Material for pathways?

photogirl11April 2, 2014

Hi! I have a new home and am working on my first pottager garden. I'm trying to figure out what material to use for my paths? I am considering 2 things, either gravel or pavers made from cement molds (as this is how I'm doing the rest of my paths and patio in the yard) 2 concerns are weeds and letting in water by an apple tree which does sit at the end of the pottager. If I do pavers water can still get through if i don't fill with cement sand, but I don't want to be weeding the cracks constantly. If I do regular sand will there still be many weeds? If I do gravel will I need to set out a weed cloth first or will the gravel over the dirt do well enough to keep down weeds?

There was already a section for garden with pretty good soil, but I've made raised beds and plan to do the 4 inner beds with Mels mix for square foot gardening and the outside with the soil.

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My experience with pavers is that no matter what you put down under them, eventually windblown soil moves into the cracks and weeds begin to flourish. I did my front walk with pavers on a 2-3" bed of sand. By the 3rd year it was a weed trap - and getting them out is a pain! I have been trying to find something to plant in the cracks that will be more aggressive than the weeds, but haven't found the solution yet.

I would go with the gravel over weed barrier myself, but it probably has its own problems - I just haven't encountered them.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 8:39AM
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All of the methods/material you are considering will have a weed control problem. The weed seeds will land on the sand, gravel, or between the cracks and germinate. I recommend pavers because they will match your other walks. You can control the weeds with boiling water, weed begone, or pulling.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2014 at 8:37AM
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Pavers + creeping thyme. Fragrance as you walk - BONUS!

Weed barriers and/or plastic break down faster than you would think, and gravel gives uncertain footing. It's a pain to roll a garden cart or wheelbarrow over it. And its ugly.

I've never had that much trouble with weeds where I've placed pavers or stepping stones - just set it up so there's enough room to run the mower through there if nothing else. (I personally have never mastered the Art of Weed Whacking, so the mower is my favorite weeding tool).

Here is a link that might be useful: Some design ideas

This post was edited by zensojourner on Sat, Oct 11, 14 at 3:45

    Bookmark   October 11, 2014 at 3:41AM
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After years of having woodchips on my potager paths and having to replenish them yearly we finally went with pavers. This was the first season for them so I don't know how they'll hold up over time, but the woodchips quickly became bedding for weeds and the yearly refurbishing got time-consuming and expensive. Another nice thing about pavers is that I suspect they also provide a damp area for desirable plant roots to flourish.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2014 at 10:10AM
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