Ideas & Inspiration
Safe Footing for Garden Paths
Garden paths are like hallways in a home. Every garden needs them to help navigate the space and lead you through the landscape both visually and physically.
Paths can be made of almost anything, including grass, mulch, pine needles, gravel or pavers.
Eventually, all paths need repair to stay safe, manageable and attractive. Depending on the material, you may need to repair paths yearly, or every few years.
- Mow or trim grass paths with a string trimmer every week or two. This discourages pests, and keeps the path neat and tidy.
- Replenish bark or pine needle mulch at least once a year. Use composted mulch around trees or to top garden beds. Keep track of the number of bags or square feet you use each year in a garden journal for easy reference.
- Choose sturdier materials such as gravel or decomposed granite. However, like wood mulch, in heavy rains, it will sometimes wash away and may need replenishing. At the beginning of each season, rake gravel for more even footing and use weed killer.
- Lay brick, stone or concrete pavers. Next to poured concrete, they make the most permanent paths, but unlike concrete, they are permeable. Once laid, they need little care except occasional leveling. If pavers sink, lift and replace part of the sunken area with play sand. Check to see if it’s level, and then brush over spaces with more sand to lock pavers in place. Pressure wash as needed.