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Wed Oct 24, 2012, 12:37 AM

advice for simple stone path

Hello all,

i'm a first-time homeowner, and want to start my first landscaping project this winter by building a simple garden path, between the house and fence. The photo below from thestonestore.com is what i have in mind.

So, i want to run the basic procedures past you.

(1) Dig down along the path by several inches, depth being the thickness of the flagstone, so that it is level with the surrounding ground. I figured it should not be higher since I don't want water flowing towards the house walls.

(2) Lay down landscape fabric along the excavated path.

(3) Place flagstone above the landscape fabric.

(4) I want to fill the gaps between the flagstone with gravel, and also add moss in some areas.

I'm planning to do this pretty slowly over several weekend so i don't over-exert myself (easily fatigued/medical reasons). It's something i really want to do myself without any physical help. The scope of the project is similar to that in the photo.

And advice (incl. tool recommendations)? I'm very interested in any suggestions you have to get this done right the first time.

Thanks in advance!


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Reply advice for simple stone path (Original post)
shireen Oct 2012 OP
jeff47 Oct 2012 #1
shireen Oct 2012 #2
NMDemDist2 Oct 2012 #3
shireen Oct 2012 #4
Wash. state Desk Jet Oct 2012 #5
shireen Oct 2012 #7
Wash. state Desk Jet Oct 2012 #8
fern Oct 2012 #6

Response to shireen (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 01:21 AM

1. You're close

First, you actually want to put the flagstone in the gravel, not the gravel between the flagstone. You'll need to dig it deeper than the thickness of the stone - at least 2" deeper, but 4" would be better. Put in most of the gravel, and then put the stone on the gravel. That way you can adjust the gravel so that the stone comes out even and there's no trip hazards.

Second, you missed compaction. You'll want to compact the gravel before you put in the stone so that the gravel doesn't settle. The easiest way to do that is to rent a plate compactor and run it over the gravel. It resembles a lawnmower, but with a solid metal plate on the bottom that vibrates. Your other alternatives are a hand tamp, or hosing it down and stomping the hell out of it and hoping for the best.

Third, if you want any plants to grow, you will need dirt instead of gravel. And keeping the weeds out of it could be tricky unless you plant a ground cover that will completely fill the spaces between the stones.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 03:25 PM

2. thank you!

It's a bit more complex than i thought .... but still doable.



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Response to shireen (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 08:25 PM

3. sand is better than gravel in my experience

sand will give a smoother base and you just use a broom to spread it between the stones.

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 10:32 PM

4. thanks! eom

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Response to shireen (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 01:37 AM

5. The pic. you posted is a traditional stone walk way.

and as it is -is the best way to do it if your going to use that material.On that particular I would not go 4 inchs deeper to add sand or gravel. Bricks yes,but not stones in effort to create a natural seeming stone walkway.Your pic. shows the natural effect with growth and plant life growing between the stones.

Not sure about the landscape liner because you do want growth between the rocks. I suppose if it were me given it is recommended I might spread the liner.

On tools, the shovel doesn't interest me so much these days although I spent my time in the trench's over the years.
A rotor tiller is the way to go for that project !You can rent one from a tool rental store- some home depot's have tool rentals.

The rotor tiller will take the ground down to the depth you require and of course you will need a shovel to move the dirt out. But the roto tiller cuts the hard work part of it in half.

If the soil is hard meaning not friendly shovel wise, the tiller will indeed save your back ! Actually it will surprise how much easier the roto tiller makes the job.


Fairly inexpensive to rent for an afternoon.


Good luck with your project.



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Response to Wash. state Desk Jet (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:42 PM

7. thanks for your comments

I was worried about the digging, and your suggestion for a rotor tiller is a good one. But I looked online at the machine at HD's rental, and it looks really big! So I'm considering getting a small tiller for myself, something i can use to dig a small section at a time.

Thank you!

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Response to shireen (Reply #7)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 09:50 PM

8. Before you buy a tiller if that is what you are going to do

,look up all tool rental stores in your area- Hertz tool rentals is always good and carry a good selection of tools. There are choices inn the size rotor tiller you want. Agree a smaller tiller and of course the gas engine type will do it for you.

Google tool rentals in your locality ,use the rental on this project ,get the experience you need on the rental -you can rent a small one-, .And call the rental places to find out if they have the tiller you want to rent. It is out there !

That will give you a much better idea what type of tiller you want to buy.

Also, tell the clerk at the rental store what you want to do ,and say you don't want equipment you yourself can't handle.

also look on e bay and craigslist garden tools !

As a rule,you can rent by the day - half day ,by the week or month. Rental prices vary so look around.

Good luck.

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Response to shireen (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 04:26 AM

6. lovely!

 

nt

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