3 Alternatives To Brick That You Can Use To Make A Garden Path

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If you are looking to make a garden path, but don't want to go through the trouble of laying down brick, then you have many options. Below is a list of three materials that you can use that are all easy to lay down. They are loose, and don't require you to set them in mortar or run grout lines like brick or pavers do. Here is a brief description of each material, along with the benefits and the drawbacks of each.

Recycled Rubber Mulch

This is a type of mulch that is made from recycled rubber materials, such as tires. It is normally black, but some manufactures will dye it different colors, including tan and brick red. The advantage to using recycled rubber is that it won't rot after being exposed to sun, rain, and snow.  This means you won't have to replace it as often as wood-based materials. Also, because it won't attract insects and bugs such as termites, you can place it right next to your house without fearing it will attract and harbor wood-eating insects.

The downside is that it is made of chemicals that can potentially leach into the ground.

Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite is a very fine material, almost as fine as sand. It is natural and doesn't have the potentially dangerous chemicals that rubber mulch has. You can get decomposed gravel in a variety of colors. Decomposed granite will continue to change color over time due to the sun bleaching it. It is soft, which makes it perfect if you want a pathway you can walk on in bare feet.

The downside to decomposed gravel is that, like sand, it can easily spread and get kicked around. Some people add a chemical stabilizer to the top of the decomposed gravel pathway, but if you were going for a natural, organic environment, you would want to avoid this. Because this material spreads so easily, its not great for areas where there are lots of trees that drop leaves in the fall because it will make raking a nightmare.

Cedar Wood Chips

Cedar wood chips are made by grinding up the branches and body of cedar trees. They are normally reddish in color, though some manufactures will dye them. The preferred wood for outdoors use is cedar because it is resistant to moisture. The benefit to using cedar wood chips is that they are soft, so you can walk on them in your bare feet, they look pretty, and they don't contain any chemicals (unless you purchase the artificially colored variety).

Cedar wood chips will need to be replenished every season. You don't have to redo the entire walkway; rather you can just "top off" the path and make it look fresh.

If you own a wood chipper and you have oak, cedar, cherry, or chestnut trees on your property, then you could even produce your own chips every fall. When the branches of dead trees fall down you could chip them and add them to your path. There is no problem with mixing the different kinds of wood as long as you stay away from softwoods that contain more moisture and are faster to rot.

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24 May 2016

Developing A Garden

If it has been awhile since you tried your hand at gardening, you might be a little nervous about breaking into the soil and planting a few seeds. However, gardening doesn't have to be intimidating. I started gardening a few years ago, and my blog is filled with tips for beginners and experts alike. I still remember my first garden. In addition to planting a few of the wrong plants, I also overwatered the entire area, causing mold growth and rotten plants. Check out these tips to ensure that your first planting experience is successful--saving you boatloads of time and money.