A few weeks ago I completed a 60 ft. walkway with small to medium size
flagstone (3/4 inch to 1 1/2 inch thick) I wanted a "natural" look so
I layed them all directly on the dirt, sweeping in the cracks slightly
- planted steppables in between. Problem is they're all very mobile.
Not a sturdy path at all. Any 'fix' suggestions? Fill the cracks
with sand? more dirt? gravel? Or will they settle in a few years?
I'm not opposed to tearing it all up I just had wanted something very
natural and it does look good!
Thank you very much!
Ft Wayne, IN
P.S. These stones range from football size to 16" pizza size
P.P.S. I don't mind a little movement - I just don't want someone to
get hurt (twist an ankle)
Its times like those when you ponder "What would Bob Vila do?"
Its always much easier to plan carefully in advance than to mess up a job
and try to figure out what you did wrong after the fact, isn't it?
Your time would be better spent watching the Home and Garden channel instead
of "Home Improvement" with Tim Allen! Argh, Argh, Argh!!
Been there. Done that (albeit on a smaller scale). Ripped it up and
They'll settle but probably more than you would like. Depending on the
type of soil you have, they may actually start sinking below the level of
the soil. They will become more stable as they settle but they'll never
be as firm underfoot as they would be if you'd laid them on a proper base.
You may also find that the thinner stones will tend to crack.
Alas, I don't think there is an easy fix, short of making it a path "for
looking at only". You could tackle it bit by bit, lifting each stone,
excavating, and putting in a base. There's a reason that even a 'natural'
flagstone path laid directly into grass (and mowable) needs to have base
under each stone.
The Garden Gate http://garden-gate.prairienet.org
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In areas that experience severe winter cold, flagstone paths should be
seated in at least 4 inches (6 is better) of fine crushed rock or very
coarse sand to prevent frost heaving. Without this, you may find next spring
that your path is considerably more uneven and unstable than it is now.
And while it may *look* good now, it will likely look not nearly as good
after the winter has its way with it. And although I hate to suggest that
you redo it, my experience as both a gardener and a professional landscape
designer indicates that for maximum and long-term appeal and usability you
avoid most shortcuts and take the recommended, tried and true approach.
Most building materials and/or landscape supply outfits provide instructions
on how to design and install pathways. And there are countless DIY
landscaping books that outline the same. And Stephen's suggestion to watch a
little of the HGTV gardening how-to shows is a pretty good one - one can
gather a lot of practical info from some of these shows.
pam - gardengal
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