and insulated gloves. Whatever will protect my hands for each situation.

8) Places to sit are scattered around- sometimes I just need that break right now so I usually am within a few feet of a resting place.

#2 enjoytheride

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 04:08 PM

I forgot one of my most useful things- rather than use herbicidesfor clearing weeds from gravel areas and the crack in concrete, I use boiling water. If I have some hot water left from something, it never gets throw out unless it's thrown on some weed.

#3 Joelf

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:07 PM

Hi Enjoy,

I'm afraid I have to admit that I'm no gardener but we have a large garden which really does require a bit of work otherwise it gets completely out of hand. I used to use the bottom part as a winter turnout paddock for my horse and so it resembled a muddy battlefield in the winter and a rough shoot in the summer! :blink:

My neighbour and I had a large conker tree removed and I cleared up afterwards and found it quite satisfying; I fear the novelty would wear off quite soon if I did a lot of it though! ;)

That sounds a really good idea to put boiling water on weeds in the gravel and between the cracks in paving; I really will try that because the driveway is full of grass and weeds even at this time of the year.

Thanks for the tip!! :VeryHappy:

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#4 uknlv18

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 04:04 PM

Great suggestions! I have been working at getting a garden going in my tiny back garden, if you live in the UK then you know what I mean; I live in a terraced house and my garden is a cement tiled 6 foot by 5 foot space.<_<

For the last two years I have been trying to get some tomatoes and strawberries to grow, it has become impossible for me to bend over now, so I am hoping the idea I came up with will work. I plan to get a plant bed and prop it up on something so that it will be at waist height, so I do not have to bend over to do my planting, weeding and so forth. I also hope this will keep the slugs at bay! I want to try some other things this year too and have found special seeds for patio gardens that grow tiny versions of things like carrots and green beans! I was so excited, :lol: I know it's sad. So I plan to have a lovely garden this year even due to my limitations now! And I will try the ideas with cardboard, they sound really promising.

Jean

#5 debonair susie

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 06:55 PM

What awesome/helpful hints for gardening you shared :thank-you:, enjoytheride! I fully plan to implement your great tips in the spring; Though the soil is great, it has alot of weed seed, so needs alot of work to get it into shape :P

My hubby and I live in the states, our growing season is quite short, but we LOVE fresh vegetables and really enjoy reaping the benefits of home gardening.
However, as many know, flexibility can be limited, as it is for me, so we made the decision to build a raised garden. Hubby also adapted it to allow us the ability to plant early; with bowed pvc and four-ply visqueen it makes a great cover for a green house effect :jump-for-joy:
Special Hugs,

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#6 suze932

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:48 AM

Thanks so much for the cardboard mulch hint. Cardboard wrapping seems to be everywhere in my house at the mo' so I can put it to good use, and the fatigue of bending avoided. Double bonus!!

I also liked the boiling water/weed tip as the joints in my paving (as well as my own joints) are a little overgrown and this is a pain-free way of getting rid of rapidly recovering weeds.

Green shoots are starting to show on my little patch, roll on Spring when it won't be too cold to spend more than a few minutes outside without the fear of everything seizing up! :lol: :flowers:

#7 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:26 PM

I've got a pretty hefty stash of cardboard too and one section of a border that has been a real challenge - it's full of thistles that we just can't seem to get rid of. Guess where the cardboard is going?!

Several years ago we laid out a veggie patch using landscape timbers set directly on the ground. We've got 8 beds, each about a meter square. They've been easy to maintain and pretty productive, but I'm getting older, stiffer, tired more easily, and get annoyed trying to garden with the O2. So this spring, we're going to add a couple more layers of timber, building upwards, and fill the deeper boxes with clean soil and compost. A secondary advantage will be that they warm up sooner in the spring. I'm also going to put a nice layer of cardboard in the bottoms of the boxes on top of the old soil and hopefully that will take care of the few perennial weeds (bindweed!! :angry:) that still have a go at growing in those beds.

Spring~ What a truly beautiful word.
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#8 enjoytheride

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 03:43 PM

Jeannie- Bindweed- ugh......
I once asked our local Agricultural agent how to get rid of bindweed- he said "Move." I did.

#9 Patty Arche-Hueck

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:22 PM

Love the suggestions,and I just passed to my hubby since he is the one that takes care of the gardening,i just water the plants,and sometimes prune then,if my hands allow me to,anyways THANKS from him and I
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#10 uknlv18

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:07 AM

Hello everyone,
Well I just got some new items for gardening, I got a raised bed for the garden that I can put up on some blocks so I don't have to bend down so far to do my gardening. :emoticons-yes: I also got a nice little window box to plant herbs in the house, haven't had much luck with gardening inside or outside, but I don't give up easily. I got some netting to cover everything outside so hopefully I won't lose my lovely strawberries to bugs this year, and the birds will leave my tomatoes alone. All prepared and figure I will start my seeds the end of this month? Not sure on this so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

I have a brown thumb, but am hoping I can change it to green this year!

Cheers
Jean

#11 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 12:52 PM

Did you know it is the red color that attracts the birds to the tomatoes and berries? I heard a thing on the radio about the development of a white strawberry that supposedly tastes as good as the 'real' ones but the birds leave alone because they think the berries aren't ripe! Too funny!
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#12 enjoytheride

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 04:51 PM

Hey, I grow white and yellow alpine strawberries. They are indeed not so subject to bird blight. But alpines, although super tasty, do not hold after picking.

Jeannie- do you know if the thing you saw was for garden strawberries? If so, could you tell me how to locate information on them?

#13 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 05:29 PM

The yellow ones are new to me! As for the white ones I mentioned, they were garden strawberries, but I can't find any reference to the radio article I heard. I did a google and probably the best search term ended up being 'pineberry' and Wikipedia has quite a lengthy article on them/white strawberries.

This year I'm hoping to start a new patch of strawberries underneath my "orchard": 8 dwarf fruit trees. #2 son has been figuring out how to build a giant fruit cage out of PVC and bird netting for me and I might just get to keep some of the fruit! Last year all I got were lots and lots of raspberries and some gooseberries~ Every time I walked around to the fruit end of the garden, a flock of birds lifted off and I had flashbacks to the film 'Marnie'. I don't mind sharing, but hey, the operative word here is 'sharing'. Our birds are pretty well fed as it is!
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#14 enjoytheride

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 01:28 AM

I have pcv frames covered with chickenwire. They are really easy to make. They lift up like a pot lid off a pot. In fact, although I don't have the correct address, there is a lovely website on contruction almost everything in the world from furniture to greenhouses from pcv pipe. They had several variations of row covers. If you search, I bet it would bring up that site plus others.
I had to use chicken wire to keep out the racoons, skunks, etc that are the neighbors here in the woods. I do have bird netting for the blueberries and cherries though.
One of the worst losses of fruit though was my goofy but oh,so sneaky Lab. I looked out in the garden one day to see a dog tail waiving slowly, sticking out of the blue berry bushes, while she cleaned them out. Another time I watched her leap straight up about 5 feet to pick apples from the tree.