It’s a sure thing that people have gardens and backyards and love to beautify them. It often happens that people step over your freshly clipped lawn and leave you agitated.
And that is where the Pathways come in. Most of them have signs like “Go this way” or “Hey! Walk here”.
Sure, installing a walkway is a tiring and a bit expensive task, but it’s worth it. Pathways enhance the beauty of your garden, giving it a specific style or a casual or formal look. Pathways are welcoming in a way such that it leaves man no choice but to walk upon it.
When talking about pathways, gravel pathways make the most economical choice as compared to paved pathways.
They are visually appealing, easy to install, economical, and demand little maintenance.
But how to make a gravel pathway and that too on a slope? As difficult as it sounds, it turns out to be as much easy. To follow the step-by-step way to create a gravel path, read on.
Things You Need
The things you need to install a perfect gravel path for your garden are as follows:
- Shovel (squared is preferred)
- Metal rake
- Landscape fabric
- Crushed stone
- Tape measure
Step 1: Select The Location
The pathway on a slope is different from one on the ground. It requires more effort, better planning, and constant care.
When working with a steep slope, never make a straight pathway as it can cause serious injuries and accidents. A walkway, including a zigzag pattern, is preferred for a steep slope, as it gives better stability and balance.
After selecting the pathway, mark it using a rope, a garden hose, a spray paint, or a string. For perfect directions, use string and stakes. Bury stakes in the ground and wrap the string around each of them tightly, marking the route. Also, mark the landmarks to be avoided.
Step 2: Level Path Bed
Tie a string along the stakes to indicate where the pavers or edging will stand. The string should reach the top of the edging.
Make sure the ground is evenly flat so people can safely go up and down the walkway.
Due to the slopes hindering work at the pathway, you’ll have to do the main leveling side by side. It is better to use a shovel here as its blade will help you cut along the edges.
If you plan on using sod, use a shovel to break it into smaller sections. This way, it is easier to handle the sod.
Step 3: Excavate The Slope
Dig out the desired path using a shovel. For better excavation, mark the starting and ending points. The standard depth for digging out a slope is almost 4 inches, but you can dig a bit further if you like.
Once the excavation is complete, use a shovel to make the path even and level it. For a better idea of the depth, use a tape to measure every once in a while.
You can also take it up using a metal rake. After smoothing it out, use a hand tamper to compress the soil and give it a tidy look.
Step 4: Instill Base Of The Walkway
You can utilize various materials to build a gravel pathway. But when we talk about the base of an object, the material has to be of supreme quality.
You can either use gravel, crushed rocks, or concrete stone. However, mostly crushed rocks are used, as they provide stability and sustainability.
After compressing and smoothing out the trench, add up to 2 inches of sand for keeping balance. Smooth it out using a metal rake. Gradually instill it with almost 3 inches of crushed stone.
Rake out the surface of the crushed stones and bring it to level with the trench.
Step 5: Dampen The Surface
Next, lightly moisten the soil using a water container or a garden hose. Then, to make the surface even, smooth and hard, use a hand tamper and pound the surface a good number of times.
Compacting the surface helps keep out the dust and compresses the newly formed layer of sand and crushed stones.
Step 6: Place The Landscape Fabric Above The Surface
Lay down the landscape fabric upon the compressed stone surface, rough side down. To outline the fabric around the curves, make relief cuts along the edges. On the inside, allow the fabric to overlap at the cuts while on the outside, allow it to open up.
To avoid being irritated by the displacing of the fabric, again and again, use pins or some other sharp objects to keep the fabric from moving.
Step 7: Establish The Edging
Edging materials can vary. You can use bricks, wood, cedar, plastic, or even cobblestone edging. However, the best choice has always been Galvanized steel.
It is reliable and durable and so well-formed that it allows full access to any sort of shaping, be it curved, straight, twisted, or zig-zag. Moreover, its sturdy properties make it the best when building a sloppy pathway.
When placing the edging, don’t go on hammering it directly. It can destroy its protective zinc coating and resultantly lead to early rusting. Place the edging inside the trench and allow it to rest upon the fabric. Avoid putting much pressure over it or displacing it.
Step 8: Fix The Edging
Once you’ve placed the edging correctly, get a woodblock, and cut it according to the thickness of the edging. The cuts must be deep and wide enough to slide over the edging easily. Slide the wood block onto the edging and hammer it firmly.
Repeat the same process across all the other sections of the path, so that the edging sits perfectly.
Step 9: Install The Steps
Place the frame of the steps upon the fabric. Dilute the cement/concrete as per the directions and pour it into the frame. Remove the frame once it hardens and leave to dry completely.
Step 10: Add Gravel
Add as much gravel around the steps as required to cover the fabric and to fill the pathway. Leave half-an-inch of space at the top as to prevent the gravel from spilling. Smoothen out the gravel perfectly, making it all even.
Keep up the walkway by occasionally refilling the gravel and raking it out.
Making a pathway isn’t difficult, even if on a slope or a rough surface. It just needs a bit of determination, a good sense of formation, and fast hands.
Making a gravel pathway can be as interesting and easy that any novice DIYer can get his hands upon it (with guaranteed results).
You might reconsider your designs and want to redo them; it’s totally fine. Trust your eyes, and adjust according to your taste and mood. That being said, your pathway is ready. However, for the walkway to remain what it looks like today, it requires constant care and effort.
Maintain your pathway well and hang a sign telling which way to use, so that no one ever again loves their footprints on your lovely grass. Happy gardening to you!