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Growing With A Back Injury -


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#1 xxPeacePipexx

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:52 AM

Due to a natural curvuture of the spine and a Motorcycle accident I have been disabled for some time .. I choose to not sit and dwell on it all and instead I grow my own meds and modify my movements in the grow room using many methods to ease my work load .. Having Neuorpoathy and compressed nerves along with degenerative discs due to large bone spurs I am not capable of growing the traditional way .. In my years I have adapted and modified regular maintanance and work in my garden for my enjoyment and ease ... Its actually a blessing when one transforms a grow to become a handicap acessible one .. Mine does not allow for a wheelchair as I am not there YET ,,, eventually in time as the spurs grow and my body ages I ll have no choice but the chair .. And when it comes Ill be ready to grow as I always have no matter the odds .. All I will need is a little more room to wheel around .. My stratedgy First and foremost , lifting with the legs is most important and one should know proper lifting teniques ( Ill post them below ) One is best to work with lights that are set and locked in place .. No need to agonise over moving lamps or having to wait to extra hands to arive .. I work with risers when need be for raising plants .. I always use lighter ones such as milk crates and storage totes .. The strength is not always a issue here as I always work with light media .. I used to love to grow with mineral soils but they became a burden and a overl load in a sense as even moving pots on the ground can be troublesome and leave me with a pinched up locked back .. Not fun when that happens or worse yet a nervous sytmem haywire that sends one to the floor or head first into the garden .. Did that once too and ruined some nice plants .. In the end I have found Pro mix and the like as well as coco and other light mediiums such as grodan cubes to be best for me in the long haul .. I rarely use over a 5 galllon pot as I prefer to put them on casters for ease of transport and movements for lighting .. I like Coco by far as its superior in weight when dry and that matters most .. I never pick up wet pots , simply cant do it .. I await till they are more dry before attempting to pick up .. My Drs have given me a lifting limit and its set at 25 lbs max and this is for the rest of my life and it is not easy on a grower when they are told to not lift more than that .. In the end I have learnt to modify and adjust again and again .. I limit my range of movement in the garden by adjusting as need be with everything in a sense .. I may be able to water the plants in front and within easy reach by hand but then theres the ones far from my reach and if I lean to far , my nerves get whacked as mentioned above and down I go .. So in the end there I must use a watering aperatus for most of my garden .. I purchased several insecticide pump sprayers .. They hold 3 gallons a piece and are just the right weight when filled and as well they have shoulder straps that come in handy as well .. By using these I can easly reach to the backside of my garden and water when need be with no lower back stress .. I use these too for Insecticides and general misting too .. They are a true Godsend for me .. :D: Another God send has been the old extension grasping tool , many use them in kitchens and workshops .. I bought one and it surely helps me all the way .. I can grab things when need by while sitting and then simply bring to me with an arm and hand motion while avoiding unecessary back movements .. Helps alot when picking up leaves in the garden floor or off from the lower branched out of hands reach ... I will be adding notes to this in time , this is just a start of my compilation to become here within Gp .. Theres many small notes to comment on and such .. An example is soils and weight .. I never ever fully water down any media when potting or mixing . I use my sprayers and gently mist as this moistens enouugh to make it workable and less dusty but never do I add water to make it heavy .. That comes once in the grow room and potted .. Then I add all water needed to ensure a healthy uppot ... It pays off as a 5 gallon bucket moist may only wieght 8 lbs but when filled with a wet media it can become over my 25 lb limit easly .. Just the same as when harvesting and moving the pots out , I always make sure they are on the dry side to ensure no weight i left in the pots .. If there is I just use casters and slide where need be untill help arives to move the load .. Nine out of ten times its bone dry and just the right weight ..
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#2 xxPeacePipexx

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 09:13 AM

A few good ones here ..Potsnob

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#3 dirtysouth

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:24 PM

Hey Prof.

EXCELLENT info mate. I feel ya brother. I have very similar problems from an auto accident and am really appreciative of your info. and hopeful that you've found a good routine to keep ya as pain free as possible. The effects on the nervous system seem to be worse than the pain sometimes. Can I PM for a strain recommendation?

I'd like to add an idea we're kicking around for next year for gardening outdoors: Hugulkultur (starts at page 4 of the .pdf). Seems it would put access to your plants at waist height/taller depending on how you set it up. Might be a pain to get it going but once you've got it all dug in you should be good for quite a while. We might be trying it out this next season.

I'm also in the planning stage of completely redoing my indoor room and really appreciate the info. Quick question: are your plants on the floor or set on a table of some sort? I'd like to have mine at waist height but don't want to lose that much space. I've thought of doing a room like this: Hobbes Grow Info as it would enable the plants to be off the floor, adjustable in height, and easy to work around.
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#4 Scooby

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:07 PM

Great info, P.P.S. I may try one of those insecticide pump sprayers at some point. That's a nifty tip right there. Thanks for sharing! -Scoob
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#5 xxPeacePipexx

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:21 PM

Hey Prof.

EXCELLENT info mate. I feel ya brother. I have very similar problems from an auto accident and am really appreciative of your info. and hopeful that you've found a good routine to keep ya as pain free as possible. The effects on the nervous system seem to be worse than the pain sometimes. Can I PM for a strain recommendation?

I'd like to add an idea we're kicking around for next year for gardening outdoors: Hugulkultur (starts at page 4 of the .pdf). Seems it would put access to your plants at waist height/taller depending on how you set it up. Might be a pain to get it going but once you've got it all dug in you should be good for quite a while. We might be trying it out this next season.

I'm also in the planning stage of completely redoing my indoor room and really appreciate the info. Quick question: are your plants on the floor or set on a table of some sort? I'd like to have mine at waist height but don't want to lose that much space. I've thought of doing a room like this: Hobbes Grow Info as it would enable the plants to be off the floor, adjustable in height, and easy to work around.



Hey there DirtySouth , Thanks for the link and surely send me a pm with info .. I am always hoping to relate to others and find more relief and answers ..

I have always been a floor grower and tried tables but found them inside to not be worthwhile for my love of Sativas and larger plants .. I like to grow things to there possible fullest potential inside by aging and maturing clones on a larger scale .. The tables are nice I admit and I do prefer to use them in the long haul but simply cant give that space up inside having only 8 foot ceilings ..

I would otherwise have them up again .. All of my outdoor potted plants are always on tables and eventually all my gardens outside will be raised beds as well ... I hope before I am fully disabled and chair ridden to have masterd all gardening from a wheelchair ..

Its on this spring and Ill be using a wheelchair just to check my desighns and effeciency of the raised beds .. I even have a hydraulic cart I am working on for moving pots and soils to a waist heigth .. Eventually as well my indoor garden will be fully handicapped acessible for a new patient and friend .. And agin Ill make sure its workable from a chair as well so all can follow who need or care ..

Thanks again , would enjoy seeing any modifications you make and care to share with us ... I feel theres just not enough info out there for all to know and understand that anyone can grow if they can move around .. L8tr my friend :rolleyes:
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#6 xxPeacePipexx

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:25 PM

Great info, P.P.S. I may try one of those insecticide pump sprayers at some point. That's a nifty tip right there. Thanks for sharing!


-Scoob



Thanks Scoob , they really work well for many things youll find .. I am saving now for a larger model on wheels heheheh ...

The more we share, the more we learn , the more we learn , the more we all grow ! I am happy we all love to share here .. I know I have surely learnt much here myself .. More than I ever imagined and most is far from grow tacticts and the nature there heheheh ..L8tr my friend .. PPS :rolleyes:
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#7 dirtysouth

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 10:11 PM

Hey there DirtySouth , Thanks for the link and surely send me a pm with info .. I am always hoping to relate to others and find more relief and answers ..

I have always been a floor grower and tried tables but found them inside to not be worthwhile for my love of Sativas and larger plants .. I like to grow things to there possible fullest potential inside by aging and maturing clones on a larger scale .. The tables are nice I admit and I do prefer to use them in the long haul but simply cant give that space up inside having only 8 foot ceilings ..

I would otherwise have them up again .. All of my outdoor potted plants are always on tables and eventually all my gardens outside will be raised beds as well ... I hope before I am fully disabled and chair ridden to have masterd all gardening from a wheelchair ..

Its on this spring and Ill be using a wheelchair just to check my desighns and effeciency of the raised beds .. I even have a hydraulic cart I am working on for moving pots and soils to a waist heigth .. Eventually as well my indoor garden will be fully handicapped acessible for a new patient and friend .. And agin Ill make sure its workable from a chair as well so all can follow who need or care ..

Thanks again , would enjoy seeing any modifications you make and care to share with us ... I feel theres just not enough info out there for all to know and understand that anyone can grow if they can move around .. L8tr my friend :rolleyes:


Hey ya Prof.

Going out to buy a bigger sprayer tomorrow, thanks for the great idea mate. I totally understand about the need for ceiling space and have to keep mine on the floor for the same reasons; Love sativas, need the room, and always grow out my girls til there nice and mature. Great minds . . . heh heh. I'm really glad you started this thread and will be adding to it as the room comes together and improvements are made.

Another question if ya don't mind. Do you water until you get runoff and, if so, how do you deal with that? I'm thinking of installing a drain in the floor to help with clean up and maybe trying hempys to lighten the load. Mineral soils are prolly off the menu here too unfortunately.

I'd love to see some pics of your raised beds too if ya have any. We're building more over the winter and I gotta start thinking ahead in terms of accessibility and what not.

Great work you're doing amigo. I only hope it won't be a necessity for ya for a long, long time.

DS
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#8 DogFaceDude

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 10:41 PM

I also have nerve and disk problems from a bike spill.

The head injury caused the nerve problem so I know what you speak of.

I use the same methods as you've outlined here and it sure helps.

Great thread PPS. Posted Image
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#9 OniusOniusOnius

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 10:46 PM

Thanks PPS, back problems are no joke for the grower. Great forum :rolleyes:
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#10 tikidood

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 11:34 AM

Well add me to the cripple group...lol rockslide crushed me at 16 and have back, neck issues, amputation of right foot, neuropathy , etc ( Yeah Im a bucket...lmao ) I have casters on everything as my back and legs dont tolerate nothing.... I too will be "chair" bound but not yet. Great info and if anyone has a good strain recommendation for chronic pain get at me ! Mahalo ~"

Edited by tikidood, 30 December 2011 - 11:36 AM.

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#11 xxPeacePipexx

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 06:55 PM

Glad to see the common bond here and the info being shared between everyone .. This information can be used as a grow room back injury preventative .. ,Many people suffer grow room injuries and there far more common than admitted , best to learn all preventative and safety one can .. I hope more will share here in time and are willing to contribute what works for them .. Besides many of us will be growing out meds untill we can no longer bare too .. This will all be applicable when your old and fragile .. Another recent addition to my arsenal has been a Large storage tote with wheels .. This is big enough to break down and ammend a bale of Pro Mix with ease and room to distribute all evenly .. Bonus is I can simply pull and push it like a wagon moving my soiless mixes with ease now and with no back lifting .. I get help and have others load the bail then I can take over and get her done ..Potsnob ..
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#12 xxPeacePipexx

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:09 PM

Hey ya Prof. Going out to buy a bigger sprayer tomorrow, thanks for the great idea mate. I totally understand about the need for ceiling space and have to keep mine on the floor for the same reasons; Love sativas, need the room, and always grow out my girls til there nice and mature. Great minds . . . heh heh. I'm really glad you started this thread and will be adding to it as the room comes together and improvements are made. Another question if ya don't mind. Do you water until you get runoff and, if so, how do you deal with that? I'm thinking of installing a drain in the floor to help with clean up and maybe trying hempys to lighten the load. Mineral soils are prolly off the menu here too unfortunately. I'd love to see some pics of your raised beds too if ya have any. We're building more over the winter and I gotta start thinking ahead in terms of accessibility and what not. Great work you're doing amigo. I only hope it won't be a necessity for ya for a long, long time. DS ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hi Dirty South , sorry it took me a few to find this again . Hope the sprayers were easly found .. In my region the stores tend to have them in the backstock due to winter .. Looking forward to seeing your additions here and of the room in general .. Ill be posting some more of mine soon as well ... I wish I could have a floor drain installed . I am growing currently in a spare bedroom with nice carpet . I have opted for the tarp on the floor and I do always make sure theres run off and that its ample with every watering .. .I dont really ever flush my plants like most unless growing in DWC .. I tend to just water the last few weeks and leach about 10-15 % .with a little increase towards the last watering .. I find with the tarp that it often raises my RH and if its not needed I simply use a old mop or towels to soak it up , l tried pot saucers long ago but didnt like the salt buildups and they always overflowed .. .. I bought and tried expensive nice trays and sent them to a friend who has an apt grow . He needed them more than I being in an upstairs apt with prudes beneath .. Even those had to be cleaned to often and it was hard on my back scrubbing salts .. Nowdays I just get a new tarp when need be and recyle the old to my shed for a carwash bath .. I have replaced my floor several times in a year this way to ensure a clean room ... Ill get you some shots of the raised beds this spring , working on getting a collection of pallets this winter and building them into raised living beds , I have acess to hundreds of them for free and have also made compost bins with them too . My initial raised beds were built with old railroad ties did not care to much for the sap and tar run off .. Ill post shots this spring of both when the snow melts , Pallets are even better too as there just the right size for a wheel chair acesssible bed ensuring a narrow run .. The railroad ties have to be cut when building narrow beds .. Hope all is well for you and yours .. Potsnob
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#13 dirtysouth

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 09:37 PM


Hi Dirty South , sorry it took me a few to find this again .

Hope the sprayers were easly found .. In my region the stores tend to have them in the backstock due to winter .. Looking forward to seeing your additions here and of the room in general .. Ill be posting some more of mine soon as well ...

I wish I could have a floor drain installed . I am growing currently in a spare bedroom with nice carpet . I have opted for the tarp on the floor and I do always make sure theres run off and that its ample with every watering .. .I dont really ever flush my plants like most unless growing in DWC .. I tend to just water the last few weeks and leach about 10-15 % .with a little increase towards the last watering ..
I find with the tarp that it often raises my RH and if its not needed I simply use a old mop or towels to soak it up , l tried pot saucers long ago but didnt like the salt buildups and they always overflowed .. ..


I bought and tried expensive nice trays and sent them to a friend who has an apt grow . He needed them more than I being in an upstairs apt with prudes beneath .. Even those had to be cleaned to often and it was hard on my back scrubbing salts .. Nowdays I just get a new tarp when need be and recyle the old to my shed for a carwash bath .. I have replaced my floor several times in a year this way to ensure a clean room ...

Ill get you some shots of the raised beds this spring , working on getting a collection of pallets this winter and building them into raised living beds , I have acess to hundreds of them for free and have also made compost bins with them too .

My initial raised beds were built with old railroad ties did not care to much for the sap and tar run off .. Ill post shots this spring of both when the snow melts , Pallets are even better too as there just the right size for a wheel chair acesssible bed ensuring a narrow run .. The railroad ties have to be cut when building narrow beds ..

Hope all is well for you and yours .. Potsnob


Hey PPS,

Good idea about using a tarp and just cycling through a few of them to keep things clean. I've been using oil drain pans and kitty liter pans under bread trays and you're right, it's a pain cleaning everything out. It'll be a bit of a hassle installing a drain but I think it'll be worth it in the long run and I'm giving the hempy thing more consideration after filling a bucket full of perlite and seeing how light it is. Should be easy to create something that directly drains out to a flower bed or something outside if I'm using a hempy bucket type system.

I'm still torn between a manual pump type sprayer and a battery powered one. I've found a nifty looking li-ion rechargeable sprayer on wheels and that would help when the migraines/spasms kick in but that also means extra complexity and things to fail. I also just came across a model that's supposed to pressurize itself just from the motion of being rolled around: Gilmour 4-Gallon Sprayer on Amazon

Your raised beds sound interesting and I like your use of pallets. We have access to a pretty good supply but I haven't seen a completed system using them that I really like. I agree with ya about the negatives in using ties. That creosote and oil they put on the ties does make a mess of things. Cutting them is a bit of a chore too. How wide are you making your beds? We've been going 4' on the width 3' seems like it might improve long term accessibility.

Thanks again for making such a great thread and for the good vibes. I can see this turning into a great resource amigo!

Hope y'all have a safe and happy New Year!
DS
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#14 PoeticLife

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 10:01 PM

Nice thread PPS.. don't know how I missed it! I am very attached to my "grabber" and it makes life alot easier for sure. My biggest obstacle is the flushing and just even the 10% runoff and trying to catch it underneath the pots. I too have to be very careful of the lifting, and try not to remove them from their tent if at all possible... meaning once in flower they are stuck where they are. I could put bigger tubs underneath but it would eat up more height so have opted to use towels to soak up what doesn't end up in the trays on bottom. I've just recently bought plastic sheeting and am going to see if I can make a false but secure and leak proof bottom, and perhaps try a shop vac. Have you ever used a shop vac to remove the excess water?

will keep coming back and see how you tweak it for your needs.

thanks for putting this up for all of us Posted Image
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#15 DEBhasgrn

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:36 AM

Great thread PPS, I'm looking forward to more info and suggestions as time goes by, I would also love to see pictures of your grow room. I am not growing right now, I've always been an outside gardener but eventually want to grow inside too, I have degenerate disk disease along with a few slipped disk and fybromyalgia, All of these issues make it so hard to do things without feeling so worn out or ending up hurting myself. Don't know if I will ever be in a wheelchair, I don't ask about it and I try not to think about it, wheel chair or not I know when I do start a grow inside that I will need the help that you are giving here,, Thanks again...
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#16 xxPeacePipexx

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:42 AM

I had fear that I would return here once again all to soon .. I am one who tries to hold his dignity no matter with this disability . Its not always easy but on my good days I can usually keep my composure and dignity . Today is not a good day for me and I must accept my dissability and be a broken man once again . I am not capable of taking full care of my grow at this time or myself . I cant even put my own clothes on or stand without help from a cane and even that is hell for me now . I have several compressed nerves and bone spurs on my degenerative discs along with nerve damage stemming from a motorcycle accident as well as a natural curvuture of the spine thats been pushed further due to this all . When this is agrivated I find myself on a level 2 with pain and lately have been riding the cusp of level three .. Long story short today is on the verge of level four and that lands me in the hospital every time and wheelchair roulettte bound .. I wanted to note this in my thread here as others follow , sometimes we must accept the bad no matter how much we love to grow .. I am out of the grow for a few and will have to just trust my wife to listen and follow my directions in there , I know every move that she will make for the next week and have faith , now its time for me to lay low and keep down as much as possible to see how my body reacts .. I have to admit this is its worst and I am worried as I know the day will come when I am no longer able to stand at all due to this disease and condition ...... Stay safe and keep that back straight in your grow room when lifting , always ask for help if need be .. I ts best to not be humiliated otherwise for being careless .. I hope this thread helps prevent others from doing damage to themeselves as one wrong move can change your life even in a grow room ..........Peace PPS
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#17 dirtysouth

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:53 AM

I wish you all the best PPS. Hope you find relief brother.
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#18 mediuseA

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:32 PM

PWB...a wet/dry vac works great for removing water....as do shamwow towels....ya can roll em into a 'snake' and secure with cable ties...great for absorbing water muA
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#19 xxPeacePipexx

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 10:22 AM

I wish you all the best PPS. Hope you find relief brother.

Thanks bro , took a few days off and stayed in bed , reliefs in sight now and I have to remodify my actions again lol ......Peace ..




PWB...a wet/dry vac works great for removing water....as do shamwow towels....ya can roll em into a 'snake' and secure with cable ties...great for absorbing water

Hey Medi , good ideas . I have a small shop vac but will be getting a larger one soon for this job and leaf cleanup too hehehe and them shamwows due work well , perhaps Ill assemble a few for quick pickups . Just cant get that dumb commercial out of my head now hahahah .L8tr pps

muA


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#20 DirtMcJerk

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:59 PM

Sham-wows are great. I have to rely on tables because I cannot lift all that water on a regular enough basis to keep my plants well fed. I use the sham-wow while cleaning up my table. Thank my God that I don't have to rely on telescopic grabbers but I do have my limits regardless. Thanks for the tips for when my problems progress.
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#21 mediuseA

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:04 PM

A battery drill is powerful enough to power a man on a cycle...so using one as a light lifting/lowering mechanism motor is totally doable...have seen it done on the net somewhere... :D hehehe with a lil thought and planning I am sure a mechanism/trolley could be made for pots th@ is powered by a power drill, eh? hmmm...will nut sommat out and post possible design outlines when I have time hehehe. perhaps a pot riser powered by a battery drill, Mmmm? If one IS working from a table a small lift mechanism powered by a battery drill could raise the pot to table level to be slid off onto the table with minimum effort. muA
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#22 OniusOniusOnius

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:48 PM

This one might be kind of obvious but it's helped my back immensely. I have a good office chair on wheels in my garden. I'm a tall guy and constantly looking downward to mix nutrients, water, sweep, etc, wears the lower back down. When my lower back is already spasming these little chores can be excruciating. The office chair allows me to not only have a more relaxed positions to work in, it also provides some mobility.
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#23 DirtMcJerk

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:44 AM

Both genius ideas thanks. Those are getting filed in my stoner memory banks.
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#24 bigC

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:54 PM

With a chronic back problem that only bothers me when I use it, or sleep in certain position( It does not compare to what you're going through PPS ) I decided to elevate the table to a chest high level which makes things much easier to feed/water. What I did not factor in was the increased temperature with raising things so it is a tradeoff right now. It seemd like a good height today when I knocked over one of my gals in a 1 gal. container, and she "almost" landed right side up, being bottom heavy after watering. Good luck with your designs PPS.....I'm sure many people will benefit from your ideas, eventually, if not now.
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#25 panamapam

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:01 AM

thank you pps for your post. i've been rear ended three times and just last month was involved in a head on car accident; i almost have my grow box ready to go, and thanks to your post i'll be placing the box at a higher level so i don't have to bend over. you have many, many great ideas pp
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