Dealing with cracks and aging walls can be a herculean and expensive task. However, there are some cost-effective methods available to improve the walls of patio which show early signs of heavy cracks and water-leakage problems. Your patio is a reflection of the beauty and upkeep your home, so maintaining the quality and beauty of the patio walls and walkways is essential.
Selection of plants and fixing cracks
One option is to add visual appealing plants to grow patio cracks. The kind of plants you choose will invariably depend on the type of construction material used in the patio. If you are having a cement patio, it may be little odd and difficult to create a way out for plants saplings unless the cement shows signs of cracks which are hard to fix. To fix the cement busting, a jackhammer is required.
If you have a stone patio, then you may need to remove few of the stones to create pattern and designs of rustic appeal and fill the area with plants, creatively. I'd recommend using shrubs and climbers into the large planting pockets and beds. Utmost care should be taking to see that it does not disturb the area which is used for some other purpose like sitting or standing. For fixing the crack problem you may need to remove a rock slab and paving stone from the patio landscape and in case of mortared slab, tool such as hammer and chisel are helpful in removing the mortar. After a slab has been removed, treat the soil underneath it. If the soil is in bad condition then you may need to replace the soil with some quality products like, loam-based soil or organic matter. Now arranging plants will be a work that really needs an expertise in gardening and other required information to make a problem-area looks fresh and beautiful covered with plants and flower-bed. You might try adding large plants first and then filling a gaps and fissures in the walls with smaller plants. Shrub bush needs to be planted alone in a pocket since it grows all along the walls and walkway rapidly. After you are done with the planting, add mulch around the base and cover the soil with some ornamental stone, pebbling and geometric designs patterns, it all comes down to your taste and creativity to make it looks more appealing and glowing. Mulch is a protective covering of organic matters like, shredded leaves, compost, straw or hay placed around plants to prevent the evaporation of moisture and growth of weeds.
If you choose to plant drought-resistant plants in the patio walls and walkways then you may need to take care of them for a while like, watering them for some time unless they are settled up, just like some other plants.
Fixing pavement cracks
Pavement cracks are also another concern for a home-owner. To fix hairline or minor cracks that have a tendency to spread fast, it’s become imperative for a home-owner to fix them and to beautify it in a best possible cost-effective way. Brick paving works best for sowing plants in the cracks. Care should be taken to oversee that the area chosen handles less foot traffic and can add naturalization while not being be trampled by guests or passers-by very often. For this, one may have a choice to sow ground-hugging and drought-resistant plants which are not very appealing and are dull but may stand up with the extreme weather conditions well. Drought resistant plants comes in group of glittering colors and varieties like, lavender, lupine, periwinkle, zinnia, geraniums, poppies, four o’ clock and flowering tobacco. Few examples of ground-hugging plants like, bugleweed, Japanese spurge, creeping thyme, creeping juniper and many attractive varieties of cover plants are available to make pavement looks good and earthy.
Tackling the weed problem
Another advantage of sowing these plants in your paved areas and walkway is that it helps to prevent weeds from coming back, if cracks problems are persistent with a weeding problem also. Tough weeds may need a weed-killer that helps to kill the roots in a week time or so. You may need to dig out loose soil, as much as it’s possible to dig out with a help of small scrapper tool. Then you must add a good quality loam based soil mixture into a crack and use scrapper to remove any air-pockets. Loam should be packed firmly to escape air-pockets.
Sowing plants in pavement
While sowing seeds in a pavement area, you may need to spread them thin and even. The soil should be misted with water daily until the plants grow. Later on, you may need to thin them out only leaving strongest plants. To plant the crack with small plants, one may need to take the root ball and form into a wedge shape. Lighten it down into the soil, adding a more soil if needed and start misting it with a sprayer. Keep it misted daily until it is well grounded in a soil. You may also need to shield the new plants from extreme weather conditions like, heavy rain so that they don’t wash away.
Good plant types for cracks
Aubrietia deltoidea, Dianthus deltoids, Erinus alpinus, Scabiosa graminifolia, and Thymus are few god varieties of plants for cracks.
Filling up crevices
Cervices in a garden wall around raised beds can be planted in a similar method like planting cracks. The crevices in the wall must be large enough to hold the root ball of the plant and deep enough for the roots to take hold of these plants. A shelf or lip-type stone at the bottom of the crevice is also required to prevent the soil and plants from eroding away. You may use also drought resistant plants when planting in crevices. Care should be taken and they should also be watered frequently until they become established.
Good plant types for crevices
Globularia cord folia, Lewisia tweedy, Saxifraga callosa, Sedum spathulifolium, Sempervivum, and Thymus.
Good plant types for pockets
America maritime, Campanula portenschlagiana, Cerastium tomentosum, Sedum telephium, and Veronica prostrate. In this way, plants in cracks and crevices will soften the look and spruce up the appeal of the patio area. It is a viable choice for those who want an informal appeal to patio and will cost less when compared with the costly repairs.