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Stepping Stones made easy

Most gardens have a worn area across the lawn where everyone walks to get from A to B. It may be to the garden seat, the clothes line or the back pool. Constant traffic will kill the lawn and compact the soil. What is needed is a pathway.


The easiest and possible cheapest method to create a permanent pathway in the lawn or around the yard is to create a stepping stone pathway.


Rather than digging an extensive trench, having it reinforced, pouring in volumes of concrete, the stepping stone technique only requires minimal tools and can usually be completed within one day.


What is needed:

  • stepping stones ….. go to the local landscape supply yard or garden centre
  • bedding sand (or concrete)
  • spade … you should already have this
  • tape measure


Types of stepping stones

Options include concrete, slate, granite, pavers or timber sleepers.

You should choose according to the colours and style already existing in the house and surrounding garden.

Budget will govern if you buy granite compared to concrete, however each has its own attributes.

Stepping stones are the treads of the pathway. If you plan to walk on these barefoot, make sure they are smooth to your soles.

Stepping stones range in prices from $3 to $20 


Bedding sand

Bedding sand is used under the stepping stone for support, at a depth of 50mm - $40-$60 m3.

The volume of sand required is the area of the tread of the stepping stone, multiplied by 50mm.

For a stronger support, use concrete – either in the bag (Rapidset) or by the cubic metre.


Step 1.

Space out stepping stones along the pathway. If the centres of the stones are spaced about 75cm apart, this should suit most people. After placing them on the ground, walk over then a few times and make adjustments as needed.


Step 2.

Use spade to mark around each stepping stone.

Move the stone aside and dig out a flat based hole as outlined by the spade to a depth of the stone plus 50mm for the sand.


Step 3.

Place 50cm of bedding sand in each hole and tamper down.

(Alternatively, use concrete.)


Step 4.

Place the stepping stone in the hole.



Ideally the top level of the stone should be below the top level of the grass for ease of mowing.


If in the future, you do not like where you placed the pathway or wish to remove them completely, then it’s a simple case of lifting up the stepping stones (and concrete) and refilling with soil and turf.


Concrete advantages - cheap, readily available, suited to modern & contempary gardens

Granite and sandstone advantages - sense of timeliness, natural product, suited to old established homes or modern homes


BY: Paul Plant F.A.I.H. writer for HOME magazine, Courier Mail

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