Landscape Stepping Stones

step stone pathway

Garden pathways made from stepping stones are a natural way to create a simple walkway thru your yard or garden. The main materials for stepping stone pathways are brick, natural stone or concrete. Natural stone that is quarried locally in your area is usually cost effective and looks like it belongs. Pre-cast concrete stepping stones can be found at your local garden center and come in many shapes, colors and sizes. If you are really industrious you can make your own stepping stones by using concrete mix and a mold that is sold at most home stores or garden centers. Bricks or pavers can be arranged in many different configurations to create whimsical steps.

This article will teach you how to install landscape stepping stones for your garden.

brief how to

  1. Decide On The Landscape Stepping Stone Pathway Location
  2. Place The Stones
  3. Dig Out The Turf Beneath Each Stone
  4. Install The Sand And Stone

tools and materials

  • Landscape stepping stones made of the material of your choice
  • Shovel
  • Garden hose
  • Sand, sold at most home and garden stores

step 1 Decide On The Landscape Stepping Stone Pathway Location

The best way to decide on the route of your landscape stepping stone pathway is to walk it. Use the garden hose to draw the outline of your new pathway. Garden hoses work well for this because you can easily curve it or straighten it out (and move it altogether) to get your pathway exactly where you want it.

You may already have decided on the stepping stone pathway route because it is the way you naturally walk thru your yard. Or you may be starting from scratch and want to add a decorative pathway feature to your yard. Either way you should walk the route several times making sure it is going to be built where you want it and where it will be used.

It may help to draw a plot plan of your yard and draw the pathway on it. This helps to see the whole picture and plan out future items you may want to install so the finished yard will flow together nicely. Read the article Make A Plot Plan Of Your Property to learn how to make a plot plan.

step 2 Place The Stones

With the garden hose still in place, start placing the stone material inside the outline of the landscape stepping stone pathway. Take the time to place each garden stepping stone exactly as you want it. Take into account things like your walking stride and spacing between stones.

It is not necessary to place the stones exactly where you think you might step. If the steps are within 2 to 4 inches from each other there will be enough hard surface to protect the grass growing between the stones.

stepping stone pathway spacing

step 3 Dig Out The Turf Beneath Each Stone

If you let the stones sit for a few days they will start to kill the grass beneath them which may make it easier to know where to dig. If you want to start immediately you can step on the stone enough to press it into the grass and make an imprint. Remove the stone and dig out the turf inside the outline. Dig out enough turf for the thickness of the stone and about one inch to two inches of sand. When you are finished the top of the stone will be flush with the top of the earth, (not the top of the cut grass).

step 4 Install The Sand And Stone

Using gravel or sand below each paver allows water to drain more easily, helps keep the landscape stepping stone more stable and makes it easier to set each stone level.

Install The Sand: Place enough sand in the hole so that when the garden stepping stone is placed on top of it the stone will be the same height, flush, with the top of the earth.

Place The Stone: Place the garden stepping stone on the sand and make sure the top is flush with top of the earth. You will probably need to remove and replace the stone several times, adding or removing and smoothing the sand, to get it flat and at the right height.

Fill Around The Stone: Fill in around the stone with soil that was removed to make room for the stone. Grass will grow back in this soil.

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