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Stepping up for summer fun

This was a personal project in my own backyard. With summer fast upon us and backyard activities soon to increase we could not go on ignoring this issue any longer.

This area of the lawn was distressed partly due to the extra traffic it gets on the path between the deck and the shed so we decided to put in steppers.

this needs some tlc

this needs some tlc

dreary little section of lawn

dreary little section of lawn

After taking measurements and discussing ideas we headed off to get some step stones.

Tip: Know your spacing and have a plan in mind but stay flexible. What we came home with was different in both size and shape than what we had envisioned and there is no doubt it was the right choice.

We laid the stones in the pattern we thought we wanted and gave ourselves some time to make sure it was how we felt they should be. I can’t speak strongly enough about doing this first, it made such a difference in the satisfaction of the end result. Initially we had planned to lay them in a straight, even line and tried the staggered pattern ‘just to see how it looked’. Now I can’t imagine why we ever thought the straight line was a good idea!

Lay out steppers first for spacing and patterns.

Lay out steppers first for spacing and patterns.

Look at layout from a few angles and take a few minutes to make sure you like it.

Look at layout from a few angles and take a few minutes to make sure you like it.

Once we had the pattern and spacing measured out the rest was pure sweat equity!

Nice clean cuts around the stones and using a shovel with a straight edge kept the job neat and tidy.

dig out carefully in full pieces, keeps ground level and grass can be re-used

dig out carefully in full pieces, keeps ground level and grass can be re-used

clean straight cuts will help make a good final look

clean straight cuts will help make a good final look

I came up with the idea of laying a rope in the hole after the first time we had to take a stone back out to level the dirt a bit more. When you remove or replace a stone by tipping it to one side it creates a divet in the ground beneath it. A rope or strap allows you to lift or lower the stone straight up and prevents divets from happening.

lay a rope or strap in the hole before putting in stone

lay a rope or strap in the hole before putting in stone

If you need to move stepper raise it with rope and pull straight out of hole

If you need to move stepper raise it with rope and pull straight out of hole

rope slides out easily once stepper is placed just right.

rope slides out easily once stepper is placed just right.

This project happened to be on existing lawn that needed to allow for natural imperfections in the slope of the ground so you don’t see me using levels in this case. I needed my stones to match the existing grass more than being accurately level so the lawnmower can easily pass over them.

moving right along

moving right along

We were able to take some of the more healthy portions we had removed and use them to patch in to some of the especially damaged spots. This made a big difference in a few weeks.

This was the worst patch of grass, something had to be done.

This was the worst patch of grass, something had to be done.

cut out the sad patch of grass

cut out the sad patch of grass

patched in grass in bad spot

patched in grass in bad spot

nothing left to do but water and wait

nothing left to do but water and wait

Not bad for a day’s work. Now to nurse the patchy spots back to health.

A few weeks later and the difference is amazing! Grass grew in nicely and the stones look great!

2 1/2 weeks later

2 1/2 weeks later

patch spot looks good

patch spot looks good

One Saturday of work that will pay off for years to come.

Hope you are all enjoying your backyards as much as I get to enjoy mine!!

Happy summer fun! Time to schedule some BBQ activities!

Cass

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Categories: DIY tips, gardening, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, Lawn care, outdoors, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Stepping up for summer fun

  1. AWESOME! The difference is amazing. The tip to use a rope to lift or lower the stone is priceless. Thanks for sharing, Cass.

    Like

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