If you've been looking for the perfect finishing touch for your landscaping, you might want to think about installing concrete curbing around your gardens. Not only is concrete durable enough to stand up to the demands of your landscape, but curbing is also an attractive, subtle complement to most landscape designs. It's important that you keep it clean, though, because concrete's porous nature leaves it susceptible to staining otherwise. Here are a few tips to help you keep it clean without damaging the plants in your yard.
Cover The Plants
Use a lightweight fabric or cover to protect the flower beds, perennials and garden before you clean the concrete. By choosing a cover that's light, you won't have to worry about damaging the plants. The goal is just to create a shield over them so that you don't accidentally spray them with any cleaner or damage them with water spray.
Rinse The Area Thoroughly
A couple of times a month, you should rinse the concrete surface with a garden hose. Use a sprayer nozzle to concentrate the water. The rinse will get rid of any surface dirt or loose debris. Use a high-pressure water spray when you can to clear as much as possible. Once you've wet the whole area, use a brush with medium or stiff bristles to sweep away anything that's still sticking behind. If you can get everything off the concrete this way, you don't need to go any further.
Make a Cleaning Solution
For concrete that is discolored or especially dirty, you'll want to clean it with a bit more effort. A cleaning solution is the best option for this, but you want something gentle since you'll be working around soil and plants. The best thing to use in a case like this is a mixture of baking soda and water. Fill a gallon bucket with water and add a half-cup or so of baking soda. Stir it to dissolve the baking soda, then use that solution and the brush to clean the whole area.
If there are any stains that are overly stubborn, use a baking soda paste to treat them. Scoop out a tablespoon or two of baking soda, then add just enough water to create a fairly thick paste. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for a couple of hours before scrubbing it with the brush.
Once you've cleaned the whole area, rinse it thoroughly with water to remove the rest of the baking soda. Make sure that the water drains away from your plants so that the plants aren't contaminated with any dirt or other debris in the concrete.
With these tips, you can keep your concrete curbing clean and looking great. For more tips and to talk about sealant options to protect the curbing, talk with a local concrete services contractor like Cooper Cement Works Inc.