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May. 16th, 2007

Who wants to help me weed my beds?

What are the best knee pads for kneeling for hours and hours on a sidewalk, since my beds are mostly not near grass?

Our house looks so trashy from the approach. And I am sick of it. Also there are 1,001 trees growing in the back beds. They are about 2 inches tall right now, but that's probably the best time to get them.

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( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
rakin
May. 16th, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
Rollerblade knee pads? Hockey leg guards?
snidegrrl
May. 16th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
Those are more for protecting from impact. I need something for protecting from long term leaning my weight on them.
rakin
May. 16th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
Some of the knee pads are super padded inside...
kazoogrrl
May. 16th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
I would get the thick foam ones from the gardening section of the hardware store or garden center - the ones that are almost an inch thick. A better option may be a low bench/stool (I saw one at some super store, maybe Target, which you could sit on to garden and the seat lifted to stow your tools), just watch your back while bending forward.
snidegrrl
May. 16th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm wondering how this will go with my back. Thanks for the tip! I was wondering if someone had a particular blah blah gel super knee 3000 suggestion or something. :) THanks!
kazoogrrl
May. 16th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
You could also double up foam knee pads with one of those foam kneeling pads (also with the gardening stuff), for extra protection.

You're talking to the woman who has rubber banded hot pads to her knees so she could kneel on the counter to change a light bulb.
tzel
May. 16th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
I have this on my registry. It's reccomended for gimps that garden. :)

http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=br_1_7/602-8127876-9527823?ie=UTF8&frombrowse=1&asin=B0002P12FK
tzel
May. 16th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
FYI not that you can't get it yourself, but the idea is that you sit on it and lean forward, the chair rocks forward and so you are close to the ground with less bending/stress on the knees.
snidegrrl
May. 16th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I wonder if I could still get close enough to the ground.

Also, wtf bionic gardening gloves that cost $40!

Thanks. :)
tzel
May. 16th, 2007 03:53 pm (UTC)
They are also supposed to be the sh*t, but really, I opted to buy myself a pair of custom Chuck's and continue to use my old floppy gloves instead.
judithiscariot
May. 16th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
must... not... make... inappropriate... joke...
(Deleted comment)
booyeah
May. 16th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
"Who wants to help me weed my beds?"

If you know what I mean... *wink wink*
traceracer
May. 16th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
Sorry, that's something I can't help with.. for the same reason I was psychologically unable to do my own.
binkitybonk
May. 16th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
that rocker looks pretty cool. my mother and i always used a kneeling pad which protected the knees but was also good for sitting in other positions. they also come with handles to help you stand or to use it as a bench. highly recommended! i got one for my brother at lowes.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=184923-000029534-5700&lpage=none

also, it would be worth your while to investigate low-maintenance gardening techniques so the beds take care of themselves more and more as time goes on. :)
snidegrrl
May. 16th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
i would not even begin to know where to learn about low-maintenance gardening techniques. pointers?
binkitybonk
May. 18th, 2007 07:52 am (UTC)
you can google it for lots of articles, but here is my advice in a nutshell.

1. whatever you do, don't use plastic sheets under mulch for your beds. it looks good for about a month and then you will regret it. rocks are *sometimes* okay but generally look tacky. adding green space is good for your mood, your home value, and the environment (as long as you avoid pesticides)!
2. pick a nice, hardy groundcover that is suited to the space. vinca majora (if it's hardy in your area, vinca minora if it isn't) is a great one with lovely periwinkle flowers. it will fill in nicely over the years, hold in moisture, and prevent weeds. and though it will spread, it's not very invasive. other good options include pachysandra, euonymus, cottoneaster, juniper, ivy (if you can find a hardy one for your area), and some others whose names elude me.
3. avoid annuals. they require lots of watering and must be planted every year. it's very wasteful.
4. don't plant anything that spreads like crazy. morning glories and jacob's ladder can be pretty bad and hard to remove. mint is very bad. silver maple trees are bad.
5. plant a variety of perennials and/or shrubs of appropriate size. you don't want something that will spread too far or have to be trimmed all the darn time. you can even find thorny shrubs for additional home security. also, be sure they are suited to the amount of sun/shade they will get. oh, and plant them outside the roofline so they will get rain - less work for you!
6. bulbs are awesome. a nice way to add some color and fun to your landscape with minimal effort.
7. mulch is your friend. use it to keep moisture in and weeds out, at least until the groundcover fills in and takes over for those needs.

here's a good article:
http://www.gardenguides.com/how-to/tipstechniques/planning/lowmaintenance.asp

i hope this helps! if you want to show me some pics, i can be more specific with my advice.
snidegrrl
May. 18th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
thank you so much! i will red through this and think about it. i think my silver maple is already causing a problem. aaaand someone we hired last year already used plastic sheets, ugh.
binkitybonk
May. 18th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
ooh, another tip. just remember that perenials and groundcovers take a while to fill in. the first year they just stay alive (keep 'em watered!) the second year they get their grounding and start to grow a little. the third year is when they start to flourish and fill in. this, of course, is a generalization but still handy to keep in mind. your patience will be rewarded (compared with the merely short-term rewards of plastic sheets and annuals.)

:)
snidegrrl
May. 18th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
What I really want to put in where the landscapers did the sheet-n-cover is a row of leeetle trees. I just don't think they have enough to work with there. :( It's along the side of the house between a sidewalk and the house.

Like this:
http://mortal.peril.org/kim/album/2004_0705/index.php?picture=dscf0006.jpg

Those vines have already made a comeback around the edges of the plastic, of course.
binkitybonk
May. 27th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)
ah yes! you have a groundcover already going there, so if you like it, you might let it fill in. if not, you might find it hard to get rid of. if memory serves, that's one of the types where it will propogate from the roots, so if you don't remove every bit of it, it will return.

http://mortal.peril.org/kim/album/2004_0705/index.php?picture=dscf0006.jpg
http://mortal.peril.org/kim/album/2004_0705/index.php?picture=dscf0057.jpg

it would be hard to fit in small trees for sure. you want something that won't grow over the pathway. i'd suggest small shrubs like boxwood or cotteaster that look nice when you let them get a little shaggy. another option would be perennials under 2 feet. if it's shady, you could try ferns. this would be a great spot for bulbs, too. lillies and hyacinths or perhaps tulips if you prefer.

http://mortal.peril.org/kim/album/2004_0705/index.php?picture=dscf0009.jpg

in the back around the air conditioner, the hostas are nice and will fill in nicely over time. under the windows, i'd suggest shrubs, evergreen arbor vitae or juniper, or a small tree, like a japanese maple or swarf alberta spruce. for trees, be sure not to plant too close to the house - it's amazing how roots can damage a home's foundation.

remember: yews are ugly and evil.
snidegrrl
May. 29th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
I think I will in fact try to let loose that groundcover on the side of the house, and *maybe* if I can find small enough shrubs, or really hardy roses bushes fill in some height with those.

In the back I have to be carefule because I get about 75% shade - it's very enclosed by other houses and the treecover so gets almost no full sun. The hostas are doing their job admirably however. :)

What I've always wanted was a eucalyptus.
binkitybonk
May. 30th, 2007 08:44 am (UTC)
yeah, rose bushes are notoriously fussy and the side of the house is hard. too dry/too wet, root rot, slugs, moles, etc. here's a VERY hardy perennial that gets tallish (4' tall, 3' wide.) pairs well with groundcovers. just an idea.
http://gardening.about.com/od/perennials/p/Perovskia_Pro.htm
http://gardening.about.com/od/perennials/a/EasyCare.htm
peonies are also nice and kinda rose-like but muuuuch hardier, plus they will spread. siberian irises hold up well, too.

hostas generally seem to prefer more shade in my experience. many of them get all wilted with much sun. there are a lot of varieties, and some are so large they could almost substitute for shrubs, so you might look around and online. i've had good luck with hydrangeas in the shade. rhodedendrons and azaleas also generally do better in the shade. these are all great shrubs with beautiful flowers and there are lots of nice, hardy varieties for sale these days. find a good nursery - not just the one at wal-mart!

eucalyptus are great and i love the smell! but yeah, they don't like most of the u.s. :( there is some talk of cold-hardy eucalyptus online. do you know what zone you are? most seem to be pretty big, too.
http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2335
http://www.arthurleej.com/p-o-m-Feb02.html
http://www.localharvest.org/store/item.jsp?id=2083
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/cold-climate/eucalypts-cold-climates.html
snidegrrl
Jun. 1st, 2007 01:43 pm (UTC)
I appear to be in Zone 7.

This morning I also had another inspiration:

To get the verticalness I want on the side of the house to break up the ... view of our ugly siding, I could get some little pyramid trellises (like so) and train the little groundcover vines up them.
binkitybonk
Jun. 1st, 2007 06:09 am (UTC)
oooh - or a korean lilac in the back.
thewronghands
May. 16th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
When were you planning on doing this? I'm in Seattle until Monday morning, but if next week is good I will totally come and help you. I'll also take off the weeded bits with me, if you don't want them -- I can always use green for my compost.

Want a tomato plant?
snidegrrl
May. 16th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
YOU are a saint. I was thinking more like Sunday the 27th. You are welcome to the weeded bits - You might find out there's more than you bargained for. Having someone around who knows anything about plants or gardens would make me significantly more chipper.

In regards to tomato plants, I figured I would clear things out, and think about putting things in later.
thewronghands
May. 17th, 2007 08:40 am (UTC)
I've marked you on my calendar for Sunday the 27th. Just let me know when and where to show up; I love gardening and am happy to help.
snidegrrl
May. 17th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
Best thing ever. How early do you get up? I usually wake up by about 10. I will buy you lunch. We will talk and weed. I really look forward to seeing you and NOT just because you are going to help me with an enormous task! But because you are lovely to spend time with!
swartzdk
May. 17th, 2007 07:45 am (UTC)
I take an old cushion and just sit cross legged on the ground. Works great but getting back up again can be a pain. as for my back I use one of those back braces you can get at the hardware. Use it pre-emptively. Works.
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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