Workshops for Do-It-Yourself Homeowners

Updated May 2015 Whether you’re a seasoned outdoors do-it-yourselfer or digging into landscaping for the first time (pun intended), there are plenty of opportunities around the Twin Cities and beyond to help you brush up on your skills for the 2015 season — or even learn a new one. DIY_installation_ill Tango™ Lawn-and-Garden Project Block Installation Demonstrations At: Select Mills Fleet Farm locations. About: Learn how to build a variety of hardscape elements, including columns, seat walls and retaining walls, using the Tango project block. Contact store location for more details.

Mills Fleet Farm, Appleton, WI

  • Thursday, April 9th – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, April 10th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mills Fleet Farm, Mankato, MN

  • Saturday, May 30th – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mills Fleet Farm, Lakeville, MN

  • Friday, May 29th – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 30th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mills Fleet Farm, Fergus Falls, MN

  • Friday, June 12th – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

       Mills Fleet Farm, Fargo, ND

  • Saturday, June 13th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mills Fleet Farm, Waupaca, WI

  • Friday, June 12th – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

       Mills Fleet Farm, Menomonie, WI

  • Saturday, June 13th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Installing Concrete Retaining Walls Workshop At: Hedberg Landscape and Masonry Supplies, Farmington, MN. About: Click here for event details and registration.

  • Wednesday, April 29th – 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 27th – 5 to 7 p.m.

Installing an Outdoor Fire Pit At: Gertens, Inver Grove Heights, MN. About: Click here for event details and registration.

  • Saturday, April 11th – 11 a.m.

Paving and Wall Installation Tips At: Bachmans on Lyndale, Minneapolis, MN. About: Click here for event details and registration.

  • Saturday, May 23rd – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 6th – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Other Events For budding (and veteran) green thumbs, Northern Gardener magazine has a calendar of this season’s plant shows and sales and educational events. Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest homeowner events and other Anchor news.

How to Keep Weeds and Pests Off Your Paver Patio

Anchor Slaton Plus Paver Patio

Anchor™ Slaton Plus™ Paving System

Your paver patio is a place for you, your family and your friends to enjoy the great outdoors. That’s why it can be frustrating to discover that weeds or insects have crashed your dinner party.

Why It Happens

Interlocking concrete paving systems feature open spaces, or joints, between the individual units. The joints make pavers a practical choice for climates like Minnesota’s, where the soil expands and contracts during extreme changes in weather.

However, those joints can also act as a welcome mat for unwanted guests:

  • Surface weeds occur from soil blowing or being tracked onto the surface of the pavers and settling in the joints, allowing a seedling to grow.
  • Moss thrives in shady locations that stay damp or wet for extended periods of time.
  • Ants love to mine in the sand used under the pavers and between the joints — especially in sunny locations.

How do you keep your outdoor guest list under control?

Weed killers, ant powders or moss-killing fungicides are quick ways to get rid of patio pests, but because these are more “reactive” solutions to the problem, you might consider using a special sand or sealer to prevent pests from appearing altogether.

Polymeric sand can be used as the final jointing sand during paver installation. The sand fills the joints between the pavers while the polymer is activated by misting the surface with water. Once the polymer dries it forms a hard but flexible joint, which keeps ants and surface weeds at bay.  Be sure to follow the directions closely when using polymeric sand, though, as it can stain your pavers if not properly activated.

Joint-stabilizing sealer is another way to lock sand into your paver joints. Applying the sealer involves flooding the paver surface and allowing the liquid to seep into the joints. As it dries, the sand locks into the paver joints. Sealing can also protect pavers from stains or sun exposure because it fills not only the joints, but the pores in the pavers themselves. When applying sealer, have a paint roller or neoprene squeegee on hand to help you coat the surface evenly. If the sealer pools, it can leave stubborn shiny spots on your pavers.

Either of these products can be found at your local home improvement store. To find more concrete paver maintenance tips, visit us online at www.anchorblock.com.

Concrete Paver Maintenance: What You Need to Know

Beautiful, durable and long-lasting, concrete pavers make driveway, patio and walkway surfaces that last for generations. Occasional maintenance may be required, and you’ll find a helpful brochure titled “Peak Performance from Concrete Pavers” from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) on the Anchor website.

Snow and Ice Removal

Concrete pavers are a durable product for climates with harsh, cold winters. As with any surface, when ice builds up there is potential for slips, falls and less control of vehicles.

What to do.  Contact a local landscape products dealer to source a high-quality deicing product. Look for calcium magnesium acetate deicers and follow the instructions carefully, only using the amounts required to do the job.

White Patches

Don’t be alarmed if you see a patch of white film on your concrete pavers. It’s likely efflorescence, a common occurrence that results naturally when pavers become wet and the mineral salts in the materials used in production are dissolved and drawn to the surface of the paver.

What to do. If your concrete pavers were installed within one year of the occurrence, wait and the efflorescence will likely dissipate. Otherwise, cleaners formulated for concrete products are available. Contact a dealer for more information about efflorescence cleaners.

Oil Stains

Concrete pavers are a popular surface for driveways. Cars often drip oil, but the good news is the pavers won’t be damaged by it – although the stain can detract from the their appearance.

Kingston Plus™ Paver Driveway

What to do. Taking quick action to wipe excess oil from the surface is important so the oil doesn’t penetrate. After you wipe up the excess oil, apply a liquid detergent and allow it to soak for several minutes. Then wash the pavers with hot water. Repeat this several times for the stain to disappear. Another option is to use a cleaner designed for concrete pavers. Contact a dealer for more information about cleaners and availability. Or you can replace the stained paver with a new paver unit.

Concrete paver surfaces are a great way to add beauty to your landscape and they are mostly maintenance-free.

Whatever inspiration you find to make your landscape dreams come true, click over to the Anchor Block Company Facebook page and tell us what you found.