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Building an informal path on clay

13 years ago

We want to build an informal path in our side yard. The side yard is about 20 feet wide and the path will be about 4 feet wide. The soil where the path will be built is bare and already compacted from years of walking on it. We want to cover it with some type of path material to prevent the dirt from blowing around in a strong afternoon breeze or high winds.

We want an informal look. We already have the stepping stones (round with small polished stones laid into cement) and would like to just lay them on top of the soil and fill in around them with very small river rock, then line the path with larger stones (about 4-5 inches). We'll probably line the bottom with a good weed barrier that allows water to drain.

Will this be a problem on clay soil? I read somewhere that the practice of putting gravel and/or sand on the bottom of a path is done primarily in areas that have frost heaving. We went through a very rainy season a few years ago with only (temporary) bark mulch on this area and did not have any problems with water running toward the foundation or puddling for too long on the surface.

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Land & Water Design
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