Are you thinking about installing stone pathways in your landscape but are concerned about grass and weeds overtaking the walk? If so, you can stop worrying and begin the installation process, because you have several options to ensure your pathways remain weed-free. The following will show you how to control weeds in your stone landscaping depending on the type of path you want to install.
Install the right base for gravel
When it comes to weeds invading, gravel pathways seem to be the most susceptible. This is often because a suitable base was never installed. To ensure your path stays free of weeds, you must first have the top 6-10 inches of soil removed. Follow this with the installation of edging along the perimeter of the path. Not only will the edging keep the gravel in place, it also prevents grass from encroaching on the path. Then, fill the path half-full with sand. Top this with a weed control barrier. Fabric barriers are preferable to plastic because they will last much longer. Finally, finish filling in the pathway with the gravel of choice.
Use polymeric sand for pavers
Paver pathways installed with nothing more than sand in the joints are popular because they are easy and cost effective. You can use any type of paver, from concrete "stones" and bricks to flagstones. Much like a gravel pathway, you want to start by installing a sand base, edging, and a weed barrier. Leave only a quarter to a half-inch of space between your pavers, since wider joints are more prone to shifting. The final key that will prevent weeds from overtaking the joints is to use polymeric sand, sometimes sold as paver sand. After installation, you wet this sand and it then hardens as it dries. Although not as strong as concrete, it is sufficient for preventing weeds.
Opt for mortar with brick
Brick and cut stone pathways are very attractive and they work well if you want a permanent, low maintenance option. For these to remain weed-free, mortar is your best option. The key to keeping cracks at bay so that weeds don't begin rooting in them is to install a very level base. This means carving out the base and installing sand but then following this up with forceful tamping to ensure it won't settle after the bricks and mortar are laid. You may also need to install perforated drain pipes through the base at intervals if you have a lot of moisture. This prevents the base from being washed out. If this is done, then the finished path won't settle and cause cracks in the mortar.
Contact a landscaper for more help.