Laying stepping stones in your yard is one of the easiest do-it-yourself projects that you can undertake when it comes to outdoor lawn and garden tasks. Of course, laying stepping stones is significantly helped by having a level yard or a nice and even slope. Whether you choose to lay a stepping stone path with round concrete or flagstone, the principle of delivery to the lawn is the same.
Begin by marking out your stepping stone’s path. A good way to do this is to draft into the project a couple of long rubber garden hoses. You can lay down each of the garden hoses parallel to each other in the pathway that your stepping stones will take on once in place. A straight walkway doesn’t really need the garden hose trick and you can just substitute stakes and two pieces of string for the hoses. Drive the stakes into where the corners of the stepping stone pathway will be located and stretch the string tight between the stakes.
The design of your stepping stone pathway can be checked by placing your stones or circular cement pieces along the path that you have marked with either the garden hoses or the stakes and string. The typical stride that a person walks is about 18 inches so try to lay the stones or flagstones at 18 inch intervals from the center of one stone to the center of the next. Walk the stepping stone pathway to make sure that it feels consistent and that you don’t find the need to take mini-steps or extra-long steps to hit the stepping stones dead center.
The next stage of development in your stepping stone pathway is to dig out a hole in the ground for each stone. The best way to accomplish this is to cut straight down around the edge of your cement stepping stone or flagstone or whatever other type of material will be used. Use a trowel to give an outline to the soil that reflects that shape of the stepping stone. Put the stone to the side and dig out the earth that is kept within the outline of the stone. Make it deep enough so that about an inch of the stone will set above the surface of the sod. Over time and through use, the stepping stone will settle downward and eliminate the potential for tripping over a stone. You have two options when it comes to setting the stepping stone in place. You can place the stone directly atop the sod or you can lay an inch worth of sand. Placing the sand an inch in depth into the stepping stone hole facilitates tamping and allows you to make the stone even and level. At least, it allows you to do tamp and even much more easily than if you place the stepping stone directly into the dirt.
Adjustment of the sand or the soil is the next stage in laying a stepping stone path. A yardstick can come in handy for making sure that all the stones are sticking up about an inch above the ground. Sod or soil is then filled in around each stone and you should firmly tamp the flagstone or circular cement stepping stone into the earth. Grab a broom to sweep dirt from the surface of your stepping stones.
The last stage of making a stepping stone pathway is making sure that use doesn’t drive the stepping stones too far down into the ground. If some stones start to get lost into the soil, simply dig them up and fill beneath with sand and tamp them back down so that they are roughly equivalent to the other stones in the pathway.