Monday, May 18, 2015

Finishing Yard by Yard

For as long as we've lived in our house, our back yard has always been a little "distraught". Over time, we've worked a little at a time, until we have started to have a decent back yard. We still have about half way to go, but we are getting there.

Our latest project has been adding some raised garden beds.  We had done the raised beds a few years ago, but we started adding another one.  It's now in place, with a drip irrigation in position, but no dirt yet.  We will be adding the dirt when we can, but while waiting, I wanted to "finish" the other raised beds with some pavers.  There were weeds growing in between, and it was just plain ugly.

First raised garden bed

Middle path

The result is not bad at all!  I'd suggest anyone can do pavers using the following :
  1. Determine the square footage of area you want to cover.  Our little area is 9980 square inches, or about 70 square feet.
  2. Procure the materials.  If you use your blue box or orange box stores (e.g. Lowes or Home Depot), in the garden center, they will have paver materials.  They'll usually have a chart showing how much you will need.
    • Gravel/"road base" - The rule of thumb is dependent on if you are doing this for a driveway, or a walkway/patio (e.g. weight it will hold).  The driveway will need about 4 inches of gravel base, while the patio/walkway only needs 1 inch.
    • Paver sand - You will need about 1"
    • Pavers
    • I suggest a weed mat to slow the growth of nefarious foliage.
  3. Once ready to start, dig the soil to a level surface about the height of the pavers down plus 2-5 inches (depending on the amount of gravel you will use).  Discard the soil you remove.
  4. Lay down the gravel base to the depth you need.
  5. Drop the weed mat down.  If it's one of those multi-colored mats, the colored side usually goes up, but read the directions on it to make sure.
  6. Place a 1" layer of paver sand down, and spread it even.
  7. Install the pavers in the pattern you wish.  If you want it to be strong, use an interlaced or woven pattern.
  8. Place a little paver sand on top, and sweep into the cracks.  This is intended to freeze the pavers into place.
The end result is much better than what was there :

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