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How to Pave a Garden

Garden paving

Use the same steps whether you want to pave your whole garden or just a path that goes through it. Following these steps you will be paving so that your bricks or pavers flat and in place for many years.

How to pave your garden:

Step 1: Dig out any dirt where you intend to place your bricks or pavers. Dig deep enough to hit the hard soil; you will notice this with your shovel. Usually this is around 20cm or below the surface.

Step 2: Fill this space with crushed rocks. You can buy this by the cubed metre in large home improvement shops or businesses that specifically serve landscaping clients. You can transport the crushed rocks to your home with a trailer, and to your garden with a wheelbarrow.

Do not fill the hole you have made to the top, rather leave space for the bricks or pavers you intend to use. Fill up to the depth that will allow your bricks to sit so that they are at the right height.

Next you will need to use a compounder, which can be rented for the day at any home improvement or tool hire business. Go over the crushed rocks with the compounder until the rocks have settled nice and hard. The surface should be about as strong as concrete now. Place more crushed rocks in any areas that seem to sink or are not flat, and go over them again with the compounder.

You are effectively building a base for your pavement. If you want lean your pavement slightly so water can drain when it rains, place extra crushed rocks to create the surface shape you desire. This way you can direct the flow of water in the corner or any direction you desire.

Step 3: You will need to purchase two rails which have a U shape at your local home improvement shop. The rails should be about 2m long with a U shape when looking down the rail. The height and width of this U shape should be approximately 1.5cm x 1.5cm.

Place these two rails parallel on the surface of the rocks with the open side of the rail facing up. Now bring sand, which can be bought at the above mentioned places, over the rocks and let them fill the gap between the rails. Let the sand fall into the rails too, and now flatten the sand using a level.

Compress the sand with the level, sliding the level along the rails. This will ensure the sand is flat, but also that your path will be flat. You can also use the level now to determine if your base is the correct shape you intended it to be. Slide the rails down and continue till your whole surface is covered with compressed sand. Once you finish with the rails, flip them over and let the sand fall in the gaps. Put extra sand and go over with a float to compress and level the sand in the gaps that these rails left.

Step 4: Now you can start placing your bricks or pavers. Place them in the pattern you desire, leaving 0.5-1cm gaps between them. Make sure the gaps between the bricks or pavers are all of relatively equal size. You can walk over the ones you have already placed to lay the next ones. If the bricks or pavers don’t sit flat, use a rubber mallet to hit them deeper into the sand and into place. If they sink too far, use your hands and throw some sand underneath. Use the float to make minor adjustments in the spacing. Pulling out already placed bricks or pavers is tricky and will create much more work for you as you will need to flatten the sand underneath again.

Step 5: Now that you have placed all your bricks or pavers, all flat and with equal spacing between them, pour sticky sand over them. This is effectively a compound that is like sand, but once they come into contact with water, it becomes sticky. Use a broom to fill all the gaps. Take your time and fill all the gaps and edges to the top.

Do not spray water over the path or pavement just yet! Rather double check you have filled all the gaps, as this is important to keep them all in place for the years to come. Make sure there is nothing left on the surface of the pavers or bricks themselves. Use a small hand broom to clean the surface of your bricks and or pavers.

Once you are happy that there is almost no sticky sand on the surface, all gaps have been filled, and the edges are full, take out your hose and sprinkle water over the entire surface. Do this over the whole path and take your time to ensure water has seeped into all the gaps. Once you feel the sticky sand has been sufficiently soaked, turn off your tap and allow the path or pavement to dry.

Once dry, your job is finished. You can pull out a fold-out chair and a couple of beers, and enjoy the newly made garden path or pavement you have made with your own two hands!

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