Ayla

The storm drains in my house are the plastic ribbed type that run under the garage. When it rained heavily water backed up. It eventually drained, but I was worried that heavy rain can force water into garage. And then I learned I had blockage.

The contractor I first contacted wanted to rip it out. Big dollars for sure. I finally found one that was willing to help.

They took a better look and realized that there was a bloackege from some conrete that had slipped in.

Problem solved.

But they thouht there might be more.

They told me how to fix it myself.

Though they thought it wouldn't be necessary, although if it becomes necessary it may not be a horrendous big deal. You can rent a jack hammer/chisel and trench out the drain--then replace and fill with gravel and top off with a few inches of concrete. I've done small patches like that and while it's obvious it is a patch if you do a reasonably careful job--epoxy garage floor paint (2 part system--covers a multitude of sins.

If you can determine where the outlet is you may be able to put a smaller diameter sleeve in and route the outlet to a catch basin but either way the water is probably not draining out from the pipe along its length as intended but seeping out or flowing out-albeit slowly from the outlet end.

It still drains slowly. So far it hasn't been a big problem. If I can't remove the cement, the only other way is breaking up the concrete driveway which I don't want to do..

Ayla

I was at my uncles house and I just watched his neighbor burn off his garden. He said that he would burn their garden every winter and told me that is better than just tilling your garden every summer.

I don't know anyone that does that. I do know some people burn their weeds.

The issue that I would have with burning your garden is that ash can be high in pH. So, if you had super acidic soil that could be something that could be beneficial, but I'd advise not planting things like blueberries or potatoes in that environment.

I think it makes most sense to pull certain plants (tomatoes, for instance, often harbor diseases that you don't want in the soil for the following year) and then try to compost the rest of the dead plants. Compost is going to be more beneficial than ash, overall, since it'll be chock full of nutrients which your next year's plants need.

There's always the option of just leaving the plants, as well, since it can help with run off, etc.

I don't till at all, and just layer compost, leaves, etc.

My neighbors on the other hand till every year and their garden is awesome, but because we live in a rainy area they start their garden much later than I do because tilling wet soil is going to do the exact opposite of what you want.

This year I'm experimenting with a cover crop of daikon radishes, so I'm pretty excited to see if that helps with soil structure and nutrients.

Ayla

Is painting enough?

Depends how far you want to go.

I would suggest renting a concrete grinder as the easiest fastest method to remove the old coating.

If you drive your vehicle on this floor you will need a two part type garage floor coating that will resistant hot tire pickup. Most retailers (Home Depot, Lowes, and Menard's) stock garage floor kits. Typical kits range in the $100 price range and are ready to drive on in 72 hours. There are also some higher end kits available in retailers now that are drive on ready in 24 hours - While you will pay a premium for these kits they are twice as durable.

You could pressure wash it and see what comes off. Degrease it with a proper cleaner like the ones found in the 5 or 1 gallon jugs at your home store. Then wash again and epoxy it.

Pressure wash with a water/sand system to keep the dust down. That will give a blank canvas so to speak then epoxy or concrete stain.

You could rent a concrete grinder and use progressively finer grit blades then stain/polish. This gives a very nice high end professional look.

Whatever you do I would recommend against any paint. No matter what the manufacturer says. You're in that predicament now. A good solvent based epoxy is much better than a water based one. No matter what you choose to apply surface prep is the key. That means getting rid of grease, oils and stains that would keep the products from adhering correctly. A garage floor is at the top of the list where proper surface prep is essential.

I would steer clear of anything that would require a 30 day cure period. I have used epoxies and stains after 24-36 hours with no issues.

Try to keep a vehicle off for a bit longer or you will have hot tire pickup issues. (Google that)

Ayla

Lovely summer night, lots of wine and beer on the go but I stuck to the orange juice and water. And those that did drink remained sober. I love garden parties because they are a lot more formal that a beer and BBQ cookout.

I had the meatballs and then sampled a lot sauces. The meatballs were good.

In general, kind of disappointed with the drinks though. My favorite was the frozen Tropical Mango smoothie which was really smooth but there wasn't a lot of mango which was nice.

I also think that a reduced amount of alcohol is good for the children. They should not see their parents get drunk.

I'm not sure my opinion on the alcohol in general, but for formal family outings it should be kept to a minimum.

I know it can ease the day for many parents, but the level of drinking at food & wine by the end of the night is a bit much for some people. It actually was not a problem and we did 3 reasonably late nights in a row last year with our, then 8&9 yo daughters.

At one of them we saw a woman who was so drunk she just wanted to sit in the parking lot, she just couldn't make it to the car. What should have bothered me more was that her friend was drunk too, and one of them was driving home.

I prefer to see family-friendly.

And that is what a garden party is, even if it is held in the evening.

This is a chance for you to have a family-friendly, picnic style outing so be sure to bring blankets and baskets with goodies!

The guests will provide snacks and drinks, including libations from Independence Brewery. But you also free to bring anything you want for yourselves or to share.

It makes for a wonderful atmophere.

Ayla

I have tried the Back To Eden Style on one of my gardens for a couple years at which time it seemed to make sense.

It does make weeding easier and kept the soil moist, but almost too moist. Had some fungus issues every year with cucumbers and zucchini, tomatoes never really took off either where I was trying this method. I have come to the conclusion that the best way for me to garden is using raised beds. Anything I've tried in a raised bed grows great. I'm no expert either, just been vegetable gardening for about 4 years now. My first piece of advice for anyone just starting out at this point is go with raised beds if you can.

Few weeds, less need for water, and my plants seemed to do well. When I first started it - my soil was pretty clayful but the plants seemed to do well. I've since moved to an area with sandier soil, we'll see how my garden goes this year. I've had it mulched through the winter.

You don't till.

Tilling can disrupt all the microorganisms and worms and whatnot living underground. Add a barrier that will break down- mostly heavily moistened newspaper or cardboard- over the entire area you want your garden, then layer on compost, then layer on woodchips. You usually top dress amendments, but eventually, after a few years, you shouldn't have to amend the soil at all. The chips protect the plants from moisture loss so you water less and they decompose over time- adding fresh compost.

As rain falls, it pulls nutrients down with it, adding it to the soil. Additionally, weeds don't root well in loose chips, so you just rake them away. You just have to add fresh chips from time to time, year to year.

There are other similar methods.

Lasagna gardening is intermittent layers of this, that and the other directly on top of existing soil. I know less about it.