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Construction Of Paths In The Country - 1
Construction Of Paths In The Country - 1


What paths and paths will help make life in the country convenient

Garden path in the country
Garden path in the country

The overwhelming majority of summer residents and gardeners either do not arrange paths on the site at all, or, having poured on the ground, in their opinion, suitable material: sand, gravel, slag, they believe that the garden path is ready. Therefore, after winter or heavy rainfall, such paths are deformed and very soon become unsuitable for walking.

Hence the conclusion: correctly and in the right places, the constructed network of paths and paths not only provides convenience when moving, but also pleases the eye with aesthetic performance. It, as it were, serves as a kind of guiding thread connecting a garden, a house, a vegetable garden, and outbuildings into a single organic whole.

Planning tracks

Before starting the laying of paths and paths, it is necessary to think in detail about their location, size and construction methods. The path may be inconspicuous, but it may also be the center of attention, emphasized for example by a beautiful curb, a group of trees, shrubs or features of the surrounding landscape. The path on the site should not have anything to do with the street road. Usually, before the construction of paths begins, naturally trodden paths and paths appear on the site, which arise as a result of the use of these places by the owners of the site. In this regard, it is advisable to build paths along the outlined paths.

As practice clearly shows, garden paths, if they are forcibly constructed, ignoring the naturally trodden ones, for the most part remain unused and only occupy a useful area. And this means that the construction of paths cannot be one-step: you have to wait some time so that paths and paths are precisely defined in use, which will greatly facilitate the work on their arrangement.

And some of them do not have to be redone at all. The main requirement for any paths on the site: so that they can be used all year round: in slush, and in heat, and in icy conditions. Moreover, it is desirable that they are not too expensive and do not require much maintenance.

The main - the "main" path leading from the gate or from the gate to the house, is usually laid by the shortest route to approach the house. All other paths, paths connecting the house with the vegetable garden, corners of the garden, resting place and outbuildings should be as short and straight as possible. From an aesthetic point of view, paths and paths should be laid in such a way that, when walking along them, a wide view opens up, and you can see the most beautiful places in the garden and vegetable garden. At the same time, you should not get carried away and arrange on your site "boulevards" and "avenues" for walking. Walking is best done in parks.

The width of the tracks depends on their purpose. For example, for the main path leading from the gate to the house, a width of one meter or slightly more is sufficient. That is, so that two pedestrians can disperse on it. All other paths, which are walked alone, are made 50-80 cm wide. When laying paths in the garden, it must be borne in mind that the growing crowns of trees and shrubs can sometimes make it difficult to pass through them. If it is necessary to lay paths in the garden between the beds, then their width should be minimal: 30-35 cm.

Garden path cover

Garden path. Picture 1
Garden path. Picture 1

The choice of covering a garden path depends on the intensity of its use. The more often the track is used, the stronger the coating should be. It should also be borne in mind that all tracks should be convex towards the center and gradually lower towards the edges within 2-3 cm per running meter. In small gardens and on open lawns, islands of stones and slabs can be arranged, placing them randomly at a distance of 10-15 cm from each other (see Fig. 1).

Sandy paths

Of all the possible options for garden paths, perhaps the simplest and cheapest is a path with a sand surface. However, the sand path has a number of significant disadvantages. The main ones are: softness and wetness during melting snow and prolonged rains. After short rains, they dry quickly, because they have the ability to absorb water, but this does not happen when the snow melts, because the lower layers of the soil are still frozen.

During droughts and strong winds, dust swirls over such paths. In addition, harmful weeds often sprout on them, which have to be weeded out or pulled out, thereby destroying the pathway. Hence the inevitable conclusion: paths with a sandy surface require constant attention - they must be looked after, leveled, watered in dry weather and rolled.

If you already decided to build a sand path, then you need to do it carefully and very carefully. First, you need to mark the place of the proposed track (with a cord, pegs, rope). Then, between the marks, remove the soil to a depth of about 20 cm, resulting in a kind of mini-pit for the future track. Further, the base must be tamped and laid on top of the soil with a layer of 5-7 cm of coarse gravel, pebbles, crushed stone, broken brick, small waste concrete or other suitable materials.

Garden path. Picture 2
Garden path. Picture 2

This layer must also be thoroughly tamped, and on top of it another layer of finer gravel, crushed stone, slag, ash or old plaster should be poured with a layer of 2-5 cm. These layers should be watered and a layer of sand should be laid on top of them, or even better - a mixture from sand, stone chips and dry silt. Tamp, level and roll again. That's it - the track is ready. To prevent soil from falling on the path, it should be fenced along the edges with a curb made of stone, concrete or brick. The curb should rise 5-7 cm above the track (see Fig. 2).

Garden "parquet"

In addition, if the soil on the site is sandy, then the path can be paved in the form of an original garden "parquet". To do this, first select an earthen cut. Its base is cleaned and lightly tamped. After that, sand is poured with a layer of 5-8 cm, and the ends of the logs are tightly placed on it, a 15-20 cm long chock made of solid wood. The hardest, most durable wood is from larch and teak.

Each block (block) must be treated with a special antiseptic compound and dried. It is best to dip the lower part in heated bitumen. From above they are again covered with sand. For a better fit to the ends, even a hexagonal shape can be given. When the sand fills all the cracks, its remains are removed, and the ends are filled with heated bitumen. When it is absorbed into the wood, the path is again sprinkled with sand, resulting in a "real parquet".

Concrete paths

In addition to options for sandy paths, quite often summer residents build paths on sections using concrete. Moreover, this is often done without taking into account the aesthetic point of view. But concrete itself is a monochromatic gray mass that is not capable of creating different versions of garden paths without additional processing of its surface and its color scheme.

The basis of any concrete (until recently) is cement, the best binding material. The cement hardens quickly both in air and in water. The beginning of hardening (setting) of a properly prepared concrete solution - not earlier than 40-45 minutes after the preparation of the "test" (a mixture of cement, filler and water). And the end of hardening is no later than 12 hours.

Cement can be of different grades: from 300 to 600. Portland cement of 400 grade is used in the vast majority of construction. The preparation of concrete mortar should be taken with full responsibility. Indeed, the service life of the track being built directly depends on this. First of all, a dry mixture is prepared from cement and sand. In many construction publications, it is recommended to take 2.5-6 parts of sand for 1 part of cement (depending on the brand of cement). Probably, these proportions can be observed, however, the long-term practice of professional builders proves that the most optimal ratio of a mixture of Portland cement grade 400 and sand is 1: 3.

Water is gradually poured into the resulting mixture, and everything is thoroughly mixed. Then aggregates are added to it: gravel, crushed stone, small stone, and with this concrete solution the groove dug under the path is filled. It is very important that the sand and stone aggregates are clean, without foreign impurities: particles of clay, peat, chernozem, plant residues and other inclusions. After contaminating the concrete solution, they significantly reduce the strength of the concrete.

If the connecting elements (filler) are metal reinforcement or steel wire, then in this case a qualitatively new material is obtained - reinforced concrete. In terms of strength, it is significantly superior to ordinary concrete. The track from it will last a very long time.

In terms of plasticity, the concrete mass is divided into rigid (good compaction is required when laying), plastic (requiring less compaction) and cast (filling the mold almost by gravity). It should be remembered that the thicker the mass of concrete and the more it compresses, the stronger the concrete will be and vice versa.

The base for concrete paths is prepared in the same way as for sand paths. Then wide boards up to 3 cm thick are laid along the edges and strengthened from the outside with pegs, i.e. we create the formwork. Boards must be tightly docked with each other, and if necessary, their edges must be stitched. In planed formwork, the concrete is cleaner. The same effect can be achieved if the walls of the formwork are covered from the inside with dense polyethylene.

Garden path. Figure 3
Garden path. Figure 3

In order for the wooden formwork to be denser and not to absorb water from the concrete solution, it is recommended to moisten it well with water 2-3 hours before placing the concrete. In order to get the desired slope of the track, one of the sides must be higher. And so that the concrete does not crack, the path is divided into meter strips and first separate sections are concreted, then the grooves between the strips are poured with asphalt (see Fig. 3).

Usually, with the right technology, concrete hardens during the day. However, in order to obtain the required strength, it must be kept moist. If the air temperature is +15 C, then the concrete must be watered from the second day after laying and continue to water for 7-5 days. In the first days, water it 3-5 times a day, and after 3-4 days - 2-3 times, if the weather is not very hot.

To be continued. Paths from slabs, stone and other materials

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