Creating A Garden Path From Wood Chips


If you're thinking of building a garden path, but you don't fancy the hassle and hard work of laying concrete or slabs, you might want to consider using wood chips. This medium is easy to lay and maintain and is generally cheaper to buy than stone slabs or cobbles. A quick Google search will find you plenty of suppliers advertising wood chips for sale in your area. Here's how to make a beautiful, rustic garden path from wood chips.

What you'll need

  • wood chips
  • path edging
  • rake
  • spade
  • weed killer
  • sand
  • plastic bottle
  • crushed stone

The path does not strictly require edging; although, this can make it look tidier and prevents the wood chip from spreading. Your local DIY or gardening store will have a good choice of different types of edging to choose from, but split poles on a wire roll look good and stay in place well.

You can choose from natural-coloured wood chips or perhaps opt for a dyed version to match your exterior décor scheme.

How to do it

  1. First of all, decide where you want your path to run.  Fill an old plastic drinks bottle with sand and use this to 'draw' the path margins.  
  2. Now you'll need to remove any surface weeds.  You can do this by simply raking over the surface of your 'path' so that it is clear enough to dig.  
  3. Next, dig out the soil between the sand guidelines to a depth of around 15cm to 20cm.  
  4. Spray the whole surface of the newly excavated path with weedkiller to kill any tap-rooted weeds that may be lurking there.  
  5. Now fill-in the bottom few centimetres of the path with crushed stone.  This lining will help the path to drain during wet weather and will also help to stop weeds growing through.  
  6. If you've decided to use a path edging material, set it into position along both edges of the path.  
  7. Finally, fill up the path with wood chips; you can either use a roller or simply walk up and down the path a few times to help set the chips in place.  The wood chips will keep the edging roll in place once they have bedded in.  
  8. Finish off your path by using a garden rake to smooth over the wood chips if necessary, and blend any remaining sand into the surrounding soil.

Wood chips tend to be pretty durable; although, you may need to top-up the path every couple of years as the wood degrades.

In conclusion

You can make an attractive, functional woodchip path in your garden by following the guidelines given above.  Most wood chips are treated with preservative to slow down the degradation process so the only maintenance involved is to remove any stray weeds that pop up.


10 August 2016

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