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Loving Your Little Landscape

I have never been a natural gardener. For years, I struggled to keep basic houseplants alive, only to kill them at the first opportunity. It was difficult and stressful to buy a home with a yard, but I knew that I might be able to learn what I was doing wrong and correct the problem. To start off, I focused heavily on the lawn, and tried hard to keep it trimmed and well-maintained. Next, I cleaned up the flowerbeds. It was a lot of work, but I knew that it would pay off in the end. When I was done, my front yard was gorgeous, and guess what--it even stayed alive. This blog is all about loving your little landscape.

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Loving Your Little Landscape

Site Prep – Building A Good Foundation Under Landscape Pavers

by Charlotte White

Stone pavers come in a variety of shapes, colors, and styles. You can use them to build walkways, patios, or other surfaces to enhance your landscape. An important step in the installation of pavers is the foundation. Without a good foundation your pavers can shift out of place, or settle causing you problems. Here are some tips to make sure you prepare a good foundation for whatever type of project you choose using landscape pavers.

Area Size

You will need to dig the area for your project at least a few inches wider than the actual dimensions. A good rule to use is to make this area six to twelve inches bigger on any given side. This will allow you room to work, plus it is a lot easier to fill in after your pavers are installed than it is to correct mistakes as you go.

Dig down at least five times the thickness of the pavers. This will allow each of the two foundation layers to be twice the thickness of your pavers.

Gravel

The base layer is made up of a gravel type component. Pea gravel, or small size riverbed stone, is the best for this initial layer. Once you get the gravel layer level, compact the stone using a hand packer, or a machine compactor. This layer will allow you to compensate for changes in elevation, plus allow water to drain easily from your paved surface.

Weed Barrier

Before you begin with the next layer, you would be wise to consider putting down a sheet of porous landscape cloth. While this will help a little with keeping weeds from growing up between your pavers, the primary reason for adding a layer of cloth is to help keep the final layer of leveling sand from bleeding down into your gravel.

This is a step that is often skipped. Skipping a cloth barrier can cause problems when after a time your paved surface begins to show areas of unevenness from settling, as the sand bleeds down through the gravel base.

Leveling Sand

The next layer is made up of what is called leveling sand. This is the part of your foundation where you make final adjustments to evenness before laying the individual pavers.

A trick to getting this area perfectly level is to flood it with water. Cover the leveling sand layer completely with water, then let the water settle. Any remaining puddles will show places where the sand is low, or places where the foundation needed to settle. Fill these areas and repeat this process at least two more times. You will now have a good foundation in place for installing your pavers.

Building a sidewalk, patio, or garden project out of pavers can add a nice touch to your landscape design. Making sure you have a good foundation under your pavers will allow them to hold their position, giving you years of enjoyment. For assistance, talk to a professional like Premier Lawn and Landscape Design.

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