Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tackling the weeds.

I've been ignoring the task of weeding the front slope for a long while now. At first, it was because of the dying daffodil foliage. Why bother weeding when those yellowing brown straps continue to persist? Then it was too wet. I tried once and was pulling seedlings from the surrounding areas whenever I removed a clump of crabgrass. Today, I'm just going to hunker down and get it done. At least some of it. I'll use a hand trowel to loosen each clump. There are a lot of clumps.

Mulch and newspaper would help, but I want plants to reseed next year. Even covering the bed shredded leaves reduces the number of seeds that germinate. Maybe in a couple years I'll have enough plants on this slope to mulch the bed. Until then, it's just me and my trowel. I really should get started.

But first, here's a sample of the concrete countertops I want to use in the kitchen. The color isn't there yet. I poured the concrete straight from the bag with no coloring. Instead of dark, I plan to go towards "buff" with streaks of darker gray. I'm thinking a mottled surface would be best given the floor tile I'm going to be living with for a few years. It will also make choosing a permanent flooring material easier later in life.

The sample piece is about 12" wide, 6" tall. I still need to work on the edges. I have an idea about that.

A close up reveals a perfectly smooth countertop with very little color variation. You almost have to inspect it with your fingers to realize it's concrete. Vibrating the forms removed all the imperfections my first trial contained. I'm not sure which one I like best. I could always use a patch material to fill the voids, but it would make for a weaker countertop, more likely to crack or chip. So many decisions.

It's 63 degrees. The sun has just appeared over the trees out back. I should get started on the hill. Rain possible in the next hour with sunny skies returning for the rest of the day.


gld said...

Tom, I am thinking that last sample with the darker streaking/marbling would look wonderful. I will be interested in seeing what kind forms you will make.

Good luck with the weeding. I have been so busy with food gardening that I have let all flowers beds go....will need to tackle them quickly. I have small tree size Lamb's Quarter and Poke.

We are getting a little shower; the more the easier my work will be.

Need to pick cherries first!

Happy weeding!

Tammy said...

Tom are you going to do it like that last video you posted? With the Veining that you fill after it is removed? I think that would look fabulous.I think your color choice sounds great as well.Did it take much buffing to get it so smooth?

NellJean said...

I was looking at something else and found this guy moving a huge boulder.
I thought you would want to see it.

Moving a Boulder

We have one of those hoist things. I think it came from Harbor Freight.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

GLD, the more I look at the sample, the more I think it does need some streaking or at least some variations in color. I might just mix a couple batches of concrete and pour a bit here and there to get that effect using different coloring agents. I only have one large section of countertop that benefit from the variations in colors. The rest of the countertops are smaller and wouldn't be as noticeable. Whatever I do, I'll do them all the same.

Tammy, I was thinking about the veining to look like travertine, but I worry about the structural integrity of that sort of pour. I'm probably going to go with a solid surface. I haven't buffed this one at all yet. The forms are made from melamine and the concrete cures to a near perfect finish. Sealing it will be the key.

Thanks Nell. I still have several more boulders to move, but not during this time of year. Maybe in a few months once the snakes are sleeping again.

Tammy said...

Tom, for support, what about setting in some fine wire, like chicken wire or something in the middle? I know sometimes this is done for patio pours etc. The concrete samples in sure look smooth, especially considering you hadnt buffed.