The components of soil cement could not be more basic -- just some soil, a little portland cement and some water. The soil already exists in your yard, and the water is waiting for you at the tap. The only thing you have to buy is some cement. You will also need to borrow or rent a tiller and a roller. With these ingredients and a little labor you can create a smooth, durable and dust-free surface. Soil cement may not work well in soils that have a high clay content or a lot of organic content, but it is suitable for most soil types.
1.Remove the topsoilClear the surface of all grass or sod, as well as any rich-dark topsoil.
2. Till the soilThe first step in creating a soil cement surface is to till the soil to a depth of at least 4 inches (walkway) or 6 inches (driveway).
3. Clear the organic matterRemove all organic matter from the tilled soil. This would include weeds, grass and roots.
4. Install edgingThe simplest edging for a soil cement surface is treated lumber.
5. Spread the cementYou will need about three to four pounds of portland cement for each square foot of your soil cement surface. Use a bit less for soils with a lot of sand or gravel, and a bit more for soils with more clay or organic matter. Carefully scatter one bag of dry cement over the tilled surface, and then work the cement into the soil with your tiller.
6. Smooth the surfaceUse a long board to smooth the surface. Move the board back and forth (a helper is useful here) much like you would when screeding wet concrete. Tamp the surface until it is firm. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with another bag of cement.
7. Add the waterOnce the full surface has had the soil and cement mixture applied, worked in and tamped down, it's time to add some water. Use a garden hose to spray water evenly over the entire surface. Let that water soak in a bit, then add some more water.
8. Roll the surfaceLet the surface dry just long enough so that it is no longer sticky. Now, use a roller to smooth and compact the surface. Once you are satisfied with the surface, cover it with plastic.
9. Let it cureKeep the surface covered with plastic for several days. Don't walk or drive on the surface for at least a week.
That's it. Once cured, you should be able to enjoy an inexpensive, solid surface for decades to come.