How to lay stepping stones

Do it:

Mar

Takes just:

two hours

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Mar, Apr, May, Dec, Jan, Feb, Sep, Oct, Nov

A path in a lawn can become a feature in its own right. Where constant use is likely to wear bare patches in a lawn, an inexpensive solution is to set stepping stones into the ground at regular, paced-out intervals and sow grass seed around the stones. Choose stones that are attractive and practical to walk on.

You will need

Stones

A garden fork

A spade

A rubber mallet

A cane

A riddle or sieve

A soft brush

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Mark out the path and lay all the stones in place to check spacing before digging. Loosen compacted soil with a garden fork, removing any stones or roots you come across.

Dig a hole for each of your stepping stones that measures 2cm deeper than the thickness of the stone. Then spread a 1.5cm layer of sharp sand in the hole.

The stones should lie just below the level of the surrounding soil so that you can mow over them, rather than having to go around. Tap down firmly with a rubber mallet.

Place a cane over the stepping stone to check that it sits lower than the level of your lawn. This is to ensure that your lawnmower blades will be able to pass over it.

Use a riddle or sieve to shake soil into the gaps around the stones, pushing it down firmly with your fingers, so that there are no spaces around the edges.

Gently loosen soil around the stones with a rake and scatter a mixture of riddled soil and grass seed, spreading with a soft brush. Alternatively, you can plant low-growing alpines, or similar plants, imbetween the stones. Water it well unless rain is imminent.

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