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Old 09-30-2016, 09:42 PM
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I want to get rid of my row house's 'postage stamp" front yard that's 9'x12' -- and the 2'x24' grassy strip between 2 driveways.

I don't want much water runoff (or I'd like to minimize it), so I am open to using permeable pavers. (Which cost more, I know.)

But I also definitely want to eliminate weeds coming up through paver joints.

Right now the areas are all mulch or grass, so rain is absorbed where it falls.
The yard's natural pitch/grade is toward the sidewalk so once "paved" or hardscaped -- my concern is that in winter, the runoff could ice up that walkway.

-- From what I've read, permeable pavers allow water to go through the paver itself.
-- Sooo, what about using permeable pavers -- but with polymeric dust or sand as the joint medium?

I also want to use the largest pavers I can, such as 24x24 or 18x18, etc. I haven't seen permeable pavers that size yet, but regular pavers do come in those sizes. (The smaller the paver the more joints for weeds to come through.)

Also, anyone have any experience with Alliance Gator Rock Bond. When mixed with riverstone it's supposed to create a permeable surface, that's good for trim areas, edging and banding. So maybe I can use that for the joints.

Thanks to anyone who can help!
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:26 AM
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,500 posts, read 48,525,774 times
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Let me give you the correct direction in which to view this...

As a general rule, pavers that are installed correctly- base, compaction, sanding joints to lock-in- DO NOT have weeds growing up "through" the pavers. Seeds from the weeds end up washed into the joints and germinate. The only way you'll have weed free joints is mortar- and that's not 100%!
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:48 AM
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Pour a slab, pave over the slab, get a bottle our Round Up. Been there, done that.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:50 AM
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As for the slab idea….
I will be doing this myself. I suppose I could pour some concrete first. Would I then not have to use the "usual" process below? Does it go right over the tamped down soil? How does concrete behave when closed in, below grade?? In a freeze/thaw environment?

This row house front yard is sloped toward the sidewalk. It's 'postage stamp shaped' surrounded all all sides, by the house walkway, the driveway, and the public sidewalk. I don't want the water running off pavers and freezing on that sidewalk. I'd imagine we've all seen areas and cases of what I'm talking about.

I have laid pavers before. And to be honest, the jobs have held up well. And weeds really haven't been that much of an issue. BUT RUNOFF wasn't a concern either.
(One was a walkway , with 6" excavation, tamping, 2 layers landscape fabric, gravel, sand, pavers, and sand for joints)

With this project I'm hoping to address both my concerns. Let's say runoff is first, weeds second.
I'm wondering it using regular extra large pavers for fewer joints, with a permeable joints medium ameliorate the runoff issue? Some? a bit? none?

I wouldn't mind using permeable pavers…but I have to call around and see it they come in sizes larger than 4x8 or 9". I really don't want to lay pavers that small.

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Old 10-01-2016, 10:53 AM
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If you don't mind some very light maintenance, an improved mulch strategy could work, and for very little cost.

First, de-weed the areas. Dig up the roots, replace some soil, whatever. Then lay down weed barrier cloth, preferably the fiber-based heavier material. There are thinner plastic versions but the other stuff is more durable. Finally, spread a layer of wood mulch at least 3" deep on top. Make sure the mulch is not obtained from a big open heap where seeds blown by the wind have dropped on it.

There will still be a few weeds popping up because seeds from nearby plants or in deer or bird poop introduce them. But they will be easy to control if you did the steps above and check the area regularly. It should only take a few minutes every couple weeks to stay well ahead of the weeds.

About once a year, top up the mulch. If the area gets disturbed by lots of foot traffic or animals, you might need to do it more often. You can spray the area with repellent to make it unappealing to them.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:39 AM
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Thanks, but, perhaps I wasn't clear….that's the situation I have have now. And weeds are getting in the mulch. And I'm tired of dealing with it.
Try to imagine this:

-- Now I have a 9x12' yard with granite block edging, when I did that, 10 years ago I laid TWO layers of weed barrier, and soaked the area with weed killer before even laying the mulch.
-- the entire area has AT LEAST two inches of mulch, up to the top of the edging
Mulch that I've been topping off for 10 years already, 10 bags each time, every year another two inches (because of the obvious decomposition)

-- In this yard on top of the mulch -- are FIVE, large plastic/resin planters, one in each corner and one in the middle -- for a Grecian courtyard effect.
-- AND there are eight, roughly 6x6 irregularly shaped pavers paying on the mulch in around the planters.
(I would add a photo but don't know how)

That has still left WAAY too much mulch area exposed. And weeds are growing in those "open areas."
The weeds are grown "on top of / in the mulch" -- so they're not really "rooted" they ARE easy as ever to pull out. BUT I don't want that maintenance any more. (not to mention I'm in a squirrel area, and they are always digging in it)

I want to get rid of that entire yard, and leave ONE small raised bed (or store bought planter) in the middle of the paved area.

THAT is what I'm hoping to get some suggestions about. Thus, my original post….

Last edited by selhars; 10-01-2016 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:40 PM
Location: Floribama
14,762 posts, read 31,175,948 times
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9x12? That is tiny.

Personally, I'd get rid of all of that crap, the border, the urns, pavers, all of it! Have some sod put down, it can easily be mowed with rechargeable weed eater. They even make little robot mowers, kinda like a Roomba.

I bought a property last year where the previous owners had put in all of that stuff you mentioned, and I gave away every bit of that tacky stuff.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:42 PM
16,025 posts, read 19,571,183 times
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Here are a few links that might give you some ideas. Your yard is a challenge, but it could be very attractive if you find the ideas that work for you. Good luck




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Old 10-01-2016, 09:35 PM
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Wow, your neighbors must have lots of weeds.

I did the work outlined above and those areas rarely need weeding. But I inspect them every week. And they constitute a bigger area than what you have.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:13 PM
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9 foot by 12 foot may be small to some others. But it's more than I want to maintain. We HAD grass and got rid of it decades ago.

Neighbor on one side still has front yard of grass. Neighbor on other side and quite a few others have gotten rid of the grass altogether, some with all patio pavers making the front yard a patio basically -- others pouring concrete slab so front yard is all concrete. Others mulching it in.

One neighbor used three rows of retaining wall blocks, to perimeter and build up the area, fill that in making a raised bed that he mortared with pavers and river rock in that. With a wishing well type statue in the middle. But I don't want to do that because 1) it's more money, and two 2) it's more likely the car door will hit it when is swings open.

Also if I paver it flat there's no tripping hazard.

Oh and my yard actually looks nice -- because I maintain it. My yard pavers and planters are not crap. But that's OK I realize when posting on the internet some answers are worth of the time and attention they will receive. So thanks for NOT helping.

And I take it no one here has worked with Alliance Gator Rock Bond.

Last edited by selhars; 10-01-2016 at 10:27 PM..
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