Getting older and need to do things differently!

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

I will be adding this forum to my regular list. I used to be a digging fool but this year I am experiencing a lot of knee and hand pain. Arthritis, maybe? I am hoping to keep everything mulched with something or other.
Read the post about "mattocks" with interest. Have to find one of those.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Hi, Caitlinsgarden. Welcome to the forum. I think using mulch more is a wise move. Itís a great labor saver. Less weeding and less watering too.
My favorite mulches for ornamental beds and borders are wood chips, pine straw and leaves run through a mulching mower. Pine will inhibit seed germination, but that isnít a bad thing when the seeds being inhibited are weed seeds. mk*

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hi, caitlinsgarden! If you like, you can add your name to the "real names-screen names" that is on the top of the forum, in which case I will add it to the list. I don't refer to the list all that often, but it has definitely helped me keep some names straight.

I think hand and knee pain should be evaluated. Arthritis can sometimes be persuaded to halt its progression by gentle stretching....I think. My husband has terrible arthritis and wouldn't be caught dead doing "gentle stretching."

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

(Jim) Hello, CaitlinsGarden. Welcome to the forum. MK is a little under the weather so Iím hijacking Amargia today to say ďhiĒ and put in my two cents worth. Mulch works best around shrubs in the outlying areas in my opinion. In beds and borders closer to the house planting thickly and dense groundcovers work best here where we are surrounded by woods and overgrown meadows. Mulching thick enough to suppress weeds is like an invitation to the field mice and deer mice. They eat bulbs and sometimes get into the house. I once had to get a fearless, acrobatic deer mouse out of the house. It took me days of Keystone Cop type antics to get him out. I never want to go through that again. Lizards and toads like the lilyturf and mondo grass we use as dense, weed suppressing groundcovers, but I donít mind them around the house. This is coming from the Deep South where a very thick layer of mulch is needed to be effective. I think mulching is a better option in cooler climes.

Iíve come to appreciate the sense of what MK calls ďAristotelian GardeningĒ, though I donít believe Aristotle was talking about gardening when he said, ďNature abhors a vacuum.Ē It seemed backwards to me at first to think more plants might lead to less work. I thought it was MKís way of rationalizing her plant buying habit, but there is some logic to it, especially with companion planting.

Choosing easy to grow plants instead of Prima Donnas save on work also.



BTW: It might be time to ask your doctor about anti-inflammatories for the arthritis. Amargia Farm runs on Meloxicam and Glucosamine chondroitin with MSM. The last is non-prescription and a little pricy, but lessens the pain and increases functionality.

Photos: Easy-to-grow daylilies.

Thumbnail by Amargia Thumbnail by Amargia Thumbnail by Amargia Thumbnail by Amargia Thumbnail by Amargia
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Really, Jim, you think Glucosamine chondroitin lessens arthritis pain? I'll have to get Ray to try it.

I can't wait to go back to Boston--I'm having plant lust...you know, "I wonder if I can grow THAT in Boston," or "gee, I CAN'T grow that in Boston, how about this instead?" I planted our whole patio full of annuals and a few perennials...which was foolhardy....but maybe we will drive home and I'll bring them somehow.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

(Jim) Just donít try taking the perennials back to Boston in Rayís horn case, Carrie. That only works for bulbs, you know. ;-)
I donít think supplements will help everyone with arthritis, but Iíve seen it make enough of a difference in several peopleís quality of life I to think it is worth a trial. Doctors usually try patients on arthritis supplements and something like Extra Strength Tylenol for three months before moving on to prescriptions. Arthritis supplements donít do much for advanced degenerative disk disease which is the form of arthritis I have in my back. Active types who are beginning to develop simple osteoarthritis appear to benefit most from supplements from what Iíve seen. Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM seems most effective, but people who are allergic to shellfish or taking blood thinners shouldnít try it. I special ordered the $50 a bottle supplement I saw advertised once, but MK said the $20 a bottle supplement found at most pharmacies worked just as well for her.
MK takes supplements and anti-inflammatories twice a day every day. Since it is in the medicine cabinet, I take the glucosamine after a day working in the garden. As I said, it doesnít do much for the DDD, but Iím convinced it does combat the other aches and pains I get trying to avoid stress on my back. Physical therapists donít mention that all the techniques they teach you to avoid stressing the back puts stress on other joints. Actually, it was the prescription anti-inflammatory that made the biggest difference in functionality and pain for both MK and I.
I pushed hard outside yesterday so today is a glucosamine supplement day and all I did outside was plant a few watermelon seeds.

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

I have been much relieved to find that the worst of the pain seems to have quieted down now that I have been active again. (Long hard do nothing winter.) Aspirin as soon as I am done working; a wrist brace, tiger balm, and resuming some simple exercises I was taught for back pain has helped me over the hump. AND I am putting weed barrier cloth down as fast as I can. Maybe not the prettiest mulch, but the flowers are much prettier for not being hidden in a jungle.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

That's good news, caitlinsgarden.

No Jim, I won't put either the perennials OR any annuals in Ray's horn case.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Ladies and germs, I guess caitlinsgarden didn't renew her (his?) subscription. Too too bad.

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