I want to put a path down the centre of my allotment and contain it
within a wooden framework.
I am thinking of using long lengths of gravel boards, on either side of
the path, that are 6" x 1" and screwing these onto 2ft 6" stakes that I
will hammer into the ground. Is this a good way to go?
The stakes are 2" x 2" and I am thinking of cutting the ends to a 45
degree angle so as to ease them into the ground when I hammer them in.
Is this good or would a shallower angle be better?
I used to have a problem under a high wooden deck, where nothing would
grow and the rain would splash red mud against the siding. It was a
mess. I used an idea from a state park. Used 6x6 PT timbers and
drilled 2 or 3 1/2" holes in each timber to drive rebar sections. The
rebar sections were driven into the ground at 90 degrees. I used a
penetrating stain matching the deck. I laid down landscaping fabric
and filled it with crushed limestone. It has been there for over 14
years and still looks great and no more mud splashing. Critters
don't like walking on the gravel either. Driving wooden stakes into
the ground won't last long as rebar.
rebar is a concrete reinforcement bar, the metal rods they use to reinforce
large pours of concrete in wall and bridges and the like. I picked up lots
of pieces of rebar trimmings around construction sites for use in my
There are some people in this group who strongly feel that unless you do
everything in your garden precisely engineered to last the next 200 years
and require a carting service to freight your materials you aren't doing it
properly. I disagree. I had a neighbor who used his empty beer bottles
pushed willy nilly into the dirt to line paths, whatever, it worked for him.
There were days when I'd see him on the ground resetting the beer
bottles....while he drank another cold one. I realize there's plenty of
people who think he should have mortared them in using all sorts of formulas
and exact techniques, set up elaborate alignment and holding mechanisms or
wouldn't even consider the bottles in their gardens at all.
Yes, your original idea will work.....for awhile anyway. Yes, you can pound
those stakes into the ground and screw the side boards to them. It probably
won't last more than a few years but it will work. I used rebar as the
stakes to hold 1x6 boards on path edging, one bar in the middle and one on
each end on the opposite side of the up ended board. Instead of landscape
cloth I used thick layers of wet newspaper and discarded carpet scraps
putting them down backside up and covering with wood chips. The frame
contained the wood chips just fine. They didn't float anywhere and we get
buckets of rain in Seattle. I happened to use this method and materials
because it's what I had at the time. It worked fine just as yours will work
just fine. As my garden evolved so did I and the construction projects.
And Ed, if it doesn't work out quite as you expected, who cares! Stand back,
see what went wrong, what you have handy to fix it so it works for you.
There really aren't any garden police you know ;)
Bottles pushed into the soil as an edging are very traditional in cottage
gardens. I'm delighted to hear that this historic and frugal practice is
still in use. Bottles are also an extremely tough and environmentally
Doesn't really pay to make your own... it's plenty cheap enough at
Loews/HomeDepot, and much better quality concrete than what you can prepare
yourself. Only difficult part is to haul it home, but still way less
laborious than preparing your own.
We laid a path down the centre of ours, rabbit fences make side paths a
pain, and used old (London type) paving slabs which we got cheap from a
reclamation place. Very heavy but movable with two doing the job, a sack
trolley helps too. Wear strong gloves. The firm we used delivered them to
the allotment free.
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