pavers for lawn

chriso4012November 12, 2007

Hi , i'm new so sorry if i'm in the wrong place:

Want to replace my lawn with pavers/ thyme. I know it looks good as a small patio, but does anyone have any idea if this is realistic for a 700 sq ft area? If i space them 8" apart do you think that would cut down on the heat problem? Gets 100 here some days. Also if anyone knows dogs---do you think there would be a dog pee smell problem? ( impregnating the pavers forever)

Thanks

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

How much do you love hand weeding?

Are you allergic to beestings?

Do your neighbours grow plants that move the seeds by wind?

How often can you hose down the area to dilute the dog pee?

What other tight groundcover plants could you use - with maybe a few patches of aromatic thyme - that withstand the heat and take longer to go patchy?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 5:38PM
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davisgard

I've done a lot of paver and flagstone projects, but none spaced 8 inches apart. What size pavers are you talking about? The big 12" or 18" squares? If they are eight inches apart, I wonder if you will create a very uneven walking surface.

I'm not sure how relevant my experience is to yours since I did the projects differently. I did try to space flagstone a few inches apart, putting in soil, and planting in between (blue star creeper, not thyme). I live in Davis, outside Sacramento, and the blue star creeper didn't survive--I think because of the heat (also 100+ degrees in the summer.) The cracks weren't large enough to give the roots enough moisture and the plants were too close to the hot stone (that's my guess anyway).

In general, I've found for my projects it has worked best to butt the pavers up as close as possible (to cut down on weeds) and to use decomposed granite (not sand) in between the joints--sand is too loose and it blows away and can be easily tracked into the house. Because the decomposed granite packs, it is generally less hospitable to weeds.

I have a couple of dogs and haven't found any pee smell in the pavers. The dogs prefer to go in the dirt (my hope) or on the lawn (often their choice). Outside airs things pretty well anyway.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 6:11PM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

I agree with Davissue. I did about a 15' x 15' with pavers and thyme about 5 or 6 yrs. ago. I only left about 4-5" between the pavers and the walking surface is still uneven. I wish I had butted them closer. Maybe one day, if I ever get the energy and run out of other projects, I'll lift them and redo them closer...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 10:01PM
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chriso4012

Thanks for the responses. I was planning on planting elfin thyme in the sun and corsican mint in the shadier area. Sounds like i shoulod go closer together. Was trying to save the roots, and make it look less chopped up (because it is such a large expanse) and saving $ ($400/ton, need 4 tons) by putting wider apart. My husband INSISTS on greenery rather than all flagstone. Should i do flagstone instead of the pavers (my path is pavers)?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 2:09AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Not knowing how much sun the area gets, I would worry about the reflected heat from pavers. Our paved patio was a summer heat magnet before I built an arbor with evergreen vine growing on it. Al

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 9:44AM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

Flagstone would look nicer than pavers, unless you were considering some of the really nice finished pavers. But then you have to use a little more care and thought to laying it as flagstone doesn't have the nice squared edges of pavers. It's kind of like fitting a jigsaw puzzle together.

wanda

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 10:03AM
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lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

Hi, I just had my inground pool removed (Yay!) and am laying the broken cement decking down like flagstone. It looks enough like flagstone when it's done, it's plentiful and it's free. If you see some concrete being broken up, it's pretty easy to get them to deliver it for free too, since it costs quite a bit to dump. You may want to post on the Garden Junk forum. They have lots of good ideas over there for this kind of stuff. One lady said she drug it home and just cut out spots for the cement in her existing grass and is happy with it. It gets mowed like usual. Not sure what to plant in between yet, maybe stonecrop or thyme. Hope that helps, Linda

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 2:42AM
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sputnikfarm

I did a quarter of the yard in 18" concrete pavers at the last house. I leveled the ground and tamped it, and only used a 1" gap between pavers and filled the gap with dark mulch for a nice contrast. They did tend to move around a little bit and I re-leveled them every few years. I think a crushed rock base, or a sand base with a healthy dollop of concrete under each paver, may have been a better way to go. We also put in a flagstone patio with 3-4" gaps around the stone for vegetation. I tried many thymes and mosses but the only thing that could handle the sun and foot traffic was Dymondia. I would highly recommend it in a full sun high traffic area.

Here is a link that might be useful: dymondia

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 1:20PM
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