A crushed stone path can add a rustic charm to your garden. It is also cheaper and easier than many of the alternatives. It is a job that you should be able to manage on your own with a basic set of DIY skills and experience. This will save you even more cash over having a tradesman doing it. Crushed stone is generally cheaper and easier to install than a cement base. Without the necessity to spend hundreds of dollars on landscaping experts, a crushed stone path or patio can still look just as good as anything else.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Measuring tape
- Wooden stakes
- Crushed stone
- Plate compactor
- Hand tamper
- Garden hose
- Edging material
Step 1 – Plan and Outline Your Crushed Stone Path
Before you decide where to locate the path, be sure that there are no cables or plumbing installed under the ground in that area. To confirm this, you may want to contact your utility companies before starting work. When you have established where the path is going to go, you will be ready to mark an outline of it in the ground. You can use wooden stakes with string tautly tied between them to mark the boundaries of the path. Alternatively, you can use spray paint or something similar.
Step 2 – Dig Out the Area
Within the outline of the path defined by the boundaries that you established in the previous step, a pit will need to be made. Using the shovel, dig an evenly deep foundation to about 8 inches in depth. Make sure that the surface is level throughout. Be careful when removing the turf if you want to use these elsewhere in your garden later on. When this is done, install edging into the edges of the foundation. You can purchase edging kits from a home improvement store or garden center and they normally include everything that you need. This is also the time to lay down plastic sheeting to resist growth of weeds.
Step 3 – Apply the Crushed Stone and Sand
Fill the foundation with crushed stone to no more than 2 inches of depth. Go over the entire path with a plate compactor to get the surface level and properly compacted down. Apply a second layer of roughly the same thickness after the first has been compacted. Once again, use the plate compactor to firmly pack the stone down. The surface should be about 4 inches below ground level at this point. Apply a layer of sand on top of this, leaving enough space between the sand and ground level for the pavers to be installed so that they are flush with the surrounding ground. This will be about 2 inches.
Step 4 – Apply Pavers and Sand
Install the pavers into the sand, making sure that they are flush together of that is the look you want. Secure them firmly in place by going over the path with the hand tamper, making sure that the surface is level throughout. Finally, either apply more sand to the surface and use the broom to sweep the sand across the surface so that it fills the joints, or add more gravel until it is flush with the pavers to create a navigable surface and completes the look of your crushed stone path.