General Discussion:

Building a path, need advice


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Odette01-Sep-00 03:08 PM EST   
liz02-Sep-00 12:15 AM EST   
02-Sep-00 01:36 PM EST   
Tess02-Sep-00 01:50 PM EST   
Janet02-Sep-00 08:11 PM EST   
Odette03-Sep-00 10:39 AM EST   
Linda09-Sep-00 06:50 PM EST   
Odette11-Sep-00 10:48 AM EST   
Grace11-Sep-00 01:16 PM EST   
Linda11-Sep-00 09:51 PM EST   
Melissa13-Sep-00 11:22 AM EST   
Odette18-Sep-00 08:01 PM EST   
Wilma19-Sep-00 09:51 PM EST   


Subject: Building a path, need advice
From: Odette
Zone:
Date: 01-Sep-00 03:08 PM EST

I've planning to build a path in my garden, of flagstones. I want to leave some space between the stones to grow creeping thyme and irish moss. Right now, though, the path area is covered with weeds. I've pulled them out, but as soon as I've finished at one end, they've grown back at the other end. I've been thinking of a labour-saving method, and want your opinion as to whether it would work: I'd like to leave the weeds, cover them with newspaper or landscaping fabric (newspaper would be cheaper, so I'm leaning that way), place the stones on top of the paper (the stones are 2 to 3 inches thick, so I've been told I don't need to bother with crushed stone under them), place nice clean soil between the stones & plant my thyme & irish moss. What do you think? Sounds a lot easier than pulling out all those weeds, right? Or will the darned things fight their way through? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From: liz
Zone:
Date: 02-Sep-00 12:15 AM EST

On the subject of landscape fabric vs. newspaper. DON'T USE LANDSCAPE FABRIC. As a landscape maintenance gardener for the past 6 years there is nothing worse than working in a garden that has landscape fabric. Very few people realize that weeds will grow right through landscape cloth. Heck they can grow through pavement so what's a little fabric. When you try to weed an area that has been covered in fabric you can only pull off the top of weed. The roots are below the fabric and thats where they stay, and stay and stay. In addition contrary to the advertising landscape fabric is not the best at allowing water through it. So in any area where you plan to plant anything I don't recommend fabric. For areas without plant material it is acceptable but it is still easier to pull weeds out of soil than fabric. Good luck on the path.


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From:
Zone:
Date: 02-Sep-00 01:36 PM EST


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From: Tess
Zone:
Date: 02-Sep-00 01:50 PM EST

Do you want the stones flush with the ground, or do you want it raised? If you want it on ground level, you will have to dig down a few inches and place at least 10 layers of newspapers. These seem to work very well, and then place your flagstone on top. We use the newspaper under mulch, where there are no plants, like under trees. I don't know if you can just place the newspaper on the lawn then just place the rock on that. I really think you have to dig down first. We have done some pathways and it seems to work better this way. We have always used crushed stone under the rocks, or sand, this saves with any heaving from frost. Try it with rock alone and maybe that will be fine. Good luck.


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From: Janet
Zone:
Date: 02-Sep-00 08:11 PM EST

I absolutely agree with Liz - don't use landscape fabric! Mostly I use thick layers of newspapers with woodchips for my paths, but where I'd used landscape fabric, it was like a green light for quack grass & some other spreading weeds. When I lifted the landscape fabric, there was a complete mass of roots under & through the fabric. I renew my woodchip paths each year, with fresh newspaper too, and don't have a problem with weeds (but the woodchips decompose, that's why I renew the paths!). For my gravel paths, I dig at least a foot down (probably excessive!) and reuse the soil elsewhere. And Tess is right that it probably won't work as well if you just put the newspaper on the lawn with gravel on top. One other thing I've found... be sure to make your paths wide enough for people to confortably walk, and to allow for some invasion of plants from either side.


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From: Odette
Zone:
Date: 03-Sep-00 10:39 AM EST

Thank you all so much for the advice on using newspaper rather than fabric. You've no doubt saved me a lot of aggravation, not to mention money. To answer Tess's question - I want the stones flush with the ground, rather than raised, and that's why I would add fresh soil between them, to raise the soil up to the level of the stone (there is raised garden beds on each side of the path, so the path will still be lower than each side). Janet, you've made me rethink the width of one part of the path: you're right, when plants invade a bit, that part may be a bit narrow for comfort. I will widen it there. This site (and you helpful people) is/are wonderful. Thanks again.


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From: Linda
Zone:
Date: 09-Sep-00 06:50 PM EST

Odette, Can you wait till Spring to build your path? Very early this Spring, while the grass and weeds were still dormant, I spaded up a flower area that I got tired of weeding. Then I put down a layer of plain black plastic (the trash bag type), poured a layer of white gravel on top, just enough to cover the black plastic, and then surrounded the area with edging to keep grass & weeds from coming in at the sides. I planted what I wanted through slits in the plastic before I applied the gravel. That was early this Spring, and I have yet to have a single weed come through. The white gravel looks neat and clean. Also I have had to do only a small amount of watering, partly due to our wet summer, but also because the plastic helps hold in the moisture. Perhaps you could use a similar method using flagstones, instead of the gravel. I am planning to do more areas in my yard next Spring. This worked great for me! P.S. If you don't want to wait for next Spring when the weeds are dormant, you might try just mowing the weeds down short on a sunny day,and then spray them with white vinegar, wait a few hours for the weeds to die, and then apply the black plastic,slit some holes & add fresh potting soil, plant your Irish Moss and thyme, and then add your flagstones and possibly some edging. (The vinegar combined with the sun will kill the weeds, but won't harm the environment like the weed killers.) Just a suggestion.


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From: Odette
Zone:
Date: 11-Sep-00 10:48 AM EST

Thank you, Linda, and everyone else who gave advice. I still don't have the rocks, so I think I will wait til spring to put in the path. You've all given me so much good advice. I'm anxious to try the vinegar idea. Sounds so simple. Not sure about the plastic. So much to think about. Thank you.


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From: Grace
Zone:
Date: 11-Sep-00 01:16 PM EST

Linda, WHITE VINEGAR for killing WEEDS? You've GOT to be kidding!! I've never heard of that. Will this work everywhere and on stuff like thistles in my flowerbeds without killing anything beside it? So, do I use it straight, and how much does it take to kill the weeds? This is fantastic! Can I use it in between my rows of veggies? I don't have a lightweight rototiller.


Subject: RE: White Vinegar
From: Linda
Zone:
Date: 11-Sep-00 09:51 PM EST

Hi Grace, I use it straight from the jug. ( I buy it in 1 gallon containers, and then take a sprayer from a windex bottle and set it inside the jug and go around squirting weeds, etc.) I think it depends on how much root the weed has as to whether it kills the root or just the top . I usually mow down the tops first and then spray what is left of the top of the weed. It isn't always a permanent solution bcause the spray only gets at the top of the weed. I guess if you poured it on what you want to destroy it would be more of a permanent solution than just spraying the top. But this seems to work okay for me. What I like about it is the fact that you aren't endangering any insects or animals or the environment. I am using white vinegar to replace bleach in my household, because I found out that the manufacturing and the use of ANY chlorine products, including PVC products , is causing the destruction of our upper ozone, which in turn is causing breakdowns in our immune systems. More people having allergies, cancers, etc. I'm trying to do my small part in savng the environment for this generation's children by also recycling (newspapers, cardboard, cans, plastic jugs, etc..) And by avoiding as much as possible products put out by Monsanto, DuPont, etc. Thanks for asking about the vinegar. Hope it will help with your weeding. As I've mentioned, it works best when the sun is shining on it. Another thing you might want to be aware of is don't use treated wood, especially in areas where children play, or in vegetable gardens. It is bad stuff .And if you have any of it, don't cut it up, and don't try to burn it. It's best to leave it alone. On a lighter note, hope your gardening is going well-- and hope you'll start carrying home those gallon jugs of white vinegar from the grocery store! Linda


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From: Melissa
Zone:
Date: 13-Sep-00 11:22 AM EST

We were given alot of flagstones this spring by our neighbour. We too decided to build a path. We rented a rottotiller and tilled down about 4 inches and removed all the dirt from this area. Then we filled in 1 to 11/2 inches of sand and then placed the stones down. Fill in the spaces with clean topsoil and away we went. We allowed it to settle all summer to ensure that there wasn't any stones that were not level. I weeded the area twice this summer and am not finding many weeeds growing now. In the spring we will also be planting irish moss between the stones. Good luck with yours!


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From: Odette
Zone:
Date: 18-Sep-00 08:01 PM EST

Thanks, Melissa, and everyone else who answered me. I found a web-site at Etera Tutorials that has step-by-step instructions, complete with pictures, on how to build a flagstone pathway, and they suggest putting sand underneath also. The rototiller idea sounds like a good one too. Looks like I'll be putting the path in in the spring. Thanks again to everyone.


Subject: RE: Building a path, need advice
From: Wilma
Zone:
Date: 19-Sep-00 09:51 PM EST

You could try using a few layers of cardboard under your flagstones instead of newspaper. Cardboard allows you to cover larger areas more quickly and is easier to handle if you're working alone or on a windy day.


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