Crack Garden

I have a driveway to my detached garage in my backyard. My garage is not used for cars and I am wondering what to do with it.
The concrete is in good shape and it's very expensive to remove. One idea is to paint it terrazo style and have pergula or raised beds with benches. Another is to plant a crack garden, or to make cracks in the concrete for plantings. Or both.
My lot is 6000 sq.ft. and my house is 900, so I have a good amount of space for the lawns and two spots for vegetable gardens.
Has anyone experimented with crack gardens and what have you planted?
Thanks, Karen
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Karen wrote:

If you are going to grow plants there you will need to take down the garage as plants need sun, or at least strong light depending on what you grow.

If the concrete is in good shape making cracks in it will be a big effort, probably requiring machinery.

I am not sure what you mean by this. Some plants will grow in cracks in rocks and walls etc but it is no way to set up a garden as in most cases the very limited room for roots will severely stunt the plant. Also any plants that do grow there will risk being sun baked on the concrete.
If you are going to the effort of taking down the garage and breaking up the concrete why not go the last (and probably easiest) step further and have it taken away.
David
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Oh I'm not taking down the garage. When I said I didn't know what to do with it, I meant the driveway. My garage is going to be a cottage thing.

Yeah, I was wondering about that. I was thinking about making the cracks in a pattern. I have no idea what jackhammering is like.

check this out:
http://www.neatorama.com/2009/06/04/the-crack-garden /
Karen
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http://www.neatorama.com/2009/06/04/the-crack-garden /
Those are not cracks, those are channels chipped into the concrete. I don't find it very attractive... it in no way looks natural and looks like something someone who is not very decisive would do, in case they decide otherwise they can patch those channels, but probably won't hold. Were I going to assume the expense and go to the trouble of cutting channels I'd just as soon remove it all in one fell swoop. And there's a big risk in cutting channels with a jack hammer, it's more likely than not that the concrete will break up in ways one didn't plan... could end up with a disasterous mess, where the entire thing will need to be broken up and hauled out, would probably end up costing more than had it been entirely removed from the onset. Normally when one wants to remove a section of concrete for a garden/water feature, etc, they would have it cut out neatly with an abrasive wet saw... jack hammered channels in poured concrete look awful... looks like something a mentally deficient juvenile would dream up.
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You thought of it already then, have you, Shelly.
--

- Billy

Racial injustice, war, urban blight, and environmental rape have a common
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Karen wrote:

Hard work. The better the quality of the slab (ie thicker, stronger, more steel reinforcing) the harder it gets.

Looks daft to me, much work for little gain. Design awards don't always consider the real cost and effort of implementation. Note that most of the growth is up trellises around the edges not in the cracks.
Is your slab level? In most cases it would be. Water will not run off and so there is an excellent chance of having a big drainage problem unless the cracks go right through the concrete to some porous soil. Stunted roots, plus baked when it's dry, plus drowned when it's wet equals dead plant.
David
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My other idea is to paint the concrete terrazo style looking and use raised beds with benches and pots and umbrellas and stuff.
Karen
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Karen That sounds like a much better idea, and could be very lovely. And a LOT less work! Are you in a not too hot climate? My area has not been under 90F since July 2, plants would be really scorched here. (besides you might be sorry some day if you put all those cracks in your concrete!) Have fun with your project. Emilie NorCal
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I'm in San Jose, perhaps we're neighbors!
My corn has tassels now. First attempt. Yesterday, I noticed that birds founds these tassels appetizing so I made a scarecrow. A lady scarecrow with pearls and rubber gloves and sunbonnet.
Crossing my fingers!
Karen
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"Karen" wrote:

I usually make a lady scarecrow too, with huge pillows as breast implants.

Crossing my heart! hehe
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Have a real hair trigger don't you Shelly. Oh, excuse me, that's not your trigger ;O)
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my old man landscaped his back garden that had a large expanse of concrete. He used timber sleepers to mark out 'gardens' & filled them with stones of varying sizes. He planted various plants in pots that are set within the 'gardens' and surrounded by the stones. There is no soil apart from in the pots. The plants cam be changed periodicly as he desires but the whole effect is one of having gardens, even though he perhaps more accurately made 'features'.
Broke up the large expanse of concrete & he is happy with it. Everything can be easily stripped away back to bare concrete is needed.
rob
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I use pots for all of my plantings. My garden area is filled with plants of all sizes and shapes and there is almost no weeding needed. If I plant something that doesn't do very good, or I find out I don't really like it, all I have to do is pull the plant out of the pot and sow something else. I can move the plants around so they get the sun they need. I also can amend the soil as required in the pots to get the best growing condition for each plant.
Freckles
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I lived in an apt for 22 years and did everything in containers. It worked out nice. I still use containers for my little succulents.
But now that I actually own this place, it would be fun to work outside of so many pots.
thanks Karen
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I like that idea...will contemplate something like this. thanks
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