I poured a concrete walkway in my back yard three days ago, and I've kept it wet, under plastic since then. Today, I removed the forms, packed sand around the edges (because I had a pile laying around, and to make weeding easier), wet it thoroughly and put the plastic back on. I know that 28 days is the standard for 99% strength, but my plan is to cure it for 7 days. [We're expecting a week of rain in a few days, so curing will continue then without my help.]
Given the time and cost of this project (relative to just making a gravel path), and what I've read about the importance of curing concrete, it makes perfect sense to me to cover it and just let it do its thing for a while.
My question: Am I babying this walkway too much, or more than normal? Every person I've mentioned the wet/plastic treatment to has questioned me, as though it is somehow unusual or unnecessary.
[My process, in case it is relevant: I used 3 inches of compacted 3/4 minus gravel, steel mesh elevated a few inches above the gravel, and poured 4 inches of 3500 psi concrete. I edged it and added expansion grooves every 5 feet.]